The masks you did not even know you were wearing

Per definition, the unconscious is not conscious to us. Something that is not conscious is something that is not visible. It is our shadow and can only be revealed to us through the mirror of other people or circumstances. It’s usually what triggers us in others, but does not seem to resonate with us at all when it comes to our own behavior – in fact, confronted with it we would deny it has anything to do with us. It usually does not occur to us and we might even feel offended if someone suggested it might be what’s going on for us. We would be absolutely convinced that it is not true. Keep that in mind when reading this article. If you find you reject the idea I present, the more likely there is some truth in it for you. Just read with an open mind, take in the message and allow it to resonate inside of you. Do not take anything as a personal assault.

Per definition, as soon as we are conscious of a pattern, of a mask we are wearing, it is no longer unconscious. We might still CHOOSE to carry on with the habit or to wear the mask, or simply do so out of habit. But we are aware that we are doing it, we KNOW what we are doing, and usually have no problem owning that behavior, even though we might still not know how to stop it. For example, if I told you: “Whenever you are stressed you eat sweets”, or even “You are sabotaging your health/weight/fertility by making bad food choices”, you would probably agree.

What you might not yet be conscious about is WHY and HOW exactly you sabotage yourself. If I suggested you do it because you are committed to staying unhealthy or fat, you would probably protest. After all, you are actively trying to lose weight or to become healthier, right?

Still I would suggest that your results speak louder than your words or even deeds. We co-create our realities through our beliefs, emotions, thoughts and actions. If our reality is not what we say we want, despite all our efforts, there is likely some unconscious belief-emotion-thought-action pattern running the show (another possibility is that what we say we want would not be in our best interest – read more in “are we really able to manifest our desires”). As such, the reality we say we do not want is exactly the one we need, the one that is indeed in our best interest, in order for us to become aware of those patterns, so we can identify and change them at their roots.

A personal example

Ever since I was a teenager I dreamed of having a “serious” relationship. I wasn’t interested in just experimenting physically, I wanted someone truly committed to me before moving into sexual exploration. Yet for some reason it just did not happen. Either I would fall in love, but the guy was not interested (or just looking for something non-serious), or someone would show interest in me, but I was not attracted. It seemed that I could never have the guys I wanted. This reinforced the already latent belief that I was not good enough, not worthy enough. I was deeply unhappy, lonely and yearning, even if I tried to numb those feelings through obsessing about food, over-exercising and studying hard. I felt like Life was punishing me.

At age 20 I dropped the idea that I would “save it all” for someone I truly loved and started to experiment a bit with men, even if I was not at all attracted to them. I only stayed true to my vow that I would not have intercourse before being with someone who “deserved” that, in other words before being in a committed relationship. I only wanted to be with someone who truly wanted to be with me, too. I had to “wait” until almost 29 years old before I finally attracted someone who wanted to commit to me and who I also felt I could commit to.

If you had asked me at any point between age 13 and 28, I would have asserted strongly and without a doubt that what I wanted most was a partner and a relationship.

Suggesting that my reality was indicating something different would have been met with rage and denial from my side. Yet my reality WAS that I did not manifest the relationship I claimed I longed for in 15 long years. Was I more committed to NOT having it after all? Was I the one not wanting to commit? And if yes, why would I sabotage myself in such a way that it made me so deeply unhappy?

The answer is that while the conscious part of me wanted nothing more than a committed relationship, some subconscious part of me felt I didn’t deserve it. I was in fact terrified by the idea, because due to the relationship with my father, I had adopted the toxic belief that I could not inspire Masculine devotion for any sustained length of time and would be let down eventually.

Looking back at my relationship with myself, my body, food and Life in general at that time, I can now see that I was deeply at war with myself, my inner Feminine, my sensuality, my sexuality. This conflict and fear fueled subconscious “toxic” beliefs, emotions, thoughts… all of which determined my vibration. This led to self-fulfilling my prophecies by attracting only what was in line with what I felt I deserved, with what I was comfortable with (basically non-commitment), while repelling whatever could have challenged my beliefs or taken me out of my comfort zone into unknown and scary territory. On a subconscious level, the suffering seemed to be more acceptable, comfortable and bearable than facing my fears.

After a 4-weeks psychotherapy in 2010, during which I worked through some of those fears and also did some major transformation work on my relationship with myself and my inner Feminine, I was finally able to attract a committed partner. However, I was sabotaging myself again, because I had chosen someone to whom I felt emotionally and spiritually attracted, but not sexually. Even though we stayed together 6 years in total, disproving my belief that no man could ever be devoted to me for a longer time, the sexual frustration we both felt made us break up eventually.

The mask I didn’t even know I was wearing

Looking back, I can clearly see how I was in fact only able to feel sexually attracted to uncommitted men. Because the inner child in me continued to wonder: Would I eventually be able to inspire a man I truly desired (note how I do not talk about admired yet…) to devote himself to me in a lasting way? In other words, could I finally achieve what I had not achieved as a child with my father?

And so I went back to fall for emotionally and physically unavailable men. I was thrilled that I actually could have some of the ones I wanted. This was a new experience for me. Yet the whole set up of those relationships made it a lost case from the very beginning that I could ever be “Number One”, leave alone over a sustained period of time. And so I ended up repeating the same pattern again that I knew too well from childhood: feeling unworthy of love and devotion.

As soon as the light gets into the darkness, it is transformed. As soon as truth is seen, it cannot be unseen.

I now understand what MY role has been in creating the exact conditions to confirm my subconscious beliefs. Where I had been lying to myself. And I feel relieved, because I understand on a whole new level that it’s me who has to take care of my inner child, its wounds, needs and desires.

If you too are long-term dissatisfied in any area of your life, whether it is health, energy, fertility, relationships, work, money… and the situation just doesn’t seem to improve, no matter how hard you try, assume for a moment that you are actually committed to keeping it that way.

That in some weird (or not so weird) way this – consciously unwanted – reality that you might loudly protest against or even fight with all possible and impossible means, is serving your subconscious to be comfortable. If you are overweight, you might be committed to keeping yourself that way, probably to protect yourself in one way or another, even if on the surface you are constantly dieting or trying to lose weight. If you have persistent physical fatigue, you might complain about it and try a lot of things to have more energy, yet on an unconscious level not having enough energy is probably exactly what you need, maybe to escape some difficult fact about yourself. If you suffocate in work, even though you consciously try to create more “me-time”, you might feel like a victim to circumstances and complain constantly about your abusive boss, but unconsciously you are probably glad to not have time to even breathe, leave alone feel what works or doesn’t work in your life. If you are in a job you hate, but cannot seem to quit it, even though you are actively looking for a new one, there might be an unconscious benefit to that situation. The same is true if you are in a relationship that is not completely satisfying. You might complain about it a lot or even be working hard to “improve” it on the surface, yet on some unconscious level you are probably very comfortable in it, be it for financial or material reasons, out of fear of the unknown, because your life would be boring without the “drama” or because it matches your idea of what you deserve, to just name a few possible reasons.

Simply becoming aware of those formerly subconscious mechanisms will be enough to ignite transformation. The more precisely you are able to identify the underlying fears or blocking factors, the better. You then need to make a conscious decision to make a new commitment – a commitment that is aligned with what you truly long for. IF you truly want to lose that weight or IF you truly want to live in nature or IF you truly want to have more time for yourself or IF you truly want a certain type of relationship, you need to commit to do what it takes to get there. If not, you continue to commit to your fears, to settle for less, which of course is always an option, but then at least you do it consciously and own the choice and the consequences for your health and your happiness.

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