Though we probably don’t realize it, since childhood, bits and pieces of feedback about who we are, the way we should act, or how we express ourselves may have shaped our self image. Especially when we were younger our innocence made us more open, impressionable, and vulnerable to taking in other people’s comments.
Perhaps the popular kids told us, “You’re not cool enough for us.” A teacher said, “You’re a troublemaker.” Or it’s possible our parent’s criticism or inattention implied, “You’re not lovable.”
Like pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, we gathered morsels of information that contributed to how we define ourselves.
I did the 21-Day Meditation Challenge on Miraculous Relationships from Oprah and Deepak Chopra. Mr. Chopra explained, “Self image is the self your ego believes you are. The ego takes its cues from the outer world, feeding on approval and security, often fueling feelings of inadequacy and fear.”
If we want to live a fully authentic life, we have to examine these imprints and how we may have altered ourselves to exist in a different way in order to either be accepted or at least to not draw scrutiny toward us.
When did we allow someone to contribute a review to how we describe and present ourselves? How has the external implanted our internal dialogue?
The ego led us to believe that if we have validation from others, we have a sense of security because we’ll have the potential to establish a bond. But what kind of connection is it if we have to be inauthentic?
It’s only by deconstructing the relationship we have with our inner being that we can actually strengthen our kinship to others to be stronger, more genuine, and fruitful.