In my bubble of limited awareness – my first intention is to survive. One lives by being right and dies by being wrong. So, my first intention is to be right and survive.
Right = life
Wrong = death
This is not just for the survival of my body, it’s also for the survival of my thoughts and emotions. I use “I’m right” thinking all the time as preemptive defense against any possible threat to body, mind, or emotions. Because mind doesn’t do feelings, it must attempt to “translate” them in order to effect a complete self-convincing defense.
Where right = life and wrong = death, thought + emotion = convincing reality
Without questioning feelings with an intention to learn who I truly am, mind assumes it’s on target with its defense to keep me believing who I think I am. Thus, adding to a spiral of “wrong” feelings that mind tries to respond to with defense.
What happens when heart and mind lose trust in each other because of this continuing conflict over survival?
Questioning and Doubt
I can’t doubt myself because that feels like being wrong. The only kind of inquiry of a personal nature I practice is to divert questions about me to perceived issues with/in others. “Why is that guy such a jerk?!” “What’s her problem?!” and etc.
In nature, creatures protect themselves from being vulnerable to predation. Humans apply this principle to their psychology. This appears as defensive mental and emotional states, behaviors, and perceptions. To protect myself from psychological threats, I present an unquestionable and persistent “self-image.” This persona defends all intentions from even the possibility of threatening questions.
I especially avoid provocative questions like:
“Who do I think I am?”
“Why do I keep messing up?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
These questions are driven by an intentionally combative persona bent on provoking defense. Inquiry based on defending my negative self-image can provoke further defense to validate my ever-growing need for a feeling of safety.
I must feel safe enough before I respond to an introspective question without defense. Especially when that question comes from the outside – like when you ask me about me. To allow you to question me is to introduce an element of doubt, which implies vulnerability. I have defenses at the ready for even the slightest perception of vulnerability!
With my ever-growing need for safety, and belief that questioning exposes me to threat , what are the chances I’ll allow a truly introspective question?