What does it mean to be authentic?
To be authentic is to live and act according to one's own self-expression, abilities, and values.
At the opposite pole of authenticity is the concept of SHADOW. By SHADOW we mean all the psychological aspects (desires, urges, thoughts, and emotional experiences) that we hide not only from others, but sometimes even from ourselves.
The 100-room palace metaphor
To better understand the concept of shadow, imagine your psyche is a palace with 100 rooms. Those parts you do not accept about yourself or do not want to show to society are garbage rooms. And because you do not want this waste of your psyche to be known, you end up over time using 90 rooms, then 70 rooms, then only 50, because the rest of your beautiful palace is buried in garbage that you want to hide from the eyes of the world. The moment we accept ourselves as we are, with qualities and flaws, we accept that we do not need the approval of others, because, the truth is, no matter how many qualities we have, there will always be those critics who disagree with us and who, for one reason or another, will not disapprove of us. The moment of acceptance is when you begin to put your palace in order, get rid of the junk and live life to its full potential.
How does the shadow manifest itself in men?
The stoic's mask - Human society has been built around limiting beliefs about the stronger sex. Even this way of referring to men is one of them. Other examples include statements like "men don't cry" , "you have to be strong and tough" , "don't be pathetic". So, society forces men to repress their emotions, not to express their fears and insecurities, to always be in control, without showing weakness.
The athlete's mask - Those who wear this mask feel the need to always be right, to be strong and to win no matter what the cost. They apply the rules of sport even in intimate relationships, becoming extremely competitive in their couple life. In addition, they cannot understand the concept of mutual gain, believing that in any situation there is only a winner and a loser.
The mask of the materialist - These men will build their entire value system around the idea that the value of their masculinity comes down to their bank account. This way of being is most evident among young men, who work hard and end up making questionable sacrifices, such as sacrificing their health for money. The reason is that they associate money with happiness, with their ideal partner or even with access to the influential groups they want to reach. As a rule, the motto of these men is "more money, more self-respect."
The mask of sexuality - Underneath this mask are those men who measure their worth by the number of women they have had sex with. These men always get on the same carousel of passing adventures, from which they exit as quickly as they entered, with the satisfaction of having satisfied yet another "victim". This mask is common in those men with high testosterone levels or those who have been emotionally hurt in previous relationships through rejection or betrayal of trust. As a result of the emotional trauma, they decide not to enter another relationship, thus avoiding being hurt again.
The aggressive mask - Men are naturally aggressive and this is a result of testosterone production. Throughout history we have seen that the role of the male is to hunt and defend the tribe from enemies by brute force. Today, we see how some men display physical violence in conflicts and fights, destruction of property or even domestic violence. However, a man who allows himself to be dominated by his primal instincts is eminently weak and demonstrates the opposite, i.e. a lack of responsibility as a protector.
The buffoon mask - Cynicism, sarcasm or a sense of superiority creates an intellectual weapon that every man can use to defend himself or to connect with others. Robbin Williams, that actor and man who managed to make people laugh but was ultimately consumed by the depression that led to his death, is the emblematic representation of this mask. No one suspected for a moment what tragedy lurked beneath his mask of a cheerful, constantly joking man.
The mask of the invincible - A man feels no fear. A man takes risks, whether by betting all his money on his company, by jumping off cliffs, smoking or drinking excessively. A man has no time to think about the consequences of his actions. Men do not have problems, they have everything under control.
The mask of the all-knowing - A man is not only physically dominant, but also intellectually dominant. He went to a top school, watches the news, and knows all the answers. He certainly does not need help from you or anyone else, because he knows it all. He makes others feel inferior, losers, ignored, etc. If he happens to make a mistake, these men will question their entire masculinity and existence.
Alpha male mask - at a basic level, one would think there are only 2 categories of men: Alpha and Beta, the winners, and the losers. A man must dominate and win everything. A man must be in control, and he can never do anything a Beta or a woman would do.
How does the shadow manifest itself in women?
1. The girlfriend's mask
The lover's mask is the most common mask in a woman.
All women want to be someone's girlfriend. If no one loves her, how can a woman feel truly fulfilled? Regardless of what she has achieved in life, all that matters is whether she can win a man's heart.
2. The "Everything is perfect" mask
We have all seen Disney princesses suffer for various reasons without complaint. Instead, they sing along with the birds and win the prince's heart with their natural beauty. So, women also try this mask with the goal of being better, kinder, and more innocent in their thoughts and behavior... Maybe, just maybe, someone will hand us a crown.
3. The mask of the seductress
Although the seductress has been an archetype throughout history - Cleopatra, the Sirens, Salome, Mata Hari - this mask has never been as accessible as it is to young girls today. Nowadays, a girl simply must watch a video to see the seductress in action. The seductress tempts men, allows them to look and lust, but without touching. Instead of sexual gratification, she offers only the illusion, with men having no alternative but imagination. Instead, she satisfies herself through the platonic admiration she receives from her many admirers.
4. The mask of the saint
Women sacrifice endlessly. They take care of everyone at the expense of their own needs. And they are adored for it. Everyone relies on them, and they allow everything without getting angry, saying no or imposing boundaries. But saints are rarely rewarded in this life, so these women have to wait for their passing and the promise of heaven to find their appreciation. Being a saint here on earth can make you feel good about yourself and earn you the temporary devotion of those you serve without qualms, but it can also make you awfully sad. So, take off the mask of holiness and try on the mask of selfishness to truly taste the pleasures of life. nu sau a impune granițe. Dar sfinții rareori sunt recompensați în această viață, astfel încât aceste femei trebuie să aștepte trecerea în neființă și promisiunea raiului pentru a-și găsi aprecierea. A fi sfânt aici pe pământ te poate face să te simți bine cu tine însăți și îți poate câștiga devoțiunea temporară a celor pe care îi servești fără crâcnire, dar te poate face și groaznic de tristă. Așadar, scoateți masca sfintei și încearc-o pe cea a egoismului pentru a gusta cu adevărat din plăcerile vieții.
5. The mask of the superhero
The ideal woman has a successful career, a happy family, an athletic body, and a devoted husband. She travels, raises her children, volunteers, cooks great food, and plays the piano in her spare time. All without much energy consumption. Obviously, this pattern is an illusion, rather a creation of romantic movies. Often, the contemporary woman exhausts herself to the point of burnout to become the embodiment of this pattern. What are the costs?
Of course, it is not necessary to share the traits of any of the masks explained above. Rather, what we need to understand is that the pressure we put on ourselves to adopt personality traits or actions that do not naturally belong to us, seriously harms us in that this new personality will never be in line with our values.
We see in everyday life how much emphasis is placed on creating a distinctive image in society. Proof of this are the many couples who in pictures on social media seem very happy and in love, which they make known to others through beautiful statements. The sad thing is that we, who know these perfect lovebirds in the virtual world, look shocked and confused, not knowing what to make of it when only a few days before one of them had told us that they were seriously considering divorce or that, in fact, the relationship at home was damaged. porumbei perfecți în lumea virtuală, privim șocați și confuzi, neștiind ce să mai înțelegem când doar cu câteva zile înainte unul dintre ei ne spusese că se gândește serios la divorț sau că, de fapt, relația acasă este deteriorată.
What message are we sending to ourselves when we hide the truth?
Necinstea Dishonesty or the lack of honesty translates into a simple sentence: I'M WRONG. lipsa de onestitate se traduc printr-o propoziție simplă: MĂ ÎNȘEL.
I'd like you to think about the following scenario: let's say you hide something about yourself and, even though every few hours you remind yourself of what you're hiding, you still do it, all the while telling yourself I'M WRONG WHEN I DO THIS. Hours become days, days become weeks, and weeks...months and years Years of telling yourself YOU'RE WRONG.
What will the consequences be for your self-confidence?
It will destroy her...
For fear of confrontation on a psychological level, people learn to deny sensitive areas where they are not what they claim or bypass them and play a perpetual role in society. Over time, this habit leads to such a gap of AUTHENTICITY between who they really are and who they claim and believe themselves to be, that any attempt to work on themselves becomes not only extremely difficult, but also very discouraging.
STEPS TOWARDS AUTHENTICITY
STEP I - BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF!
The way you become authentic is the opposite of what people think. Instead of running away from those parts of your life that do not satisfy you, choose to focus on them and make the necessary changes, no matter how painful.
STEP II - NO ONE IS PERFECT
Let go of the idea of perfection: No person, family, relationship, or business is perfect. In Recall Healing, perfectionism is defined as the "death program" because it does not exist in the real world. The only biological way to be perfect (and not wrong) is through death!
So, if there is no perfect living person, why would you put so much pressure on yourself? But even if none of us will achieve perfection in our lifetime, we can still enjoy continuous development so that we can become the best version of ourselves.
STEP III - ACCEPT YOUR SHADOW!
Find a place to expose your SHADOW. Create a space of your own, where together with that person you trust you can reveal your dark side and be 100% you. In the presence of this person expose all those things you are ashamed of and let yourself become authentic and accepted for who you really are.
Find things weekly that you are afraid or ashamed to expose until you have nothing to hide.
STEP IV - KEEP A JOURNAL AND REFLECT ON THESE 2 QUESTIONS:
- If I did not care what people think, what would I do now?
- What is right for me to do now and what does my fear dictate that I do?
Fear tells me to stay safe now, authenticity whispers to me to live a life that I enjoy to the full. Usually, these two are not and need not be at odds. I want to hear what each has to say before I plan. You will notice how you begin to recognize the story of FEAR and distinguish it from the story of AUTHENTICITY.