I believe we either respond from our True Self, or we react from our Destructive Self. Our True Self is driven by our values and life purpose, and is what we ultimately are deep within ourselves. We had a powerful connection to it when we were younger, before life experiences began creating our Destructive Self.
Our Destructive Self is the voice within us that speaks from our insecurities, anxieties and fears. It manifests as a voice that encompasses all of our previous disappointments, hurts and criticisms. It can seem to be protective of us and our lives (at times it does present us with important information), yet left unmanaged, our Destructive Self can become unhealthy and toxic, destroying us, our lives and the lives of those around us. Our True Self responds from love. Our Destructive Self reacts from fear.
Here is where things get a bit confusing. There is a misunderstanding as to what love is, as well as a misunderstanding as to what to do with fear. We often incorrectly think of love as some sort of adjective, as a way to describe our relationship with someone. In contrast if we were to think about love as a verb, we would have a very different way of interacting with the person we love. We usually think of love as a feeling, not as actions we take.
If you clarify this misunderstanding, I promise you that you will be able to show the world more of who you really are, and less of your Destructive Self.
Clarifying what Love is
When you think of loving someone, what comes to mind first? The feeling or ways to treat that person? Wouldn’t it be great if we thought of both? If we let ourselves have the feeling, as well as understand that love is a verb and composed of the following responses:
- Seeking to understand (even if we don’t agree)
- Expressing compassion
- Practicing patience
- Refraining from hurting with words
- Helping and caring
It is hard for us to do the above because we often don’t do these actions with ourselves, but I will save how to improve our self-love for another post! More importantly, our misunderstanding with love leads us to get frustrated. Both when we don’t know what to do to show our love to someone, as well as not being able to feel love when someone is not behaving with the above actions.
Clarifying what to do with Fear
The misunderstanding as to what to do with fear aggravates everything. Our Destructive Self feels the fear and chooses to react, versus to seek to understand: what could be causing the fear and what could be done about it. And so we react in ways that are:
- Passive aggressive
When we feel fear, we are scared of suffering in some way or other, whether emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, etc. Feeling fear is a normal human experience. When we do not accept that feeling fear is something that all of us will experience in our lives, we will want to get rid of it when it comes up in order to “protect” ourselves….which leads to the above attacks and dysfunctions. So what should we do with fear when we experience it? We feel it, observe it, and let it pass so we can choose to respond instead of react. The best way to feel, observe, and let it pass it through meditation, Here’s a free meditation for you. Let me know how you like it!
Real life examples
Here are some real life examples where our True Self and our Destructive Self battle:
- At our Job: When we want to ask our boss for a raise
- Our Destructive Self and fear tells us: “Be satisfied with what you have. You are replaceable so don’t give someone an excuse to fire you. Don’t shake things up”
- Our True Self and love tells us: “Make a list of all the things you contribute and the value you add. Evaluate them and if you are being underpaid, ask for what you and your family deserves”
- With our Family: When our partner is being distant and silent
- Our Destructive Self says: “They do not love me. They want to leave me. Panic NOW!”
- Our True Self says: “Maybe all of the pressure at work is distracting them, and this has nothing to do with me. I’ll ask this weekend.”
- In our Community: When our friend continues to complain and gossip
- Our Destructive Self says: “What a terrible person, no wonder she is failing”
- Our True Self says: “I may be the only person she has to speak to. I can be supportive by listening, but drawing a boundary on any involvement”
- With our Selves: When we make a mistake
- Our Destructive Self says: “You are a loser, you will never get it right”
- Our True Self says: “You are a human being, everyone makes mistakes. What can we learn from this so we don’t repeat it again?”
Fear wants you to live a very “safe”, small and limited life, and will give you examples of the disasters that may occur. The problem is that eventually fear creates a life filled with bitterness and resentment (among much more!). Many years of making a decisions from a place of fear results in a frustrated life.
On the other hand, a life lived from our True Self is fulfilling, big and expansive. It is the life that those that are genuinely content and joyful are living.
What can YOU do TODAY
The next time you have to make a choice, take the following steps to make sure you show the world more of who you really are:
- Ask yourself: “What are the ways that I can choose to respond in this situation?”
- Note the feelings that occur within you when you think of your choices. A reactive choice that comes from fear will have a negative feeling of low energy, such as that found in sadness or resentment. A choice that comes from love will have a positive feeling, with better energy, such as that found in hope or peace.
- Choose the choice that your True Self is giving you. The one that comes from a place of love.
Remember (and share on Facebook):
I hope this article is of service to you.
Do you know someone who would benefit from showing the world more of who they are? Share this article with them, or share it with your friends and family so they can also start creating the life they want to live.
Do you have structures you’ve put in place that are helping you live a better life? If so, let me know what they are in the comments below. If you have a question, pleas share it and I’ll get back to you with a response.