When we are young children we are the most "ourselves" we have ever been. Unable to really comprehend what the future might hold, and too fascinated by what is happening around us to reminisce about the past, we are in the moment, truly and purely ourselves.
As we start to grow up, we begin to think more, and to analyze just about everything, especially what actions we may or may not want to take.
Over time, we start to mistake this "inner world" of thinking, analyzing, and philosophizing, as our "real selves". We think our personality is that never-ending monkey chattering voice we hear in our heads, forgetting that the real, genuine, confident and loving person that we truly are is buried under years of second-guessing and confusion.
In my experience, when you meditate you start to quiet down that critical inner voice, and your true, buried self starts to re-emerge. The interesting thing is, since you've kept it hidden so long, you might not recognize it when it begins coming out of its slumber. Perhaps what you may feel is a bit of separation anxiety from the critical inner voice that you mistakenly took for your true self, your actual personality.
You become someone who is between two worlds: the familiar every day you that you think of as "me" (the voice who is always bringing you down) and the memory of who you used to be when you were younger--but it's been so long that that person might feel like "not me".
You lose your reference point, basically. You're kind of dealing with the weakest parts of yourself. Your genuine, true self has been hidden for so long that it's not strong enough (yet) to face the world on its own, and your mistaken identity (critical inner voice) has run your life for so long that to be away from it for any extended period of time feels scary and can cause anxiety.
Essentially, it turns you into a zombie. For awhile. You don't really know who you are any more, or what you like, or dislike, what your values are, what your preferences should be, etc. The reason it feels this way is your frame of reference (your inner world you are learning to quiet down) has been removed--and with it the reasons for all the things you do and believe.
But-- just hang on. Ride it out. Because what will start to replace this "liminal space" you are in is the emergence of a regular feeling of joy... a clear signal you have made consistent contact with that submerged, genuine self. The more you meditate, and quiet down that inner critical voice, the more your genuine nature comes to the surface, and the better you will feel.
But it's a process, it's not over night, and there will be a bit of back and forth. You may feel tempted to just say "screw it", and return to your previous way of life--where everything made sense and you had very clear cut reasons for doing things. That sense of the familiar will sound very good to you.
So that's all the advice I would give--ride it out, and whatever you choose to do with your meditation practice, stay consistent--even if yucky stuff comes up and you'd rather not deal with it. It's like an inner cleanse and if you want the good stuff, you just have to get rid of the gunk first. Price for admission is a period of time where you really don't know if you're coming or going, or why you're doing anything, or if you should even care.
Last edited by cylon; 11-20-2010 at 05:17 AM.