Revealing who one is to others is not always easy and I believe that this can be due to two reasons. Firstly this can come about through not knowing who one is and secondly through the feeling that it is not safe for one to reveal who one is.
Both of these reasons can be the result of ones upbringing. This is because it is during this time that we come to learn what is safe and what is not. What we can do and what we cannot do around other people.
The caregivers that one is brought up by will usually have their own ideas about who one is and who one should be. Now, this is not necessarily negative and limiting in itself. How destructive this is will depend on how conscious and aware the caregivers are.
And this is partly due to the fact that the caregivers will always have what they like and what they done like. This means that they will naturally want to mould another person into their ideal image.
All of the parts that these caregivers have not acknowledged in themselves and have repressed out of conscious awareness will likely become projected onto the child. And as the child is so open and malleable at this age it will pick up and take on board more or less every projection that it receives from the people that it comes into contact with.
This is also because at such a young age a child doesn’t usually have the awareness or mental strength to question and dismiss the ideas and projections that are coming from another person.
What Is Safe
During this time the child is learning and coming to terms with what behaviours are safe and what are not. Seeing that some behaviour will gain the approval of its caregivers and some will not.
This is a process that will happen hundreds if not thousands of times during this Childs life. And each time it happens; what is real and true will become covered up by yet another layer of what is neither real nor true.
The Ego Mind
And while this is all happening externally; the ego mind will come to conclude what is safe and what is not internally. The ego mind functions on what is safe and what is safe is typically what is familiar.
So even though what it comes to associate as safe might have very little to do with ones true self, it will form a perception of what is safe based on these very early childhood experiences.
And what makes the need to be safe so intense is the result of what the consequences would be if one wasn’t safe at such a young age. If one were to be rejected and not approved of it would feel like death at such a young age. Here one has very little chance of survival without the care of an adult.
The Normal Route
It is then normal to be lead by the ego minds associations of what is safe. This means doing whatever will lead to the most approval and often behaving in ways that are likely to lead to being accepted by others. At First it was about pleasing ones caregivers and now it has become about pleasing different people in society.
And to feel the same acceptance from others as one did as a child can create short term fulfilment and alleviate ones internal fears that arise from not being accepted.
However, a sense that something is missing will not be very far away. And this is because gaining the approval and acceptance of another will never match the experience of doing what is right within and following ones heart.
After having experienced many years as a child and then as an adult of being there for another or doing what gains acceptance from others; it is only normal for one to feel disconnected from their own self.
Perhaps there have been moments or flashes when one has felt connected to who they are. But this can be something that is often fleeting and unable to be sustained for very long.
And if ones identity has been completely formed by what is not true or real; it will feel extremely difficult to change. This is because not only can one’s self image be inaccurate, but ones relationships’ and vocational choices could also exist to please other people.
The ego mind will then feel unstable at the idea of letting go of what is not true and what stands in the way of what is true.
While this is all going on the true self is waiting, waiting to be heard and waiting be expressed. It will not go away and neither will it be silenced. It waits until the time comes when one is strong enough to be one with it.
For it does not operate through fear or acceptance; as the ego mind does. It sees through these illusions and knows that one is already accepted and approved of. And that these can never come from another human being; they can only come from within.
Who one is can only come from within; it is not possible for another human being to reveal who one is. All they can do is give their interpretations, ideas and insights, but they can do nothing more. That is down to each one of us to find out.
The Burden Is Lifted
As one gradually becomes aware of what is true and is strong enough to be one with it; the burdens of having to be someone else will gradually fade away. Like a weight that one has carried all their life; it will begin to disappear.
The past will also begin to lessen its strength over ones present point of power; which is now.
The Journey That Matters
Doing what gains the approval and acceptance of another may be the easier option in the short term, but it is an option that can never bring fulfilment or true happiness.
And although the journey of following ones truth can be arduous at times; it is the journey that really matters and one that will lead to the greatest fulfilment.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, 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.