When it comes to how someone experiences life, how they see themselves will have a big impact. However, they might not even think about how they see themselves and, even if they do, this could just be seen as who they are.
If, then, they have an empowering view of themselves, this is not going to matter. But, if they have a disempowering view of themselves, it is likely to mean that they won’t have a very fulfilling life.
If they were to take a step back and reflect on how they see themselves, they could find that they see themselves as someone who is worthless, incapable, useless and unlovable. As a result of this, they won’t believe that they are worthy of good things, are competent, are useful or deserve to be loved.
Yet, even though this will just be how they see themselves, they could believe that this is the truth. It is then not going to be something that can be changed; it will be something that is set in stone.
A Bleak Existence
When they think about their life, they could find that very few areas of it are as they would like them to be. Nonetheless, they could believe that this is something that they just have to put up with.
Doing their best to handle what is going on is then going to be essential and they might hope that their life will change one day. The outcome of this is that they are likely to lead a life of quiet desperation.
So, when it comes to what they do for a living, they could do something that is soul-destroying. They might not feel appreciated where they work and could work with a number of people who are very critical.
If so, once their day comes to an end, they will be relieved but they will know that it won’t be long until they have to go back again. Consequently, if they never had to go back there again, they would be happy.
They might not have many friends but if they do, they could be more like associates. This will prevent them from receiving the support that they need but they are not going to believe that they deserve to be supported.
If they are in a romantic relationship, they could be with someone who greatly undermines them. Therefore, this person will validate how they see themselves, strengthening their disempowering idea of themselves in the process.
Now, although just about every area of their life and a big part of their inner world might validate how they see themselves, it doesn’t mean that it is the truth. What will also make it hard for them to realise this is if their life has been this way for as long as they can remember.
Together, all of these elements will combine to make them believe that how they see themselves is the absolute truth. Most likely, they are this was primarily because of what took place during their formative years.
Back In Time
During this stage of their life, they may have had at least one parent who was anything but nurturing. In addition to being physically, verbally and emotionally abused, they might have also been left.
As opposed to being treated like someone who was valuable and lovable, they would have been treated as though they are totally worthless and unlovable. This would have deprived them of the nutrients that they needed to go through each developmental stage.
On the one hand, this would have caused them to experience a lot of pain and, on the other, as they were egocentric, how they were treated would have been personalised. This pain would have been repressed by their brain to allow them to keep it together and function and the meaning that was made by their undeveloped brain would have played a big part in how they would see themselves.
Due to how underdeveloped they were at this stage, it wouldn’t have been possible for them to see that their parent was deeply wounded and that was why they were being mistreated. Thanks to this, this parent was unable to see them clearly and could only see the parts of themselves that they had disowned being mirrored back to them.
Filled With Darkness
In all likelihood, this parent was also abused during their early years, and, as they were unable to heal any of their own wounds, for whatever reason, they ended up passing on what was done to them. Thus, their parent or parents would have projected their badness into them and they would have projected their badness into their own child.
What this illustrates is that how they see themselves has nothing to do with them and everything to do with the fact that, as they were defenceless, they absorbed what their parent or parents were unable to acknowledge and face within themselves. With this in mind, they will need to let go of what doesn’t belong to them.
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.