You experience mental commotion, self-criticism, runaway thoughts, bad habits, anxiety, depression and self-loathing. Your mind and emotions seem to operate on autopilot, out of your control. Depending on your level of neurosis, your mind can feel like a psychic torture machine created to make you miserable.
You do not see yourself as the cause of suffering. Or, if you do see yourself as the cause, you believe you do not have the power to do anything about it. You remain a helpless victim.
You seem to attribute your suffering to almost everything but the actual cause, which has never occurred to you and would shock and anger you if someone put it to you straight. Worse, you may be convinced that your suffering is caused by other people or circumstances. You may blame your spouse, your parents, your boss, your kids or your nosey neighbours. You may blame “life” or your lack of education or opportunity. You may blame your inadequacy or inferiority. None of these things is capable of causing you the kind of suffering your experience within yourself, yet these are the common “causes” people at this stage find.
When real solutions present themselves, you turn them away or even allow them to upset you. To outsiders, it appears as if you don’t want solutions to your suffering.
You can’t get a handle on yourself. You know you are suffering, but can’t stop doing what you are doing. The results are feelings of anxiety and depression, hopelessness and helplessness – and constant frustration.
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