Sometimes the core deficiency story is so painful that we conceal it from others and ourselves. We act as if the opposite of the deficiency story were true. The mind overcompensates in an effort for us not to feel the painful emotions that lie at the core of the deficiency story.

When we overcompensate, what’s actually going on is self- deception. We convince ourselves that we’re more worthy, special, important, knowledgeable, or spiritual than others, and we hide behind this façade. Others then appear in the mirror of relationship as less worthy, less special, less important, less knowledgeable, or less spiritual.

When we’re truly free of the core belief I’m deficient, we find no reason to overcompensate. We feel little need to identify with the stories I’m good or I’m worthy, or to define others as bad or unworthy. When we’re free of the belief in separation and deficiency, we naturally radiate that freedom, which may make us seem confident but not arrogant. There’s nothing to brag about, because we’re no longer trying to convince anyone of anything.

When overcompensation is present, there are two ways for you to uncover it and see through it while doing the inquiries:

1. Overcompensating means keeping painful emotions buried by telling yourself that you’re better than others in some way. But those emotions usually arise along with painful memories. So if you want to uncover and see through overcompensation, remember a time when you felt deficient. Sit with that memory until painful emo- tions arise. Then ask yourself, “What are these painful emotions saying about me?”

2. When you’re doing the Panorama Inquiry, imagine others in your life in a circle around you, and notice how you define them as somehow less important than you. Then imagine that there’s no one and nothing in the circle around you. In that moment, you won’t be using the mirror of relationship to define yourself in relation to other people, and this shift will tend to reveal that you—by yourself, in the absence of others who are sup- posedly less important—do not exist as someone who is more important. That’s because everything is in relation- ship—depending on its context for meaning—and so identities like I’m more important begin to fall apart when you have no one with whom to compare yourself.

From The Unfindable Inquiry: One Simple Tool to Overcome Feelings of Unworthiness and Find Inner Peace by Scott Kiloby

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