School of Life Graphic of inner voyager reaching the depths of the true self

Accessing Your Inner Truth: A Journey to Self-Discovery

In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to lose touch with our innermost feelings and beliefs. Surface thoughts often eclipse our deepest convictions, leading us away from our authentic selves. How do we reconnect?

The School of Life, in their thought-provoking video “How To Find Out What You Really Think And Why”, dives into this very paradox of the mind: the inability to access our true feelings about pivotal matters.

It’s quite a phenomenon: the genuine sentiments about a close friend, career choices, or even childhood memories can remain concealed within us, invisible to our conscious awareness. Instead, what we grapple with are superficial, sometimes misguided snapshots of our desires and intentions. Quick judgments made out of fear or haste become our go-to narratives.

“Our childhood was fun,” we proclaim, even when shadows lurk beneath the surface. “Our new friend is nothing but kind,” we tell ourselves, ignoring any gut feelings of unease. Why? We’ve grown in a world that stresses rapid action, which often means overlooking the layered nature of our consciousness.

It’s not just about speed. Diving deep can be unsettling. Uncovering the truths from our subconscious might challenge the image we’ve built of ourselves in the broad daylight. The revelations may not always align with societal norms or even our own expectations. Hence, many of us opt for the comfort of feeling ‘normal’ rather than facing the startling truths of our innermost selves.

However, connecting with our inner sanctum isn’t as complicated as it might seem. All it requires is:

  1. Time: Daily moments of solitude, perhaps lying in bed or soaking in a bath, or sitting comfortably in a quiet place.
  2. Attention: Close your eyes and focus on pressing issues or feelings that demand reflection.
  3. Genuine Inquiry: Ask yourself – “What do I truly feel about this? What’s the real issue here? What is my heart whispering?”

Treat this exercise as a journey, not a destination. What you’ll likely discover is enlightening. The answers, much like stars hidden during the day, have always been there. They simply await the quieting of the sun—our daily distractions—to shimmer in the night sky. The truth is, deep down, we often already know our feelings about friendships, our purpose, and what truly benefits our well-being. All we need is the courage and patience to tune in.

To dive deeper into this enlightening journey of self-discovery watch the full video below and take the first step towards uncovering your inner truths.

The Path to Liberation from the Sickness of Shame

Shame is an emotional and psychological affliction that often festers in the dark corners of our minds. Invisible yet insidious, it can wreak havoc on our mental well-being. It is not the same as guilt, which attaches itself to specific actions or events. Shame is a more pervasive feeling of inadequacy, a notion that we are fundamentally flawed. It’s not about what we’ve done, but about who we are. The School of Life’s compelling video, “The Problem of Shame,” meticulously unpacks this concept, offering not just a diagnosis but also a prescription for healing.

The first step to disentangle ourselves from the web of shame is to identify it. This might involve introspective exercises like rating how true various statements feel, such as “I don’t deserve to exist” or “I am unworthy of being known and loved.” High scores on this self-assessment can serve as a reality check, illuminating the debilitating extent of shame in our lives.

Shame is not something we were born with but rather something inflicted upon us. Often, these feelings can be traced back to early caregivers whose own perceptions we internalized as fact. Shame can touch every aspect of our existence, making it difficult to form relationships or even to love ourselves. It can lead us into a cycle of addictive or self-destructive behaviors, further intensifying the sense of shame.

Radical Imperfection: The Road to Recovery

The video suggests a rather unconventional way of liberating ourselves from shame. Instead of inflating our self-esteem by telling ourselves that we are good and beautiful, which often doesn’t work for those deeply rooted in shame, it suggests embracing the truth that every human being is radically imperfect. It’s not about comparing ourselves to an ideal but understanding that ideals are unrealistic measures that set us up for failure and disappointment.

Rather than counter shame with self-aggrandizement let’s consider cultivating self-compassion. This is something we can learn to do not just towards ourselves, but also towards others. After all, if we are all flawed, then we all deserve kindness and understanding. The true sin of those who have shamed us is not that they have spotted our imperfections but that they have forgotten their own. Thus, to overcome shame, we must let go of impossible standards for ourselves and others.

“The Problem of Shame” offers a profound and nuanced look into one of the least understood yet most debilitating emotional states a person can experience. It suggests that the journey out of shame involves not inflating our ego but rather accepting our collective imperfections. In a world that constantly measures us against unattainable ideals, this acceptance is not just liberating; it’s revolutionary. Let us all strive to replace judgment with mercy and shame with self-compassion. This could be our way out of the barren lands of shame into a more understanding and accepting existence. Watch the video below.