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Inadequacy

Dear John,

I have been feeling that there is something wrong for a long time. I feel a great sense of being inadequate when I'm around people, like there is something missing and I am not good enough. I find it hard to express myself and I think this distorts how my natural personality would be like if I felt good about myself and the world. I have a lot of 'I should be this' or 'I should be doing that' thoughts. I feel tense in most social settings and very self conscious about how others perceive me in such a way that even my facial expressions feel tight and unrelaxed.

I just want to ask you if you think that all feelings of inadequacy and not being good enough are a symptom of the fear of life? I am hoping that by continuing to look at myself, these things will relax and disappear over time. I remember somebody once saying to me that the reason I feel these things is because of believing that I am a false self-image.

Love and light,

George

George Crossman

Dear John,

I have been feeling that there is something wrong for a long time. I feel a great sense of being inadequate when I'm around people, like there is something missing and I am not good enough. I find it hard to express myself and I think this distorts how my natural personality would be like if I felt good about myself and the world. I have a lot of 'I should be this' or 'I should be doing that' thoughts. I feel tense in most social settings and very self conscious about how others perceive me in such a way that even my facial expressions feel tight and unrelaxed.

I just want to ask you if you think that all feelings of inadequacy and not being good enough are a symptom of the fear of life? I am hoping that by continuing to look at myself, these things will relax and disappear over time. I remember somebody once saying to me that the reason I feel these things is because of believing that I am a false self-image.

Love and light,

George

Dear George,

I read your posting and responded to it during the Worldwide Meeting on January 20, 2013.

Please let me know if more is needed.

John

Thank you

Thank you John!

No more is needed. You were very clear and said what I already kind of knew. The fear of life is the root cause of all psychological misery in human beings. I just sometimes have my doubts, but I dont see them as a problem anymore.

I hear ya

George, I know all about this: The kind of paralysis we can feel within ourselves in social situations. I've struggled in this way too. Funny, we mostly all do in some way and to some extent.

I want to describe something and would love to hear back from you on it. Can you relate? Is it similar for you? I imagine you will say yes, since I think we all work pretty much in the same way. Still I'd like to find out. It's one of those things that no one seems ever to talk about, our latent or acute feelings of inadequacy and alienation from life.

For me, I have long experienced a catch 22 type situation. There is the feeling that I am fundamentally not worthy of acceptance by others. It's tied up in early adolescent fixations on my appearance it seems. I'm not saying this is the source of the isolated experience of life, but it is the psychological complex through which it is most often expressed. So, what has happened for years is, I refuse to look at myself, believing that the pain I feel is an indicator of the ultimate unworthiness of my real self. There is a tacit belief that to look at myself will make this pain unbearable, increasing the pain to some level at which I'll become completely nonfuctional or to pain will be destructive of me...

Somehow I've gone ahead and done it anyway. I find that the pain isn't representative of me, it's a pain that has been patterned into the organism as a result of a kind of positive feedback mechanism. We see a similar effect in dreams. Things seem to increase absurdly in 'unconscious' dreams. One drop falling from the ceiling becomes a stream becomes a gush becomes a flood becomes a tidal wave. I think it's a general pattern the mind follows in some cases. Interestingly I don't find this exponential pattern of increase in my (relatively rare) experiences of lucid dreams.

So the pain got stuck in me. I think I looked away from myself (so to speak) at some point as a self protective measure to shield myself from this asymptotic pain. This had the effect of trapping it and of also making it so I wouldn't look back at it again, thus keeping me, not the pain actually, but me trapped, or isolated from my real life.

But now I've begun to see that this seeing doesn't reveal any specific unworthy, unacceptable person, it reveals something else... life comes rushing back in. Not all at once as I've heard some neo-advaitans claim.

The looking is very much a looking, it seems to be a quasi visual sense that somehow draws up into itself all of the rest of the sensorium of experience and imagination, thought, etc. So when I look, the world comes back alive in me. It's not a fait accompli for me. Every act of seeing myself brings me back to life, but there's alot of patterns built up and I seem to need to see myself in lots of situations to unravel my maladaptive patterns of withdrawal and get on with life.

I really appreciate your frankness. I have just recently become able to be sincere in this way, and even now, only to someone on a forum I've never met. But still, this is good! Thanks.

Dave

Inadequate

I, too, am very familiar with inadequacy compared to others. It's partly why I've become a recluse and very lonely. For nearly a year it has become unbearably intense sense of being cut off from "normal" people. I feel overwhelmingly strong yearning for love and relationship and feel that I'll be doomed without getting someone to love me. I feel desperate and unable to do anything about it. I feel paralyzed. Then it spirals down to thinking and wishing for death. This happens nearly every day. It's very taxing. I try divert my attention to my breath, and it helps but when it keeps coming back all the time I feel overwhelmed and it leaves me weak, panicked and anxious.

I don't use the looking as a therapeutic measure and hardly look at all anymore. But I practice attention moving and it has become somewhat easier. I don't yet see how it influences my life in general, though. It's been about a year and a half since the first attempt at looking.

A year ago I decided not to pursue therapy and and soon after weaned myself off antidepressant medication. Now I feel scared sometimes that I took a wrong turn and will end up dead. I wonder if any of the readers have a therapeutic treatment on the side with this process the looking triggers? What shall I do? I do feel some reluctance to go down that path again.

These feelings have become more intense, as John said, overpowering even. I wish the life affirming things would intensify, too. On the other hand, I feel a certain strongness and a sense of firm ground growing underneath. I suppose it is the effect of looking. Will it be something that's left there when/if the horrible waves of destructive thoughts and feelings depart? I do trust the looking but these reactions rock me and make me doubt.

Seppo

 

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