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Challenging the Self-Image

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During self-inquiry, it's obvious to me that I can't be any part of the past since the now is all there is. Yet, memories of a past self are so sticky and hard to disidentify from when I'm in the presence of other people. My identity seems to be my self-image while interacting with people. My identity while around people is filtered through memories of past interactions I had with them, and I act in a way that's aligned with the self-image (a caring, kind person, etc.). I get discouraged because I do self-inquiry to challenge what I may identify with, and it seems beyond ludicrous to believe that I am a certain image of a past self. Does anyone else have a difficult time dropping the self-image? Why is this so difficult to overcome since it seems so obvious that the self-image is not really who I am?

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