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In a previous article I entitled “In the Future There Will Be No Secrets”, I have mentioned in passing the concept of the true self being repressed in favor of the false self. True self, as the name implies, refers to one’s true disposition. False self, on the other hand, is that which is used as a mask to portray a certain image or idea, thinking that the true self is not worth showing, even fixing. These two intersect with the idea of shame, vulnerability, and pretty much the idea of what it means to be a human living with the realities and struggles of life.
Working on one’s true self and expressing it is a healthy coping mechanism, or simply the healthy and rational way to go. False self, on the other hand, is a compensatory measure and not sustainable. Thus, an unhealthy coping mechanism. We go through life with the choice on whether to just conform on what people want to see in order to look and feel good, or work and build on our true dispositions despite our flaws and not obsessing about what others think.
But we can only work on what we have, which is the idea of working on our true selves. That’s where our strong foundation lies and where growth can really happen.
This means to run to ourselves and not away from ourselves as many would describe in the realm of personal development.
We don’t even have to contend on whether it’s the healthy way to live or not, because on a rational level alone, our true selves cannot just be superimposed with a newer layer that it cannot integrate with. If you’re a basketball player, you’re more susceptible to be good at playing football or soccer than skateboarding for your knowledge base as a basketball player has the necessary predisposition to integrate with playing football or soccer.
False self is like pretending that you’re good at riding skateboards which is a different disposition from playing basketball. Learning and integration involves the aspect of compatibility. False self is like putting on a program you’re not compatible with. True self, on the other hand, is working on the compatibility in order for true development to take place.
I’m not saying that if you’re a basketball player, you will never be good at riding skateboards. You still can. You just have to keep on building on your skills in order to come close to a certain skill that you want like skateboarding. It just takes time. Longer, if it’s Shaquille O’Neal. So if you’re already good at basketball, you’re going to have to train for skateboards which would take a longer time, compared to transitioning to soccer or football which would be faster. Unless you already have a knowledge base which makes you predisposed to learning skateboarding easily.
If you’re 5’3” and you want to play basketball, it doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be tall to be good at it. You just have to own your height and build from there (where the magic usually happens) and not pretending to be a tall player. The same can be said on many areas of life like if you’re unable to afford a certain cost of living, no matter how much you pretend you can, you can’t. Instead of pretending, work on being able to afford a certain lifestyle. Another one is you don’t have to pretend to be someone else just to be able to attract a certain person that you like, which is the delusion that is being brought for by many dating tactics we see today. You just have to build on your strengths and properly integrate healthy beliefs and behavior which are seen as attractive.
This is the groundwork that is needed for authenticity. Like many things, it doesn’t happen overnight. There are no shortcuts. But with authenticity, everything is flowing. Things are congruent. No need to pretend to be something or someone else. No need to force things. Things are fluid because the self is properly integrated and strongly unified. People are responsive because authenticity breeds connection. Thus, social value is up and tension is lesser. In here, we see that working on our true selves breeds that genuine, positive energy of happiness for it’s coming from a healthy place of acceptance.
But if the self is fragile and is just a mask, then there would be incongruity. There would be a lot of disconnect and tension. This is where we say that things are “off.” At many times we refer to it as the negative vibe of a person. And this is where we see that the false self only leads to controlling behavior, sadness, division and disconnect because of the obsession to an idealized image or idea, especially just to feel special, instead of letting the magic take its natural course which is actually the key to uniqueness, thus actually being special.
If you’ve been reading my articles for a while now, you know where I’m going with this; once again, it’s about facing head on the things that we must solve and not shying away from the hard stuff. To be fully honest with ourselves. To have the courage to face our issues and our deepest fears.
To hide or avoid is to be ashamed of oneself and to eventually lose your real self in fear. To be under the light is saying, “I am here, I’ll work on this. This is me and I accept myself and my situation.” which is more realistic not just in dealing with the struggles of life but in the process of our self-evolution.
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