While someone’s life can be an expression of their needs and feelings, it can also be an expression of the needs and feelings of others. When it relates to the former, this will be their real self, and, when it relates to the latter, this will be their unreal self.
Naturally, when someone’s life is an expression of their needs and feelings, it is going to be far more fulfilling than it would be otherwise. Needless to say, doing what other people want is not going to allow them to have a very enriching life.
But, although this will be the case, someone can be out of touch with themselves and not be aware of it. Doing what other people want is then going to be normal and this won’t stand out.
Furthermore, they can come across as though they are happy and are on the right path, so to speak. From the outside, it will seem as if they are in tune with themselves and are doing what is right for them.
Not an Act
When they are by themselves, they could also be happy and pleased with how their life is going. In this case, they are not going to be putting on an act when they are around others and dropping this act when they are alone; this act will have consumed them.
If there are moments when they feel down or frustrated, they could soon do something that will push this feedback out of their conscious awareness. This could be something that takes place so fast that they won’t even be aware of what they are doing.
When it comes to what they do for a living, then, this could be something that allows them to receive a fair amount of approval. They could often be told, by their clients or customers, that they are a good person and are selfless.
A number of their family members and friends could also often tell them that they are a good person. The feedback that they receive from others is going to play a part in keeping their true feelings and needs at bay.
The Same Position
If they are in a romantic relationship, they are likely to be with someone that is also out of touch with themselves. Due to this, they are going to have a very surface-level connection.
Two false selves will be validating each other and helping to keep the other's false self in place and true self at bay. Therefore, if it appears to be the perfect relationship, this will be nothing more than a facade.
However, as the years go by, it is likely to get harder for them to keep their true feelings and needs at bay. The reason for this is that their defences are likely to break and the other part of them, their real self, will start to break through.
What could play a part in this is a breakup, the loss of a job, or an illness. Their false self will still be there at this point, keeping the true self at bay but it won’t be as effective at doing this as it was before.
Sooner or later, they could wonder why they are behaving in a way that is not truly serving them. They could also find it hard to understand how it was possible for them to be out of touch with themselves for so long and not realise it.
What they do for a living could enter their mind and they could find that they are doing something that doesn’t really interest them. If they are in a relationship, they could see that it might make them look good but it doesn’t do much else.
What’s going on?
When it comes to why they were unable to realise what was going on for so long, this could be because they had to lose touch with themselves very early on. Practically from the moment they were born, one or both of their parents might not have truly been able to be there for them.
Instead, they might have been forced to play a role and be there for their parent or parents. Their real feelings and a number of their needs would then have been covered up.
A False Self
What would have been placed on top of their true self would have been a self that was built over many years. This self would have been outer-directed and its priority would have been to please their parent or parents.
Focusing on their needs and doing what they could to please them would have been the only way for them to survive. Expressing themselves, on the other hand, would have caused them to suffer and be a threat to their survival.
Life or Death
There are still likely to have been moments when they were rejected and abandoned. So, taking into account how it was for them very early on, it is not going to be a surprise that their false self has had such a strong need to outmuscle their true self.
It won’t have done this to make them suffer; it will have done this to protect them. It won’t have mattered that they were no longer a powerless and dependent child as a big part of them won’t have and still won’t realise this.
It will be a case of gradually phasing this false self out and their true self in. This will take courage and patience and persistence.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.