real self – fake self

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Uncategorized
Some Characteristics of the Real Self and the Co-dependent Self.
Real Self Co-Dependent Self
Authentic Self Unauthentic Self, mask
True Self False Self, persona
Genuine Ungenuine, „as-if” personality
Spontaneous Plans and plods
Expansive, loving Contracting, fearful
Giving, communicating Withholding
Accepting of self and others Envious, critical, idealized, perfectionistic
Compassionate Other-oriented, overly conforming
Loves Unconditionally Loves conditionally
Feels feelings, including appropriate, spontaneous, current anger Denies or hides feelings, including long-held anger (resentment)
Assertive Aggressive and/or passive
Intuitive Rational, logical
Child Within, Inner Child Ability to be child like Over-developed parent/adult scripts; may be childish
Needs to play and have fun Avoids play and fun
Vulnerable Pretends always to be strong
Powerful in true sense Limited power
Trusting Distrusting
Enjoys being nurtured Avoids being nurtured
Surrenders Controls, withdraws
Self-indulgent Self-righteous
Open to the unconscious Blocks unconscious material
Remembers our Oneness Forgets our Oneness; feels separate
Free to grow Tends to act out unconscious often painful patterns repeatedly
Private self Public self
Our Real Self is spontaneous, expansive, loving, giving, and communicating. Our True Self accepts ourselves and others. It feels, whether the feelings may be joyful or painful. And it expresses those feelings. Our Real Self accepts our feelings without judgment and fear, and allows them to exist as a valid way of assessing and appreciating life’s events.
Our Child Within is expressive, assertive, and creative. It can be childlike in the highest, most mature, and evolved sense of the word. It needs to play and to have fun. And yet it is vulnerable, perhaps because it is so open and trusting. It surrenders to itself, to others and ultimately to the universe. And yet it is powerful in the true sense of power. It is

healthily self-indulgent, taking pleasure in receiving and in being nurtured. It is also open to that vast and mysterious part of us that we call our unconscious. It pays attention to the messages that we receive daily from the unconscious, such as dreams, struggles and illness.
By being real, it is free to grow. And while our co-dependent self forgets, our Real Self remembers our Oneness with others and with the universe. Yet for most of us, our Real Self is also our private self. Who knows why we chose not to share? Perhaps it is a fear of being hurt or being rejected. Some have estimated that we show our True Self to others on average for only about 15 minutes each day. For whatever reasons, we tend to keep that part of us private.
When we „come from” or when we are our True Self, we feel alive. We may feel pain in the form of hurt, sadness, guilt or anger, but we nonetheless feel alive. Or we may feel joy, in the form of contentment, happiness, inspiration or even ecstasy. Overall, we tend to feel current, complete, finished, appropriate, real, whole and sane. We feel alive.
Our Child Within flows naturally from the time we are born to the time that we die and during all of our times and transitions in between. We don’t have to do anything to be our True Self. It just is. If we simply let it be, it will express itself with no particular effort on our part. Indeed, any effort is usually in denying our awareness and expression of it.
Our False or Co-dependent Self
By contrast, another part of us generally feels uncomfortable, strained, or unauthentic. I use the following terms interchangeably: false self, co-dependent self, unauthentic or public self.
Our false self is a cover-up. It is inhibited, contracting and fearful. It is our egocentric ego and super-ego, forever planning and plodding, continually selfish and withholding. It is envious, critical, idealized, blaming, shaming and perfectionistic.
Alienated from the True Self, our false self is other-oriented, i.e., focuses on what it thinks others want it to be; it is over-conforming. It gives its love only conditionally. It covers up, hides or denies feelings. Even so, it may make up false feelings, as it often does when we consistently answer a „How are you?” with a perfunctory „I’m just fine.” This quick response is often necessary or

helpful to defend against the frightening awareness of the false self, which either doesn’t know how it feels or does know and has censured these feelings as „wrong” or „bad.”
Rather than be appropriately assertive for the Real Self it is often either inappropriately aggressive and/or passive.
Our false self tends to be the „critical parent,” should we use transactional analysis script terminology. It avoids playing and having fun. It pretends to be „strong” or even „powerful.” Yet its power is only minimal or non-existent, and it is in reality unusually fearful, distrusting and destructive.
Because our co-dependent self needs to withdraw and to be in control, it sacrifices nurturing or being nurtured. It cannot surrender. It is self-righteous and attempts to block information coming from the unconscious. Even so, it tends to repeatedly act out unconscious, often painful patterns. Because it forgets our Oneness, it feels separate. It is our public self who we think others and eventually even we think we should be.
Most of the time, in the role of our false or co-dependent self, we feel uncomfortable, numb, empty or in a contrived state. We do not feel real, complete, whole or sane. At one level or another, we sense that something is wrong, something is missing.
Paradoxically, we often feel like this false self is our natural state, the way we „should be.” This could be our addiction or attachment to being that way. We become so accustomed to being our co-dependent self that our Real Self feels guilty, like something is wrong, that we shouldn’t feel real and alive. To consider changing this problem is frightening.
This false or co-dependent self appears to be universal among humans. It has been described or referred to countless times in print and in our daily lives. It has been called such diverse names as a survival tool, psychopathology, the egocentric ego and the impaired or defensive self (Masterson, 1985). It can be destructive to self, others and intimate relationships. However, it is a double-edged sword. It has some uses. But just how useful is it? And under what circumstances?

From Charles Whitfield, „Healing the Inner Child”


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