SOS BOOK - Chapter 1.20 Are we fooling ourselves?
Most of us lead relatively unsatisfactory lives! WE LEAD LIVES OF RELATIVE MISERY in comparison to what is possible; yet we fiercely deny it! Why? We could have a more meaningful & fulfilling life. We could perceive things differently, respond & behave differently… if we really wanted too!
WHY DO WE CONTINUE ON AS BEFORE? Why do we wear a brave face and put on such a false front? Is this FALSE MASK & PERSONA for the benefit of others? Just to appease others? Somehow, we feel we must carry on like this! We just feel compelled to, and most of us don’t know why. It is partly habit and our reluctance to try anything new. But it's more than that!
Our associates and peers: those in the same profession & social group, seem to be living the same way. They appear to be doing the same thing! We aim to match the best of them, or at least to follow their lead. We usually don’t know or trust any other way.
We resign our self to trying to keep up, or at least keeping up appearances. So, we put on a false façade! WE CARRY ON WITH WHAT WE THINK IS EXPECTED OF US. It’s also what we expect of our self because of our upbringing & social conditioning. We fear being different. We fear being censored or rejected by our peers.
This is life lesson No. 59:
WE DON’T CHANGE BECAUSE WE FEAR ALIENATION
We put on a brave face for show, but we are not ‘that face’. We might fool others, but more importantly we end up fooling ourselves. We continue ‘keeping up appearances’, but for whose sake? Is it really for our own benefit, for our own security, as we have been conditioned to believe? Is that even of real benefit to our community?
Eventually, some of us realize that ‘brave face’, that outward appearance we portray to the world, is not our true self. We finally recognize we’re doing it for others or some social norm and not for our true-self.
Who then do we wear this mask for? Many of us, without realizing it, initially do it for our parents, family or friends. We are further influenced by what our Media and Advertising promotes as the optimal lifestyle. These are further ways we have been socially conditioned. This socialization is justified as part of fitting in with our clan and group and to help us get along with others. It’s then modified by the fashions and trends of our consumption driven materialistic society.
Most people are influenced by their education or training. Many limit themselves to fit in with their workplace or profession. Others limit themselves in accordance to the specific rituals & traditions of their culture. Yet others believe that certain behaviors are integral to their faith, religion or philosophy. There are also expected norms for members of any group, no matter the group. Often such conditioned behavior is not even recognized as having been imposed.
This is life lesson No. 60:
GROUPS EXPECT A CERTAIN BEHAVIOUR, SO WE ARE CONSTRAINED
We keep up appearances in order to fit in! WE FEEL WE MUST FIT IN TO FEEL SAFE & SECURE. We want to avoid being isolated or alienated - to avoid discomfort or pain. WE FEAR SEPARATION FROM THE GROUP. So, we function in a way we think will avoid more suffering - but we are mistaken. We are wrong, SO WRONG in this assumption! This results in the suppression of our own unique nature & perspective. THIS IS NOT THE OPTIMAL PATH FOR A UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL.