Updated: Jan 27, 2020
The true self minus the false self equals the real you. In practice life does not typically work out like a simple equation. So how do we encounter our truest self and learn to extract from it the components of our false self. Lieser Counseling Services provides many approaches for self understanding and deeper awareness. Most revolve around a sense of faulty thinking rooted in past negative or traumatic events that distort your self understanding and the ability to relate in healthy integrated ways with your environment and those around you.
The beauty and the challenge is that everyone is unique in this journey and no one methodology will suit the unique composition of your personality. Another beautiful challenge is that we cannot ascribe to a specific formula and then expect to arrive at an enlightened state of mind.
Enlightenment (self understanding, living the true self) seems to be a lifelong journey of soul searching and one in which we never truly arrive during our conscious time on earth. However the good news is that by simply searching for truth we have already arrived at enlightenment. The search admits we are incomplete, that we lack "knowing" and that we have space in our minds and a willingness in our actions to learn and grow.
Self preservation at the cost of self examination prevents finding the authentic or true self and reduces one's existence to seeking comfort (sometimes numbing from negative feelings with substances) which replaces a sense of meaning in self discovery through true encounter. It protects from discomfort of the unknown by saying I'm right and you are wrong, he is in and she is out, and if you do not agree then you must leave.
These simple solutions are typically rooted in fear and fear triggers our survival instinct of fight or flight. In this posture there is no room for encounter with another nor learning deeper truths about oneself based on another's way. As Socrates is credited with saying, "The unexamined life is not worth living." I believe he is correct in postulating that when we do not possess the self awareness that comes from self examination than we are constantly on the run or on the defense.
The next beautiful challenge then becomes one of opening your heart and mind to true encounter. The first encounter is with yourself in therapy so that you can uncover any distorted understanding that may diminish your sense of self worth or goodness. When you can see your truth of being worthy by just being, then you can go out and have a true encounter with another. This true encounter is where peace, meaning, and deep joy are born!