Admitting to yourself that you depend on the outcome of your Ego-References is a big step in overcoming what is in fact an ‘unreal’ way of living, based on a ‘fictional Self’. Being totally honest with yourself is an absolute requirement for investigating – via introspection – which of your current thoughts generate a sense of strong compulsion to act on. For the sake of our Recovery, however, we have to be willing to get to the bottom of every thought and feeling to find the truth hidden underneath – actively hidden by ourselves from ourselves!
You might think, semi-consciously: I don’t really want to admit that the kiss my boyfriend gave me carries the ‘emotional charge’ of feeding my Substitute Sense of Self, insofar as it is a confirmation that ‘He is not planning to leave me. All is well.’
That kiss is actually a Vehicle for one of your Ego-References. How would that kiss get to be part of an Ego-Reference? Suppose your parents always used to tell you, as a young adult “No wonder every man leaves you, because you are so ……..” To get their approval, you adopt the Ego-Reference ‘I need to keep my boyfriend at all cost’. (Because you can’t or won’t stop being so ………)
So then the kiss is not just a kiss (for the sake of itself as a lovely experience.) Nope. It is a signal that the danger ‘he might be on his way out’ is less right now. Thus you can feel that parental approval in the back of your mind, and feel-good-about-myself (rather than judged for being too ……..) which feeling is your Substitute Sense of Self.
Now, why wouldn’t you want to admit all that to yourself? Because to the part of your inner child who is in survival mode, blowing the whistle on that game could result in your annihilation as a Being! Maintaining the Substitute Sense of Self is a matter of life or death, to that inner child. Nothing to mess with! (Even for the sake of healing, which that part of us is ignorant or skeptical about, and resistant to. Too much is at stake to go trying something new!) ]
The Ego-Reference (or more precisely the whole Substitute Sense-of-Self-oriented System) puts up barriers to our self-knowledge. Those barriers are aimed ultimately at preserving our life, with distorted child-like logic. So for the sake of maintaining the Ego-Reference you might (subconsciously) prefer to be in denial of the Substitute Sense of Self-oriented function/significance of that kiss.
However, if you preserve your denial, you will never be able to single out (distill) the individual Ego-References that are operating and even colliding, which blocks the solution of your particular problems or pains (such as insomnia and/or depression).
So that’s why you would prefer to hide things from yourself. But, why are there things to hide? What’s hidden?
If a behavior or desire is not an Ego-Reference, then it is ‘about’ the actual content of the behavior or desire; it is about their simple meaning without any (subconscious, not consciously experienced) emotional charge. On the surface your desires and behaviors might appear to be simple and about the actual matters (such as, for example, ‘I need to get some sleep.’) (See Direct Motivation)
However if your desire or behavior involves an Ego-Reference using the situation then the situation is quite different indeed. Nothing is ‘about the actual content of the behavior or desire.’ An Ego-Reference is just a vehicle to earn a Substitute Sense of Self. It is never “about” the external obvious stuff; it always has a hidden aspect. It’s up to your honest introspection to discover and uncover that hidden aspect.
After therapy has created what I call a ‘Restored Sense of Self’, and dismantled and dissolved the Substitute-Sense–of-Self-oriented System, then the behaviors and desires which were Ego-References are left with only their ‘Quality of Life‘ components. For example, we do in fact need to get good sleep, so we desire it and act toward it! Only after therapy does our behavior refer to (or is Directly motivated by) the actual content of the action, because then there are no Ego-References anymore.
Until then, there is simply too much at stake for us, subconsciously, and introspecting is not a simple motivational choice. It requires a great deal of courage in the face of a great deal of Fear (of Annihilation) which keeps arising. If you have read about that fear and what you perceive to be at stake you will appreciate the courage needed to be honest with yourself during the Recovery process.