underlying concerns

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

– Jung

Today’s article is going be a deep one. Think about the biggest underlying concern you have in your life. I’m not asking about your issue du-jour or something trite that is annoying you. I’m looking for a BIG issue — one you’ve been struggling with for years and years. Maybe it’s an issue you’ve been carrying from childhood. (It’s the one that is, most likely, at the root of your issue du-jour.)

Let me give you an example from my own life. One of the great concerns in my life is the fear I will not be seen. For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt a strong desire to be seen. I do so many things to keep myself seen. When I was a kid, I used to write Post-it notes® with the word “Hi” on them. I would leave them around the house for others to find. While it was an unconscious act, looking back on it now, I know I did this because I wanted somebody to know I was there. Today, I do the same thing – not with sticky notes, but in other various ways – like publishing a newsletter, initiating phone calls, doing things to be noticed, teaching classes, etc.

Benedict Spinoza expressed a notion of freedom suggesting that the only way we can really be free is to liberate ourselves from all the things that are keeping us from being free.

If you and I act out of compulsion – because we’re being consciously or unconsciously pulled to compensate for some underlying concern – then we are not free.

Think about whatever is keeping you from experiencing freedom. What is your underlying concern? (If you don’t know and you’re feeling brave, ask those closest to you for their insight.)

A friend of mine has an underlying concern of “not being understood.” In her day-to-day life, I see her underlying concern revealing itself over and over again. Waiters seem unable to get her order right, what she thinks she asks people and what they hear her say diverge, she is always getting into misunderstandings – even over simple things.

The sooner we can figure out what our underlying concerns are, the better chance we have of tackling the problem at its root and freeing ourselves.

Spiritual-religious advice:

Muse on your underlying concerns and how they keep you from being free.

With love,

i best

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