Any one of the following signs can indicate that you’ve lost touch with your inner self.
A loss of connection with the inner self can manifest as symptoms showing a split between you as mind, and you as organism; and as a split between you and your environment.
1. You are anxious
Are you so lost in the labyrinth of your mind that you’ve lost touch with reality?
Anxiety is a restlessness of the mind connected to a tendency to overthink. But it’s counterproductive. It’s the process of attaching imagined scenarios to one feeling of fearfulness or insecurity. The feeling forms the imagination and the imagination increases the feeling.
“ A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality and lives in a world of illusions. By thought I mean specifically ‘chatter in the skull’, perpetual and compulsive repetition of thoughts.”
Alan Watts (Lecture: Too Much Thinking will Throw You Into Illusion)
2. You don’t like who you are
Who are you? Try to give the answer to this and it will elude you constantly. Are you the name you’ve been given, or the job you do, or what people told you about yourself?
What are you – what’s the thing that you don’t like?
“When you observe yourself within you see moving images. A world of images, generally known as fantasies. Yet these fantasies are facts[…] and it is such a tangible fact, for instance, that when a man has a certain fantasy, another man may lose his life, or a bridge is built – these houses were all fantasies.”
C. G. Jung – (Interview in Documentary The World Within)
If you stand back and look at the images passing through your consciousness, what’s the story you’re telling? Do you have the power to change the plot?
3. You’re continually searching for answers (not looking at the real problem)
When we’re out of alignment with our inner selves, we can get stuck in a cycle of looking for answers everywhere and getting even further from addressing the real problem. It’s good to try to improve oneself, that’s how all achievements are made. But sometimes, we never get where we want to be because we’re looking in the wrong place.
“ The biggest ego trip going is getting rid of your ego.”
Alan Watts (Lecture: How to contact your higher self)
20th Century Philosopher Alan Watts called the ego the scoundrel lower self and said the inner self is behind the ego. He said that when the ego is about to be unmasked it moves up a level, like burglars escaping the police by going up onto the next floor. Just when you think you’ve caught it, it takes on another form. It is a shape-shifter.
He said to ask yourself even why you want to better yourself.
What’s your motive?
4. You feel like a fraud
The word persona was used in Latin to refer to a theatrical mask. We all wear personas in our daily life. There are different faces we use to interact with different people. What happens when you come to over-identify with a particular persona and you lose contact with the person you thought you were?
“Above all, avoid lies, all lies, especially the lie to yourself. Keep watch on your own lie and examine it every hour, every minute. […] And avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamasov
5. You don’t like the people you spend time with
You feel that the circle you’re in doesn’t align with your true desire for self-expression. This can indicate that a distance has grown between your external reality and your inner self.
Why should it matter to you what others are doing? What are you doing?
6. You look for the acceptance of others
You’re not confident that you’re playing the game of life well. You look to other people to reassure you. But you’re here just the same as them, doing the same thing.
Does a Pine tree ask for the acceptance of a Eucalyptus?
So why should you be looking for the acceptance of others? Do other people know any better than you the standard of what is good? Why do you concentrate on your imagined idea of what others think more than what you think?
7. Blaming others for your problems
Blaming others is a failure to recognize who is doing the choosing in your life. Therefore, it indicates a split-off from your inner self.
Consider that the colors you see in the external world are a subjective experience produced in your brain. How much is your perception responsible for your experience?
How much of your life is limited by your world view? Who is getting in your way – someone else or you?
If someone is getting in your way, how are they doing it? Do they make your choices?
8. You judge others a lot
When you feel the need to judge others, it can be a sign that you are envious or insecure. It can indicate that you hold yourself to strict standards and that you feel uncomfortable that others don’t hold themselves to the same.
Do you feel deprived of something and wish to deprive others of it?
Stand back, observe these thoughts and ask what they reveal about your own dissatisfaction with life. Can you change something to prevent you feeling like that?
9. You’re thinking too much about an external image of success
Are you getting too caught up in images that came into your consciousness from outside. Have you become mixed up trying to identify with that image?
Let’s say you are spending hours thinking about that image or trying to manifest it through you.
Ask yourself what you’ll get out of this if you master the means to get it? What will it feel like and how is it to be maintained?
Are you trying to be something that isn’t you? Why?
10. You’re in a prison of indecision
You can’t make a decision. You feel like if you could just get enough information, you could make the right choice.
Have you noticed that when a choice is difficult, you can never get enough information?
Perhaps you’re hesitating because you have a sweeping change ahead of you and you’re afraid?
You know what your choice will be and it won’t have anything to do with more data. You’ll intuitively make the right choice for you. Trust your intuition.
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Caroline HindleCaroline Hindle is a freelance writer, editor, and translator living in Athens, Greece. She has an MA in Ancient World Studies, but has a wide spectrum of interests, including philosophy, history, science, literature, politics, morality, and popular culture.
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