Two years ago I lived a pretty shitty life. I was unhappy, and had no idea how to change that. I was afraid of people, afraid of fun, afraid of adventure (at least with anyone around), afraid to me myself, life was full of distractions to keep me busy, and socializing was painfully awkward.

In a fit of pain after a particularly awkward exchange with a very pretty woman, I thought about my life, realized there was something broken in me, and cried out, "GOD, FIX ME!"

After two years, and exploring the Nice Guy Syndrome, and aspects of Self Esteem, I found http://thebookoflife.org a website run by Alain de Botton, a British philosopher. There I found a storehouse of very good advice on how to be a human. I also found out about Donald Winnicott's work, including the idea of the False Self. All kinds of recognition happened, and I began to be free. I began to date, and had fun dating some very beautiful and entertaining women. I had deep conversations about the soul and emotions and life and other things which matter. But I knew something else dark was in there; I wasn't whole.

All was not right.

I used the techniques at http://cyquest.com to simply let myself experience the pain I felt deep down but always avoided. I cried. Like a baby. I was watching Inside Out, the Disney/Pixar movie, and the dam broke. In my sobs, I cried out over and over, "I just wanted to be happy."

So here's the story of my life, as I know it now:

I formed a belief (those things deep down in my brain which gives me motivation) when I was very young that I loved my older brother Lee and he will be the leader and I would follow: I'd follow him to school, baptism, priesthood, dating, mission, love, marriage, life.

Only that didn't happen. Lee had brain damage. He didn't do those things. I waited for him, because it would hurt him if I jumped ahead. And I waited. And waited. I went to school, but had already formed my second belief: I shouldn't be happy while Lee wasn't happy.

And so I wasn't happy. And the beliefs remained intact. And I started to hate Lee because he wasn't getting on with life, and I hated my younger brother Ross because he jumped right past the both of us.

I graduated high school and college, dated unhappily, went to grad school, dated, remained unhappy, graduated, taught for 18 years, remained unhappy. I went to the desert to avoid people; my own little hermitage.

Other beliefs formed because of the first two:

I can't be authentically and spontaneously myself
I am hollow
God does not care about me
I am unloveable
I am not valuable
Mom doesn't love me
Dad doesn't care about me
Girls don't like me
I am compliant
I am ugly

Somewhere in there, early on as a preteen I think, maybe earlier, a sort of false self developed. It developed to deal with the pain, the very real emotional pain of wanting happiness in my heart and not wanting the happiness in my mind. I turned my heart off, and began to live in my mind. From then on I was doomed to a shitty life until I found my heart again, and discovered why I turned my heart off. Else I would regress and it would continue.

On the 13th of August, 2016, I discovered my false self, and my heart.

Today, on the 23rd of November 2016, I knew why. I remembered that first belief.

I need to build a new set of beliefs. It will take time, just as discovering these things took two years:

I am happy
I am awesome
God loves me
I want a loving wife
I love others
I feel alive
I have authentic joy
I want a beautiful wife
I will be a great husband
I have love, plenty to share

Wish me luck. I'll need it.