Thank you for your
response, it really resonated with me.
You’re spot on about how no one really teaches us how to
connect to life. We get taught all the pretty basic surface level things in
life, but I always find myself, especially in my anxious and/or depressed states,
searching for some kind of deeper meaning or purpose.
The concept you mention of the natural self vs the conditioned
self has encouraged me to change the way I am currently reflecting on myself-
recently I have been fixating on all the bad things in my life, all the bad decisions
and mistakes I’ve made. The thoughts that go through my mind as I think about these
things are similar to those I said in my original post- “why am I like this?” “Why
can’t I do this or that?” “Why did I do
that?” “Why is my life the way it is?” etc,
etc. I am criticizing myself and blaming myself excessively. My conditioned self
sets ridiculously high expectations for myself because I am shy, anxious,
sensitive and quiet, I have to try harder to do things that seem to come easily
to other people. I have a very toxic mindset of “If I’m going to try this hard to this certain thing/task,
I must do said thing perfectly” which is just ridiculous because there’s no
such thing as perfect. I have been conditioned into thinking I am inadequate because
of this. But my natural self is inquisitive, thoughtful, compassionate,
imaginative. My natural self likes to wander and explore and learn. My
conditioned self views my lessons as mistakes and failures. My natural self
loves being outdoors and experiencing amazing things like swimming at the beach,
going to concerts and travelling. My conditioned self is insecure and withdraws
and isolates. My natural self enjoys being around people, enjoys the sense of community
and belonging that can be felt, enjoys when someone helps me learn something new
about myself. My conditioned self thinks I am better off being alone, where I can’t
say stupid things.
It was very interesting to think about who my conditioned
self is and who my natural self is (so much so that it has taken me a whole day to really think about how to form this response!) The big challenge indeed is how to I raise
myself into who I naturally am when I am in an environment that is quite
discouraging and uninspired?