4.4 The Self


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Video Transcript The Self is a big topic. And luckily, we’ve actually spoken about a lot of this already throughout the course. One of the annoying things about having a subconscious sense of inadequacy is that when it comes to healing, you can’t think your way out of it. If you wrote a big list of everything, you were good at everything You excelled at every reason why you are not inadequate, that wouldn’t do much to heal subconscious inadequacy, because that’s addressing the problem through a logical plane and unconscious plain When actually, the subconscious sense of inadequacy often goes directly against logic, that we discuss how sometimes the people who are most insecure about their bodies have the best bodies, because they work on it the most, because they’re insecure about it. And the people who are most insecure about money often have the most, because they work on it because they’re insecure about it. See, the people who have the best bodies, or most insecure people have the most money are the most insecure, this directly defies logic, you can logically know that you are good enough, but that won’t change the subconscious. You can’t think your way out of it, you have to act your way out of it. The first step is to stop it from continually getting worse by stopping the repeated internalization of shame. But the most basic step in this is stopping and reversing the disconnection, which occurs as a result of internalization. And that’s what this section of the self is about. You’ll remember that we talked about being connected to ourselves, and the most basic self connection is with our needs. We did a whole other section on this because it’s so important. If you struggle with this, a good way to become better at listening to yourself is to meditate, specifically, mindfulness meditation, again, it just makes you more mindful. Well, yeah, literally more mindful, more aware of yourself literally more connected with yourself and what you need. And we didn’t really go into feelings in depth. And that can become complicated. Some people have repressed all the feelings, all emotions, as a way to cope with being shamed to the very core. In my youth, I made logical justifications for this. And this is very common, people will make justifications for why they have a different relationship with emotions to other humans, things like emotions are inefficient. They stop you from making the correct decisions and blur your judgment that was one of mine. Really, I was just repressing them as a coping method. Other people make claims like, I don’t get angry, or I just don’t get sad. Of course, that’s not true. They just repress those parts of themselves. And some people are always angry or always sad. The point is, there are many things that get in the way of feeling our true emotions. What you need to do is first identify if you have any form of repression, that stops you from feeling the full range of human emotions in appropriate situations that would trigger those emotions. This may be justifications you make about your emotions, or it may be shown by analyzing ways that you act normally. So first, you need to identify if you have anything that shows that you need to connect with your feelings. And then you need to work on paying more conscious attention to your feelings throughout the day. It’s a good idea to take a moment every now and then to just feel inside yourself not actually in your brain, but in your body to just say, I feel anxious or I feel aggravated, or I feel stressed. And you’ll be surprised how many things that you’re not actually aware of that you feel deep down. And maybe every hour or so, you can just take a moment to just be aware of this. If you have one of those on those digital watches that beeps on every hour whatever it beeps, you can link that with this process so that every hour you take a moment to connect with yourself. You know I kind of brushed over a really key point just now which is this is not actually in your brain this is in your body. If you have sadness for instance, you will feel in your body a lot slower, a lot less energy. Your eyes will turn more downwards your posture will slump. If you feel Anger, you will feel in your body more restlessness, maybe higher blood pressure or your heart rate will increase more tension all over. But this is how you connect with your feelings do you listen to your body, if you just listen to your brain, you will only connect with how you think you feel, or what you think you should feel. Or maybe how your mask influences your perception of feelings. Because I know that as a nice guy, I would never feel anger or hate. Of course, that’s not true. That’s just the mask influencing my perception of my feelings really, if I paid attention to my body, I’m sure I would have noticed some anger or, or some hate because these things are normal human emotions. So back to the main point of this slide, which is self connection is the first step towards healing the disconnection that is a result of internalization. And the next step is self understanding. This is what we touched on when we spoke about making preference choices. This is connecting with your true self, again, to heal disconnection. But this is that slightly more advanced level, the easiest way to navigate this step is to start by becoming aware of whatever mask or full self you project to the world, whether it’s the nice guy or the overly masculine guy, or the good worker, good Christian, whatever it is, becoming aware of it means that you now know what is not you. That doesn’t mean to say you’re not really nice, or you’re not, you’re not really even a Christian, it means that that’s the coping method that you use to disconnect with your real self. That is the image that you present to the world. So becoming aware of this is the first step. What you can then do is smash that image of yourself in private, when you’re alone. If you’re the if you’re the nice guy, for example, try watching TV, and judging people, until you come across someone that you just hate. Just be really mean to them. You can do that in private. If your mask is exaggerated masculinity, try acting feminine in private Try, try to dance or sing or draw something pretty. The purpose of this has to stop presenting this image to yourself. Taking into the real world is another matter. But it’s important to just take things one step at a time, just work on breaking down the way you see yourself. The next step is making simple preference choices, like we spoke about before. A way to take this further and deeper, is to make preference choices about things that directly relate to you. For example, your clothes, your fashion sense, a very good indicator of the image that you present to the world. And again, to link this all back, just to make sure you’re not losing this, we try and present this perfect image to the world. Because of this toxic shame in the sense that we’re not good enough just as we are. We try to be things that aren’t ourselves. So your fashion sense is a good indicator of how you present yourself. And you may have logical justifications for your clothes. And that’s great, but we need to connect with ourselves beyond our brain beyond our thoughts connects with our identity and our feelings. You need to ask yourself things like how do clothes make you feel? If you don’t feel awesome and full of self love, every time you get dressed? Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you should still feel good. You should still look in the mirror and go Yeah, I like these clothes. If not, you may be doing something wrong. Of course it goes way beyond clouds, you can question everything. And then question how it makes us look, try to find patterns, analyze it. The main point of this slide is that we need to understand who we really are not the image that we present. And we said how the difference between healthy conscious shame and toxic subconscious shame is that healthy shame tells us we will make mistakes. Toxic subconscious shame is saying I am a mistake. Well, self compassion is accepting that all humans make mistakes. It is the foundation of healthy shame. So self compassion is another good step here. But it also means accepting all your feelings, needs and wants, even the bad parts of them. Even the things that you don’t like, even your anger, even everything that’s inside you that you don’t like accepting this fully and having self compassion and saying this is human and saying you know everyone has these things. not just being attuned to them, but actually accepting them and respecting them. And then self acceptance. And really, this is about taking this I mean, true self acceptance happens socially. Taking everything that we’ve learned in the last few slides, everything about self connection, self understanding, and self compassion. Taking this into the social world, and basically presenting your true self and saying, you know, this is me, I am imperfect, and that’s fine. That is self acceptance. I say that’s the last step. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it last. You can start all of these all at once. Don’t think that you have to do all the self connection fully first. No, you can. You can work on this all together. What is all of this, this is all self love. Everything that we’ve spoken about is self love. Or Self Love does not mean recognizing all the great things you’ve done in life, and loving yourself for what you’ve achieved. And everything that you’re great at. That’s actually a conditional form of love. It means that if I don’t achieve things, I am not good enough. I am not lovable. Instead, you need to try to love yourself regardless of what you’ve done. Love yourself, even for the bad things. Love yourself unconditionally for everything you are imperfections and all and you need to accept that it’s okay to be imperfect. If you decide to love yourself, you will be willing to give yourself time and attention. The work of love involves giving yourself time, how much time do you spend with yourself? Do you take time for proper rest and relaxation? Or do you drive yourself unmercifully if you’re less of a human being but a human doing, you drive yourself you need more and more achievement in order to feel okay about yourself. If you’re willing to love and accept yourself unconditionally, you will allow yourself time to just be you will set aside times when there’s nothing you have to do. No way you have to go. You will allow yourself solitude a nourishing time of aloneness, you will take time for hygiene and exercise, you will take time for fun and entertainment. You will take vacations, you will take time to work at your sex life. You will be willing to give yourself pleasure and enjoyment. The work of love is the work of listening to yourself. And you listen to yourself by monitoring your feelings, your needs and your wants. You need to pay attention to yourself and this is not mindless indulgence. It’s taking care of yourself by being attuned to what you need. If you love yourself, you’re willing to delay gratification so that something else more conducive to your growth might take place. I actually consider masturbation to be an important part of self love. A lot of people with undesirable fetishes try to fix it with what’s known as no fap on the internet, essentially just abstaining from masturbation for as long as possible. It’s actually quite counterintuitive, because sexual desire is a normal part of being human. Denying yourself any sexual fulfillment is a form of self abuse. It’s like denying yourself food self sexual expression is a basic human need. Denying yourself sexual pleasure is almost being ashamed of your natural human desires. being ashamed of yourself to the core. Masturbation is very healthy. However, compulsive porn usage or repeatedly watching porn that doesn’t make you happy and leaves you feeling empty and ashamed and unfulfilled and low insolvency low in self esteem is not healthy. So I encourage you to take some time to masturbate obviously without porn. Give yourself some self love. Focus on yourself, focus on giving yourself pleasure. At some point, I’m sure your imagination will default back into fetish related scenarios. When that happens. Just shift your focus back to your own self pleasure. You might find it harder to finish and that’s okay. Don’t worry about that. Just focus on giving yourself pleasure in the moment. If you don’t finish, it’s okay. Maybe try again when your sex drive is a bit higher in history, perhaps no aspect of human activity has been as dysfunctionally shamed as our sexuality is sexuality is the core of human selfhood. Our sex is not something we have or do. It is who we are and to have our sex drive shamed, is to be shamed to the core. This whole nofap movement is trying to be more than human. It’s rooted in unhealthy shame. In stage one, I said, some fetishes come from the subconscious in order to heal. What I didn’t say is that one theory states that arousal is counteractive to our psychological safety. And fetishes are the way where we are allowed to be aroused without consequences. There’s a whole book based around that one sentence, but let me give you all you need to know. Arousal can be perceived as a weakened state where we are vulnerable. Now obviously, this theory is not true of everyone. That’s why I have not set it up until this point it’s it’s quite unreliable, but for some people, arousal can be perceived as a weakened state where we are vulnerable. We fear arousal we create fetishes to be a situation where the arousal has no negative consequences. All you really need to take from this is not so much the understanding but the action, which is that you need to train your brain to accept normal sexual arousal. You need to know that it’s okay to be aroused, and you need to have a healthy relationship with your own sexuality. So masturbate. However, the negative feelings around subconscious inadequacy are so deep and painful. When we experience sexual stimulation and climax, we have available to ourselves all encompassing and powerful pleasure. And this pleasure can take the place of any other need. A young boy who learns never to need anything emotionally from his parents, is faced with a dilemma whenever he feels young, needy, or otherwise insecure. And if masturbating has been his principal source of good feeling, he may resort to masturbation in order to restore good feelings about himself at times when he’s experiencing needs quite unrelated to sexuality. I’ve said this before in the porn section. And I’m saying again, it’s important to note that masturbation isn’t always healthy. If you find your masturbating when you’re not even sexually aroused. Maybe you should learn to be more in touch with your needs. And if you find it hard happening habitually, again, that’s down to habits. But the point is that masturbation is not necessarily bad. Self love involves being attuned to your own needs, and then giving yourself time and attention

Connect to your needs, feelings, wants, and individuality.

Some people have repressed all feelings. Some people repress certain feelings. Some people are constantly in the state of one specific feeling. None of that is healthy!

Your individuality and personality will be affected by your self-image, which may have formed as a way to cope with inadequacy. It may not be true.

Accept it all. You don’t have to like it all, but you do have to accept it. That’s what self-love is; it’s not about thinking how great you are, it’s about accepting that you are imperfect and only human, and that’s ok. Treat yourself kindly and respect yourself.

The psychologist Carl Jung placed a large amount of emphasis on the idea of β€˜the shadow’. The shadow is every part of you that you deny, repress, or avoid. We all have parts of ourselves that we don’t like, and that are imperfect. When these are repressed, they become the shadow, and they pull us apart psychologically. It causes a lot of mental conflict and many problems. Integrating your shadow is absolutely necessary. Discover the imperfect or repressed side of you and fully embrace it.

Give yourself the time to fulfil your sexual needs. Healthy masturbation is important to achieve this. Some people fear arousal (seriously). Or they become ashamed of their arousal and sexuality – sexuality is perhaps the most shamed aspect of ourselves as humans (this usually forms as a result of childhood experiences). So take some time to give yourself healthy guilt-free sexual pleasure. You don’t need porn or any visual stimulation. If you just focus on the sensations that’s ideal, but imagination is fine too, as long as it makes you feel good.

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Author(s) || Connor McGonigal

Website || howtostopbeingacuckold.com

Article || 4.4 The Self

Date || Between January 27th, 2018 and June 2nd, 2019

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