Jamie, one of the therapists, has noticed my twitchiness in workshops. He suggested, gently and tactfully, that I was massively overthinking and over-complicating things. I should probably stop with the self-obsessed self-scrutiny and focus on the topic under discussion. Everyone has flawed, human motivations, he claims. You should just accept them without condemning yourself if they’re not entirely spiritually exalted. Is this my (mildly) Christian upbringing? The idea that there is a moral dimension to all human actions, inviting profound, cosmic condemnation?
You’re constantly questioning yourself about this: Am I being overly harsh on myself? Is it healthy to repress my own self-expression? Will this perpetuate the twisted and unnatural growth of the thoughts, values and personality that lead to all this lacerating nonsense in the first place? On the other hand, why is it so difficult and wrong to subordinate yourself wholly to the needs of others, if to do so means you have a happy and comfortable life where, largely, you are valued and have your needs met?
By the end of a day, the pure, keen spirit-blade of consciousness has become so corroded and blunted by anxiety, that you’re exhausted. There’s nothing to be done but go to bed and start again tomorrow.
I guess sensible thinkers would ask why it matters so much. These are trivial issues, but they seem of overwhelming importance to us, and getting them wrong threatens, in some unexplained way, to be disastrous. Oversharing makes you vulnerable. You’ll say something stupid and reveal what a moron you are. You’ll make yourself disliked, disdained. You’ll be a burden. That would be terrible.