Who were you before you were born?
“ We are born originals and die as copies” (Kierkegaard)
Before you were born you were free to be yourself. You had no one to worry about, no one to copy. And then you were born.
Born into a life where the search for meaning is totally dependent on finding and expressing your true self, but do you know who that is?
Psychological struggles that bombard and restrict many of us, in varying degrees, have their origins in the developmental hurdles of our childhood.
We are all individuals with our own special talents and personal power. And yet everywhere we look we are told what to do, how to behave, who to love etc.
From ancient days, culture has gendered male and female bodies with stereotypes that tell us who we are before we are born.
This gender stereotyping is unseen and pervasive as it is such a familiar part of our daily lives.
Within the media, images of men and women in society reinforce stereotypical perceptions of their place and role.
The intense circulation of these images interacts with and supports deeply embedded assumptions about the differing roles of men and women.
Women as mothers. housewives, and carers. Men as workers, business executives and workaholics.
And yet these images are so much more than images, they are profoundly persuasive symbols of everyday behavior and beliefs.
For men and women who fit neatly in the prescribed stereotypical roles and behaviours of society there is no problem, but for so many people who would like to step outside of the ‘norms’ of society, the reality is that they often spend a lifetime of unhappiness attempting to fit into the mould and failing.
They suffer because of stereotypical ‘ideals’ that are embedded in their psyches.
In an attempt for acceptance, men and women build their lives on a superficiality, a false image which focuses on external events, such as appearances, sexual choices, circumstances, behaviours and the desires of others, whilst leaving them bereft within themselves.
This false self is promoted and defended vigorously and this can become a permanent part of mental makeup from childhood to adulthood.
Stereotypical expectations of contemporary culture and about what constitutes men and women will not fade overnight. Therefore it is within psychotherapy that the rigid stereotypical constructs in our minds need to be gently dismantled, so that all our notions of gender and sexual orientations become more flexible and fluid, allowing them to drop away.
Are you living your life from your true self?
8 Questions to ask yourself.
1.Are you are a cardboard copy of what society wants you to be ?
2.Do you live your life through through family members?
3.Can you say No to requests for your help?
4.Is your life panning out the way you want it to?
5.Are you working in a career that gives you satisfaction and happiness?
6.Are you in a fulfilling relationship?
7.Do you know who you are and where you are going?
8.Is your opinion more important than what others think of you?
What do you think? Are you living life from your own true self or are you at the beck and call of others?
Bio: Carole Lyden is a writer and psychodynamic psychotherapist specializing in depression therapy at Teddy Bear Therapy Centre in Perth Western Australia. She is passionate about the power of psychotherapy and its ability to change lives. Download your free e book entitled “ Who were you before you were born?” How to find your true self.