Some of us feel there is a disconnect between what is and what we want. This conflict presents its self as a gnawing dissatisfaction or a low-grade depression. This feelings seems to reside in our subconscious and color our outlook and attitudes. This is a feeling we try to hide by putting on an image of “success” or “I’m doing fine.” All the while it persists in the background and keeps our emotional equilibrium off balance.
This idea is fundamental premise of my book, in fact, it is stated as the opening paragraph in the Purpose section on page vi and reads:
“All of us have struggles that lead to a less than desirable quality of life due to a deep-seated feeling that something is wrong and can’t seem to be fixed. Because of the persistence of these struggles, a nagging sense of being defective, incapable, even unworthy begins to define us as something we don’t like and never intended to be. Over time, this condition develops into an internal reality expressed with resentment, negativity and withdrawal. We seem trapped and either fight against such unseen forces or resign ourselves to our helplessness.”
Many authors in the Self-Exploration genera of contemporary literature express a similar idea. Tara Brach is one such author who comes at the discovery process from a Buddhist tradition of meditation. In her book Radical Acceptance, in the opening chapter titled “The Trance of Unworthiness” she states:
“Feeling unworthy goes hand in hand with feeling separate from others, separate from life. If we feel defective, how can we possibly belong. It’s a vicious cycle: The more deficient we feel, the more separate and vulnerable we feel. Underneath our fear of being flawed is a more primal fear that something is wrong with life, that something bad is going to happen. Our reaction to this fear is to feel blame, even hatred toward whatever we consider the source of the problem: ourselves, others, life itself. But even when we have directed our aversion outward, deep down we still feel vulnerable.”
Visit her web site at – tarabrach.com
Uncovering and dealing with these deep-seated beliefs and anxieties is a key objective of why I wrote the book. There is hope that we can find our way out of this self-defeating spiral. It starts with recognizing the problem and continues, in Stage 4, with an honest appraisal of how we attempt to manage our vulnerability as stated in the first paragraph of Stage 4 on page 36.
“This Stage has a very practical orientation. Regardless of perceptions, beliefs, rights and wrongs or any other cognitive interpretation, there is concrete clarity in what a person does. A person’s real actions are undeniable. And, it is equally certain that their actions resulted in real consequences. In Stage 4, accepting reality includes taking responsibility for your actions and their impact. First, it requires cataloging your behaviors and take a hard look at how extensively they exhibit your attitudes, thought processes, decisions and resulting actions. We gain clarity once we accept reality.”
Make a list of personality characteristics that accurately describe your behavior in stressful situations.