What kind of person do you want to be?

Do you notice that once you set out on a course to change something in your life, you immediately bump up against obstacles?

While some obstacles are external, many actually exist within us. It's as if we're in a battle with ourselves.

What is going on here?

I have found one particularly helpful theory on the anatomy of the inner life that is inspired by the teachings of Rabbi Mordecai Finley.

Here we go...

You know the part of yourself that has a vision to be a virtuous and wonderful person? This takes place in the realm of the soul. This is your truest self...the center of your being.

It is the wiser, more consistent part of you that can actually observe your thoughts, feelings, and emotions as well as choose them.

According to Rabbi Finley, the soul is concerned with four holy attributes: love, justice, truth, and beauty. He calls them the "Garments of the Soul."

Now, what about those obstacles? Well, there also exists another part of you. This part I will call the Saboteur. Rabbi Finley would call this the shadow self.

The Saboteur is hell-bent on disrupting any of the goodness and growth that your soul wants to actualize.

It has its own concerns; to look good, feel good, and be right. It is self-justified in whatever it thinks and does and will even tell lies to make sure you don't transform. (Ever lie to yourself?).

When left at the helm, the Saboteur will produce a life of anger, depression, self-destruction, and guilt.

Isn't it strange that such conflicting energies can coexist inside of a human being?!

Here's an example of an inner life drama:

"Soul vs. Saboteur"

(Scene 1...and....Action!)

Soul: I want to be a loving person to my husband. No matter what he's going through, I want to be a woman that will listen to him and support him in his struggles.

Saboteur: That's great. Except, don't forget that he hasn't been there for you lately. Maybe you should withhold some of that love and make him pay.

Soul: But I don't want my love to be contingent on what he's doing or not doing. I don't want to be a person that punishes others for not giving me what I want or need. That would be living a reactive life of excuses. I want to love him regardless.

Saboteur: Really? But isn't he supposed to love you? Why are you the only one doing the work? It's not fair. You need to get your needs met too! Look how neglected you feel.


Does that sound familiar?

What can be done to help Soul win the battle?

Introducing...S.O.S. (Simple Operative Strategy). These simple steps will help you manage your very own inner life drama!

#1- Be aware of the battle.

Awareness is a great place to start. Many times people just accept the voice of the Saboteur as truth. Consider that it isn't the truth and that you have a deeper and more truthful soul voice. The soul voice wants to help you be a better person and live a life of personal responsibility. The Saboteur wants to sit around and blame and complain.

#2- Know your true self.

What is the vision you have for yourself? Just like feeding our bodies, the soul needs to be nurtured on a daily basis. One great tool is to write down or articulate your vision at the beginning of each day. Your vision helps keep your mind on all the good things that you want.

Ask yourself: What kind of person do I want to be today?

Ex. I want to be a wise, thoughtful, caring, centered person. I want to be present with all the people in my life.

#3- Know your enemy.

What are the typical disruptive thoughts that you have? Once you start becoming more aware of your particular version of the Saboteur, you won't be as surprised when it comes to do its work...sabotage. This can look like doubt, fear, jealousy, pride, punishing, unforgiveness.

#4- Prepare interventions.

When the disruptions come, you can prepare a strategy to counter them. Now granted, you won't always succeed, but the more you exercise and develop this part of yourself, the more you will start to see the changes.

Envision a typical scenario such as the drama I presented. What are some options that you could exercise in order to hold your vision?

Ex. Instead of punishing and withholding from your spouse who inadvertently hurt you, you could remember that he also struggles and has bad days just like you.

This thought-turned-behavior would produce compassion, understanding and forgiveness. It would keep you connected instead of creating a breach.

Developing and utilizing interventions requires commitment to your vision, regardless of how you feel or what someone else did or said.

When those moments of choice come, you will be more aware of your options and hopefully start to exercise the soulful ones that will keep your vision intact.

I encourage you to start exploring your inner life. Remember, like all development, this is lifetime work, not an overnight fix.

What kind of person do you want to be in 2011?

Author's Bio: 

Belinda Lams of Soul Organizer is a Certified Professional Life Coach, Professional Organizer, and speaker. She is passionate about helping people live from clarity and purpose. Belinda is available for coaching services by phone and can be reached at bblams@gmail.com.