Inner pacifism is the act of consciously striving for “oneness” of the mind; realizing and minimizing inner conflict that mostly just leaves you feeling confused and upset. Battling one’s self leaves no winners. For when you are divided against yourself, one side of you will necessarily lose.

How often do you experience a feeling or emotion that you believe you shouldn’t? Perhaps you’re feeling down, then you say, “I’ve really got nothing to feel sad about.” Perhaps you’re feeling stressed and anxious when, really, you think “I shouldn’t be feeling like this.”

For me, this inner conflict happens quite often. And I think it happens to us all naturally. This sentiment of inner conflict originates from our ideal conceptions about who we believe we “should” or “shouldn’t” be, and what we think we “should” or “shouldn’t” feel.

This inner conflict becomes normal in the process of each of us striving to be the best person we possibly can be. Inner conflict is a mechanism of the mind, as if “survival of the fittest.” We subconsciously utilize the division in our heads, this battle between conflicting emotions, as a cheap tool to attempt to determine which of the two emotions is best, supreme, the survivor.

But such inner conflict is an unhealthy process that reaps little rewards. Conflicting emotions are natural, but being conflicted against yourself within your mind leaves no winners, for one side of you must ultimately lose.

The Battle Within

Have you ever noticed two sides of you battling within your own mind?

Inner Pacifism is a philosophy of oneness of the mind. It’s the refusal to battle yourself over an emotion that you’re feeling. The intent of Inner Pacifism is to alleviate inner turmoil and frustration by refraining from battling one’s self amid emotions or feelings that one considers unwanted, unwarranted, or unnecessary. It’s the refusal, at all costs, to do battle with one’s self, in one’s mind.

I believe that there is, perhaps, no feeling more stressful and straining than feeling strongly conflicted in one’s own mind. It’s a detrimental cycle.

Below, the negative emotion that one is feeling is represented by X. Y is the excuse, the rationale, or the reasoning that one puts forth to justify why they “shouldn’t” feel that way. Z originates with one’s ideals about who they should be and how they should feel. But because one doesn’t feel that way, the feeling of X is further exacerbated:

I feel “__X__,”
but “__X__ isn’t how I think I should feel,”
because “__Y__,”  (the excuse)
and so “__Z__ is how I think I should feel.”
But “I just don’t feel that way,”
which makes me “feel even more  __X__.”

An example:

I feel “depressed,”
but “depressed isn’t how I think I should feel,”
because “I have no reason to feel sad, or, People have it worse than me,”  (the excuse)
and so “happier is how I think I should feel.”
But “I just don’t feel that way,”
which makes me “feel even more depressed.”

The cyclical nature of this inner conflict is straining and stressful. If you are feeling an emotion that is unpleasant or one that you believe shouldn’t exist, avoid the cyclical detriment of inner conflict. Instead, explore why the unpleasant emotion exists. Explore it, understand it, and finally, make peace with it.

For to tell yourself that although a particular emotion exists, that it shouldn’t for whatever reason, is no different than waging a war in one’s own mind. You are pitting two sides of yourself against each other, and one side is certain to lose.

Inner conflict reaps no winners. Instead, try to practice Inner Pacifism and be at peace with yourself.

There is no worse feeling than feeling conflicted in your own mind.