An essential kind of success-perhaps the most critical type-is psychological. Unfortunately,many people attain financial wealth and yet ignore the importance of their psychological health. We tend to frequently check our bank statements and balance our checkbooks, yet we put off reflecting on what’s happening in our minds. With the rates of anxiety and depression becoming more prevalent, it’s time to prioritize and take inventory on our thoughts, feelings, and actions. We begin by reflecting on our past and current relationships (social, personal, occupational, spiritual). What seems to be the theme? What or who is the common denominator of the problem? What are my greatest liabilities and am I ready to discard them? The initiation of such a process is probably the most daring and life changing endeavor a person will ever embark on. Psychological success requires discipline, structure, and an enduring commitment to tend to one’s inner life. A dedication to reflect, admit defects, and take on the painstaking task of breaking unhealthy patterns and cycles is by far the best form of achievement. Psychological success is the thread that holds everything together and it’s proper management pays off the greatest dividends.
I love two boys dearly. One of them I had to leave behind in order to give the other a better life. One is a lighthearted, inquisitive, and affectionate soul. The other, while quite loving, can be rebellious, fearful, self-destructive, hyper vigilant, and unstable. One is my son. The other my inner child. I stood at a turning point where most men find themselves who are able to reflect and take inventory of personal defects and impediments to growth. There I found all the hindrances and shortcomings embodied in my inner psychological youth. It was here in the personification of my inner child that all sources of irrational beliefs lived. I had to make a decision to part ways with the boy I had intimately known for decades.
The boy within men must be outgrown, tamed, or carefully integrated into adulthood if we are to properly function in the world. However, when most men find themselves stuck at a crossroad, repeating destructive patterns, or unable to realize their full potential, most times they will find a restless inner child consuming and sabotaging their present realities. The boy in us may manifest himself in the form of seeking power and control, general mistrust, and a debilitating apprehension to take on new challenges. Many times, the boy will not adhere to manipulative tactics of persuasion or compromise. The boy is adamant in getting what it wants and unless effectively confronted will destroy the man he inhabits. In this case, the inner child must be subdued, bound, and given up for the liberation of a man’s psychological imprisonment. It is no wonder that biblical stories such as “the binding of Issac” or the crucifixion of Christ resonate well with many of us. A man must sacrifice faulty beliefs and dysfunctional familial patterns before he can receive the “blessing.” Subconsciously, we understand that the most primitive and infantile aspects of our psyche must be (or at least one must be willing to) put to rest. However, the stark difference lies in the fact that our inner child will not comply and lie quietly as Isaac or the Christian Messiah. The binding, giving up, and the mourning of the inner boy (false and destructive beliefs) is a necessary process, a journey by which we eventually reach complete psychological and spiritual manhood.