Ask Deepak: How to Find Yourself
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Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.Q: I've been reading self-help books for as long as I can remember and have done a lot of work to grow spiritually and emotionally. But while I've gained a lot of valuable insight, doing my best to apply all the principles I've learned, there are still many things that feel completely out of control. I'm able to give great advice to my friends and family, but when it comes to myself, I feel incredibly lost. I feel like I continue making poor choices and feel crippled by insecurity, doubt and fear, and—as a result—I go into deep depressions.
I also have other moments when I have the gumption to "go for it" and pursue my dreams, yet nothing seems to stick. I tell myself that either it wasn't meant to be or perhaps God has another plan for me, but time and again, I feel like I'm losing out on amazing opportunities. I have a hard time speaking up because I don't want to hurt people's feelings, but in the end, I'm the one left in distress.
I recently saw a psychic who told me there's a lot of blocked energy in me, and that by working with her she'd be able to help me unblock it. I've been told this a few times by other psychics and thought it was just a marketing tactic, but now I'm starting to feel like there's some truth to it. But then again, I'm just not sure. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. Am I doing too much? Am I doing too little? Could I be spiritually and energetically blocked?
— Gisselle A., Los Angeles, California
I've done minimal editing of your very long letter in order to show the depth of your confusion and your floundering attempts to solve it. The intent isn't to embarrass you. I'm glad you can present your situation so completely. Many people would try to hide at least a bit of their confusion. In a way, you are fortunate because if anyone is ready to reach the end of their illusions, I hope it's you.
Your problem, in essence, is that you lack a self that you can rely upon. Tossed by this fad and that, one book after another, and now the latest psychic, you have turned everywhere—and yet nowhere. No matter how many clothes you buy, you can't hang them on empty air. Clothes need hooks, and you need a structure. If you are able to absorb this idea—it will represent a big step toward getting out of your present predicament. I cannot imagine you have had many stable, mature role models in your early life. Perhaps you come from a home where much was neglected, or where the adults were either abusive or addicts. Something has impelled you to run so desperately in all directions to find a self.
Because you portray yourself as lost, my advice is to find yourself. How to do that?
- Find a mature, stable person who will take an interest in you.
- At work, see if you can get mentoring. If your work is erratic, casual or means very little to you, don't settle, but consider the kind of work you'd actually like to do.
- Get your house and your affairs in order. Be regular and disciplined in keeping your surroundings neat and clean.
- Consider regular pastoral advice. Use this person as an anchor to help you see your life can be stabilized and made more meaningful.
- Confront your victimization issues. This may require professional help, but you can begin by reading books on how women turn into victims and what they do to get out of that role.
Next question: How do you move on when you're still dependent on your ex-husband?
Every week, Deepak will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your question now!
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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