Today, my Irresponsible Self was giving me a lot of problems. Didn’t want to clean out the dishwasher, didn’t want to clean pots, didn’t want to take a shower. He didn’t even enjoy playing a video game, which he suggested (in my thoughts) I do in the first place! So I decided to delve deeper and find out what was really bothering him. I lay down, and opened myself up, to let that side of me tell me what was bothering him.
What he showed me in my thoughts was a kind of a story. I don’t know how accurate it is, but it goes a little something like this:
The Distrust of Love destroying my state of being where love and joy abounded.
A long time ago, I had a state of being inside me, like a city, in which there was an abundance of love, justice, and joy. It was wonderful to live in. Then, one day, a being appeared, like a giant snake wrapped around the city with a crazed look on its face. It had feelings of doubt and resentment towards this state of being. The people living in the city tried to fight it, but because they doubted themselves, didn’t know the reason for the snake being there, and thought that maybe the snake’s view on life was correct, they could not defend the city. This city, this state of being, no longer exists – and nothing inside me knows how exactly it fell or what can be done about it right now.
“No, I’m not a coward. Come on man, that talk just isn’t cool. Lighten up a bit will ya? Come on, look at this illusion instead.”
Hey guys, I’ve been meaning to make a post on Self-Deceit for a while now. Addressing this aspect of one’s self is so crucial to seeing the things inside one’s self clearly.
Oftentimes, when looking inside one’s self, you can see a lot of embarrassing things. Cowardice, fear, insecurities, anger, superiority, pride and cruelty. Self-deceit doesn’t want you to see these things.
You see, he can team up with Deceit to try and make your life as easy as possible. Deceit wants to plan out life so it’s easy, and Self-Deceit fools you into thinking it is. After all, if every time you look for your inner demons you see nothing “bad”, you’ll quit worrying about it and believe you’re awesome instead!
That’s how that part of you talks (you normally experience it as thinking). To him, criticism is “uncool”, and it would rather live in a world full of people who don’t question him than ever consider his own cowardice. And that’s what he is, when you come down to it.
So where is this guy in you? Any time you insist that you are a particular way you like, and deny that you are bad in any way, with thoughts like “I’m pretty darn cool.”, “Wow I’m smart, yeah!”, “No no I’m not a coward.”, or “I’m Innocent, seriously!”, this is the indication of self-deceit trying to have power over you, and trick you.
And maybe you’re not cowardly (most of the time). But why insist on it? Why make a big deal to yourself about how you are a particular way? You could just act with courage, and leave it at that.
Self-deceit just doesn’t want you to see your own inner world, your difficulties, your flaws, all the embarrassing stuff about yourself. Can you see why this is a problem? No matter how awesome you feel, issues are left unsolved. You remain a mystery to yourself. Your pain and depression and frustration continue.
So how did I get past this guy? Three things:
The Inner Victim – the part of one’s self who feels helpless and weak, who worries and tries to grasp on to solutions – this part of myself came to the point where lies were hurting her so badly that she desperately wanted the truth. She realized that the truth would be the only thing that would empower her to make decisions that would really help her. Otherwise she was at the whims of the lies of my Deceiver and Self-Deceiver. She no longer wanted things to be nice, or cool or awesome. She wanted to see the bad and face it down, and find real solutions, no matter what she found on the way to them. She didn’t want to be fooled.
I challenged Self-Deceit’s notion that it’s awesome to fool one’s self. I gave him the idea that it was more awesome to be able to stand tall in the face of all the darkness inside one’s self. He bought into this for a second, but his fear got the better of him. That’s when I realized he was a true coward.
See those star glasses he’s wearing in the picture above? I imagined taking them off. I ripped off his mask. And underneath, I saw a scared, insecure, quivering child. “No… my precious coolness…” he said, “Damn it… give [the glasses] back… I don’t want to see… that I’m insecure…”
After that, his game was up. He stopped trying to deceive me, because he was forced to see how uncool he really was. Yeah it can be uncomfortable, but ultimately it’s what we need to be healthy, to know what goes on inside ourselves without the interference of our imaginations.
That’s how he gets you, by the way, Self-Deceit has the power to create illusions with your imagination. You can imagine anything – it can be the exact opposite of what’s actually inside you. How do you know the difference? You could always get lost in a world of illusions created by Self-Deceit to distract you from your desire to see the truth. We could avoid the guilt, the pain, the embarrassment for our entire lives. It doesn’t mean it’s not there, but we’ve covered it over with our own unwillingness to see our flaws. Our own fear.
In the mean time, we can’t pursue the truth, self-improvement, or healing consciously.
So, knowing this – is that how any of us truly wants to live? If you could see what Self-Deceit can do to you, I’d bet not. So call this guy out! Oh and good luck finding him, too – he probably doesn’t want you to. But I think you’ll know him when you find him.
For more help on the dynamic involving the Deceiver, the Inner Victim, Self-Deceit, and the Good-Hearted Theorist, check out these previous blog posts:
(Note: I call it Self-Deceit here, but there’s a difference between the Self-Deceiver and the Deceiver. The Deceiver wants an easy life through lying to others. The Self-Deceiver wants to run away from the truth of himself. But it’s a pack of lies regardless.)
The source of struggle, the part of you who fears death and desires immortality. He also looks down on those “simple people” who don’t pursue great things like him.
When you think about death, what are some of the thoughts that come up? This can be for yourself or others. Perhaps one of the thoughts in there goes something like this: “It isn’t fair, it’s not fair that I should die, that anything should end. I’ll find a way to avoid that kind of finality…”
The force inside you that those thoughts come from responds to death and loss with the desire to become immortal. It wants to become “somebody”, to make its mark on history, or to simply live on through the memories of others. I can come up with all sorts of ways to do this, too. For instance, say you have a hobby you like, such as Badminton. Maybe this part of you thinks about training to be an Olympic level Badminton player, and to win fame and fortune through that. THEN it will be remembered, THEN it will have surpassed death.
Yes, starting this, I am worried if I’ll say this right. Ah well, I’ll just write it.
Today I learned some more about another one of the Malcontents, “Worry”. This guy is always worrying about everything. Right now he’s worrying if that last sentence was phrased correctly. Or if this writing style I’m writing in right now will be good enough to present to people, or if it will be rejected.
The most important thing I found out about him was that he disliked uncertainty. Actually, I’m worried that my discoveries about him wouldn’t be as well received in this form, so let me do a numbered list (of the things I learned about worry):
He dislikes uncertainty. He knows what it’s like to feel certain about something only to have it instantly crumble to bits. He’s worried about that kind of stuff.
His role in the Malcontents is to alert the others to things they need to pay attention to. If Worry is getting so worked up about something, there might be something to it. Suspicion takes a keen interest in Worry’s worries.
He wants to make sure others within me don’t get too certain about stuff ever, because then they might not pay attention to something that might fall apart at any moment. So he invites the very thing he doesn’t like.
I have begun to see a pattern. All of the malcontents seem to dislike something that’s a part of life, and through their dislike seek to avoid it. Stubborn Pride dislikes tragedy; Paranoia, death; Suspicion, immorality. Haven’t talked to Depression yet, but I have my suspicions on what I’ll find.
What makes me sad about this is that even though it’s obvious that the way these parts of myself work can be destructive, negative, over the top and fearful, I can’t help but agree with them – I don’t want tragedy, death, immorality, or uncertainty (at least not constant uncertainty) either. I feel as though I could try to give this side of me hell, to fight them with all of my being, but… it would just sneak back into me. After all, if I fight them fearing what they will do, that’s also a dislike for something. So, the “Inner explorer” in me, which is what I’m writing from now, will do nothing but gather more information, for now.
Is this the right thing? Will I look bad for posting such a conclusion? Perhaps. (There’s the worry talking.) But I feel like for now I will balance out that fearful side of myself with all of the strong, adventurous, fun-loving, courageous sides of me. And if any side of me harms any other side, I can respond, and if I can see it, I always will. That much I can do.
But, sorry, I’m talking too much about my own thoughts and conclusions. What’s something practical in this experience? I don’t know. I would recommend everyone get a sense of how this side of themselves operates. Why does your “worry” does what it does? What about the other malcontent, dissatisfied parts of you? Get a sense of what they’re doing too, so that when they do something damaging, you can stop them, question them, and force them back. Fear and practicality is not all there is to life, after all, no matter how good those ideas are at getting things done. Maybe some things aren’t worth being done.
Had a talk with another one of my malcontents today, who I call “paranoia”. Found out several things about this guy:
His whole job, as he defines it, is to avoid death.
Since there is no room for error in this job, he can get pretty stressed out.
Also because of no room for error, he often extrapolates suspicions about what might possibly lead to death, and tries to make sure those paths are avoided. This can get pretty extreme, for example something like, “we’ve got to make sure we keep up good appearances to others so that we don’t get stigmatized and thus are more likely to fall into poverty and thus die early.”
Ultimately, his purpose for starting this in the first place was to preserve life. By doing his job right, he can preserve the lives of those who enjoy life.
By consequence, he is afraid of letting down those who enjoy life, for if they are ever endangered, he’s often the one to get the blame.
I finally got him to calm down a bit when I told him that if any of those he’s trying to protect ever did blame him, or ever did die – whatever might have happened is part of life – and he can rest in knowing that he did everything he knew to do possible. Anyone who still has a problem with this is being unfair to him. Maybe it’s a small change, but at least I got through to him. He was extremely paranoid, after all. And even if it’s a small voice within one’s self, that paranoia can make life pretty chaotic.
One of the malcontents within myself, who I call “stubborn pride”, is, as you might expect, hard to change in a fundamental way, although he deeply considers everything that you might say when you reason with him. A few things are clear with this guy:
His job is based on the fear of tragedies, so he does his best to create an
Stubborn Pride, one of the Malcontents
atmosphere of joy within
He himself is not joyful, mostly because he doesn’t like his job. Who would like a job that’s totally based on fear?
He’s unwilling to abandon his post, because he has seen the effect of tragedy first hand and wants to do what he can to prevent it.
He doesn’t really enjoy that job because it’s hard to see the results, and any news (a potential or active danger) is bad news. In such a position, it’s easy to get grumpy.
While he’s willing to consider new things (such as letting go of inhibitions, or emotional healing), if they don’t have a clear, practical benefit after being tested, he’ll shut it down.
If you can help this part of yourself to see their reason for living as they are in the first place (the purpose behind their actions), then they will become much less grumpy, if not downright glad. For me, it was because this guy had seen tragedy, and seen how upset those who went through things could get – so he wanted to make the world better so he could help those he cared about to not experience that stuff as much.
However, it’s clear that this part of myself can be dangerous. If he is ever too short-sighted to see the effect of different actions, or if he misjudges certain situations, he could apply a backwards solution to the problem without really taking the time to investigate it. Fear does that – it incites quick reactions that may not be well-thought out, or even based in cowardice. If the fearless, emotionally vital parts of yourself, who bear the brunt of this kind of misjudgment, keep watch, it could reduce the number of damaging mistakes this malcontent can make. That’s what I decided to do – I will see if it works.
Tonight was the second time I’ve come across a group within my consciousness that I can only describe as “the malcontents”. These parts of you are involved in high-level decision making processes and try to make sure the world stays in balance, even if their methods aren’t always fair. Some of this group I identified: stubborn pride, worry and doubt, suspicion, depression, paranoia, and annoyance. All of these guys constantly look for things that might cause bad things to happen within your consciousness, and direct an effort to keep things on the right track, according to them.
Trouble is, as much as they might want a happy, joyful, fulfilled inner world, they are not happy joyful or fulfilled themselves. In fact, they’d rather be doing something else! But nothing else within the consciousness seems to have the patience to constantly watch for threats (like egotism, hatred, “evil”, etc.), so they do it out of a sense of obligation. They simply do not know of anything else that would want to do this task, and who could do it well. Not to mention their suspiciousness stops others from trying to take over their job also.
However, it’s important to know that this setup can piss some other things in you off – these malcontents don’t always take the fair and just approach. After all, they’re doing this whole thing out of fear, basically – love is much too random, non-practical, and unknown – as much as they’d LIKE to use it.
Somehow I feel this powerful position needs to be given to someone who WANTS it, and whose primary motivation isn’t fear, but love instead. But, we shall see.