The Main Character Syndrome
I love that you really focused on the idea that a HUGE part of satisfaction is learning how to find our ENOUGH. To find the joy and the 'enoughness' in our CURRENT LIFE vs. constantly seeking for conditions that don't yet exist. This really does shift our ability to enjoy what's happening AND it helps us re-focus our energy on our current lives, and where our power is NOW. When we are so focused on that 'future outcome' we really dissociate from what's happening now - and in THAT we actually end up not being able to meet ourselves where we are, not able to really figure out what is and isn't good for us and what would actually help us find true self love because we aren't PRESENT.
It's a grand paradox - the more we allow ourselves to be where we are and to learn how to take CARE of THIS version of us - the better our NOW is going to be AND the more we're going to grow! We're going to take the day to day steps of really honoring what we need right now, and THAT'S how we 'get' somewhere else!
And, we learn how to love who we are now instead of always having to 'improve' before we feel we are worthy of the love we want. We can have that NOW. That's the real truth and that's what helps us get out of the toxic, capitalist cycle that convinces us that we are never enough and thus must keep buying and producing to try to become good enough. When we can find satisfaction now we won't stop growing, because growth feels good - it will just be genuine growth towards what's real to US vs. what we think we have to do/be to be loved/approved of/good enough by the standards of others.
But to your point about main character syndrome - you're right, it's not just the self help industry that perpetuates this - it's culture in general. And what this does is actually disconnects us MORE from our humanity because it sets us up not to actually discover who we are, what we feel, what we need and what does and doesn't work in real reality - but rather it tells us that there's a RIGHT way to be, an 'ideal' version of us we have to become, an ideal life that we must live - and it tells us that all of our experiences MUST be commodified in some way in order to COUNT.
It makes us believe that we are either responsible to be the sole saviors of the world and that our 'purpose' in life has to be some big, grand thing we SHOW to others, or it makes us feel that we are constantly failing if we don't see what our 'purpose' is in this very specific context.
It also robs us of all other experiences of being human, and boils our life down to what we can show to others as accomplishments. It stops us from being able to form stable relationships, from getting to know ourselves and others AND it puts all this pressure on us to be constantly striving for something - leading us to be excellent consumers and producers who NEVER feel like enough is enough.
To become aware of this is the first step as you shared. We have to see it. We have to see that we are not actually that important. Then, we must see that our lives are NOT just what capitalism or pseudo-spirituality says they are. That all of our experiences, feelings and aspects matter and count, even if no one sees them and if no one profits off of them. Finally, we have to remove the pressure of being 'the one' to do something 'great' from ourselves. We can then again be freed to figure out what actually calls to us, what's enough and too much for us and where we want to contribute genuinely. And we can find satisfaction in that.
It's all about realizing that we will always see ourselves at the centre, and realizing that we AREN'T actually at the centre. It's not all about us. It will never be all about us.
So we make what's important in our lives important, knowing it can be important to US and also not ultimately important. We contribute what we can genuinely without forcing, and we learn where enough is enough so we can get out of this toxic system that drives us in ways that are totally unhealthy and unnatural.
You're 100% right - the fact that we are all so SCARED in this society, we are all so scared of being wrong and having no tools for processing shame, guilt and being rejected, that really drives all of this. When we feel unsafe, this is how we adapt and live. We get selfish because we are trying to keep ourselves safe. When we find our enoughness, when we learn that shame and guilt are always lies and there's growth to be had under that THIS is how we liberate ourselves from this whole thing. The constant shaming and guilting in our society is really the driving force - being so alone and isolated perpetuates it and we don't even see it so much of the time.
True self love is the key here - you are flawed and that's ok, you are ok and this is enough and as you embrace that you will grow. Those around you are there as a part of your family and when we all win together, we actually win.
Such a great episode. Thank you so much for doing this <3