For Day 2 of the SEP I had to read an article by Kim Ruby. First time around I skipped it because the link didn't work. This time, instead of skipping, I googled the article, and thank goodness I did! Although much of what is in the article is a rehash of the three Sarno books, his interpretation as to the emotional causes of TMS really hit the nail on the head for me. Although I agree that all the different personality characteristics described by Sarno contribute, I always felt like there was a reason we have those traits that ran some what deeper. Such personality traits including, as you are probably aware, include perfectionism, goodist behavior, etc etc. In a way Kim Ruby went a step further, in my opinion, and said that really, we are all just subconsciously afraid we are not good enough, and that these other personality traits are a techniques for overcoming that feeling. This really resonated with my. I am very perfectionist, I am not a people pleaser as such, but I do hate to upset people (I think this is similar to, but not the same as, trying to please people but is not exactly the same because I don't really care if I please them or not, I just have a major fear of being yelled at or having my flaws pointed out to me). Every single part of my personality that I think contributes to my TMS comes down to the fact that I do not feel good enough. This is what Ruby said: "Over the years, in accordance with our beliefs about good and bad people, we create a long list of requirements for ourselves. If we have a belief that a good kid only gets straight A's in school, then we have to get straight A's. If we believe that only losers are fat, then we have to be thin. We feel like we need to prove our worth--we need to be the best at work, to have the perfect body, to drive the perfect car, to be the perfect spouse, or to raise the perfect child. There's always an underlying fear that if we're not meeting all our requirements (and we usually have ridiculously high standards for ourselves), then we won't be loved. We're afraid other people will reject us, because they'll discover just how flawed and gross we really are. And even though we may know on an intellectual level that this notion is silly, we all still believe it deep down in our guts because that's what we've been believing all our lives." I have 3 degrees. I am the first person in my family every to go to university, and I didn't walk away with a degree, no, I had to get three!!! Yep, I am a perfectionist. So, I have three pieces of paper stating that I am pretty darn good at very specific areas of study and research, and I went off to a whole new country on my own, started a new life, alone, and began a post-doctoral fellowship, with a plan to become a professor one day. I have published research, I have published book chapters in science and psychology books. You'd think that I'd feel pretty good about this! But guess what! I spent every day of my career waiting for someone to uncover me as a phony! In the end I quit my career to be a stay at home mother. Every day, EVERY SINGLE DAY, I wonder if I am failing my children in some way, even though I do everything in my power to be the perfect mother I can. I know I falter regularly, and I get mad at myself for it. I homeschool my children, and despite being a very relaxed "teacher" and not pushing my kids hard, they too are seriously excelling academically, but the fact that my 5 and 8 year old still can't ride a bike without training wheels (we have lived in an apartment for a year and have barely anywhere to practice) was a cause for me to beat myself up yesterday for failing my kids. Of course, I don't let them know how I feel - no way do I want my kids to think they have flaws, when really the problem is not with them and their abilities, but with me and my expectations! It doesn't matter how hard I try, or what I do, despite excelling at almost everything I set my mind to, I have never felt good enough, and this causes me to have the personality traits Sarno describes. I know I have to stop beating myself up over all this. I can see that is detrimental to my health and probably contributing to my pain, but really, I have no idea not to feel this way! And if you made it this far, thank you for listening to my latest epiphany!