Who are you really?
How you see yourself will depend significantly on your perspectives- the inside perspective or the outside perspectives.
There may be several conflicting perspectives of yourself.
The Johari Window gives us an insight of the different realities of your true self.
Do you want to see yourself from the outside- that is through the eyes of other people in your society? These external perspectives will give you some insights about your superficial self on a make-believe level. Your society or community will exert a lot social pressure on you through the accepted customs or traditions, religious practices or current social values. If you succumbed to the values of the world, then you are likely to move with the flow of the social tides and find that your happiness will depend on the ebbs of the tides of social approval.
If you depend on the outside sources of assessing your true self, most toxic gossips or scandals have the capacity to erode your self esteem significantly.
Any adversity or mistakes can upset our fortunes in our life.
Our life will be like a fragile boat floating on the sea without any anchor.
The main flaw about this external perspective of the self is that the primary determinants affecting your self-image or self-esteem are changing all the time without any permanent anchor. As a result, your real happiness will also move up and down depending on your emotional tides lapping on your self. Hence no two days are the same and no relationships will last forever. Hence the external criteria of measuring your true self are unreliable.
This is the ultimate reality of our life- the only constant in our life is change.
On the other hand, it does not mean that the outside perspectives of the self are useless.
If these external inputs are seen and interpreted in the right perspective, they can be used to form a balanced perspective of our true self. Any negative information from the outside sources can be viewed realistically as part and parcel of the human hubris. This information can be used to grind away the sharp edges of our egos leading to a positive and balanced perception of our authentic self. Any negative aspect of the self is the shadow of the light or the black versus the white or the yin and yang of life in our world.
Any refusal to see the bad sides of our life will eventually lead to the formation of self-denial that will make us behave like the ostrich burying its head in the sand in the midst of danger or crisis. But it is important to be aware that the prolonged harboring of such negative sentiments over a long period may lead to toxic shame and serious degradation of our self-esteems, thereby undermining our mental health.
The ultimate reality in your life is to be true to yourself- to seek the truth about your life without any serious distortion from the outside. At the end of the day, it is our responsibility to see that the truth will prevail in our lives. We have the option to choose fantasy or self-denial or the truth in our lives. What is the truth will depend on your interpretation of your priorities or your perceptions of your life.
If you choose self-denial to be the truth in your life, then self-denial will become the primary lens that you use to see the world. This fake lens of self-denial will lead you to live a make-believe life of fantasy and illusion. What a terrible waste it will be!
Similarly, if you choose love to be the truth in your life, then you will become a more loving person. Love is the essential truth that no
sage will quarrel with you because it is the essential nature of our Creator.
As finite human beings, we can often craft our versions of truths from the various kinds of experiences and responses in our lives. Bad things can happen in your life but it is your response that will define the truths in your life unless you choose to allow the adversities to define the truth for you. Just look at the great people like Nelson Mandala or Gandhi.
They did not allow their unjust imprisonment to define the truth in their lives.
Instead they choose love and forgiveness in their responses to the bad things happening in their broken world.
Similarly you and I can also choose our positive responses to the bad things in our broken world to define our truths and our lives. As philosophers used to say, your response is everything in life.
Food For Thought
The most important truth for wounded human beings to bear in mind is that they are the children of God and they are the objects of God’s unconditional love.
Yes, nothing is more precious than this divine promise and proclamation for wounded human beings especially those suffering from wounded self-esteem, hopelessness and despair. This is the panacea for the inner healing of the souls of the victims.
If nothing works for you to restore your wholesome self-esteem and human dignity, then the unconditional love of God would certainly work wonders for your souls.
When mired in the midst of despair and toxic emotions, it is not important to understand the mysterious whys of God’s love for us. What is important is for us to be aware of this rare gift and to accept this rare invaluable gem as proof of God’s love for us.
Once you have accepted this wonderful gift and make the commitment to change your life for the better by becoming a more loving human being, then God‘s grace can work little miracles of loving transformations in your life.
Love is always the best response in life no matter what the circumstances are.
Submitted by David YKK