Are You Real?
Childhood is a process of trying to balance being true to your impulses with the pressing need to fit in and be accepted.
Children soon learn that they have to be hyper-aware of the reactions of significant people in their world as they show the infant that they don’t necessarily accept, or respond benignly to its naturally flowing behaviours. The child has a choice: either adjust how they present themselves in order to fit the often fuzzy expectations of others, or carry on regardless and and suffer the consequences.
It is a constant conflict between an authentic “real-me” and an inauthentic “not-me”, one trying to dominate the other
All of us created a “not-me” to avoid the perils of being “real-me”. The trouble is that if what “real-me” simply kept getting was criticism, condemnation and punishment, the “not-me” became the only safe place to remain. Imagine an anxiously controlling mother or emotionless, rejecting father (no stereotyping here, they could easily be the other way around) – some of the non-verbal lessons to the child are fairly obvious.
The “not-me”, unfortunately, is like a false limb, it has no blood running through it. It is not the source of the life energy that flows through us unhindered when we tiny children. It sits on top of the “real-me” as a pretence, a mask, a smoke-screen.
“Real-me” doesn’t go away – it tries to beat the door down to express itself fully. It manifests in underlying feelings of dissatisfaction, frustration, “there’s got to be more that this”.
Our feelings tell us that we are not content – frustration is simply the response to an obstacle that is in the way of our essential desire to get out there. Anger is almost always a response to perceived injustice, a feeling that life has been unfair, that others seem to be doing OK so “what’s so wrong with me?”
The “real-me” is a self that has not been allowed to practice in the world, to rehearse, make mistakes, learn and develop into maturity. It is frozen and pretty clumsy. So now and again it bursts out when the energy or will to hold it in any longer simply fails. It could be tiredness, alcohol, getting into a ‘love’ relationship with somebody or simply what we call a “sod it moment” that starts it off. These outbursts tend to be out of control, manic, boundary busting. Then the shaming voices of the Meta-Schematic Belief emerge full of fear, condemnation and punishment – and they are not polite. “What the f*** did you do?”, “What will people think of you now?”, “You’d better go and hide.” Sometimes people in your circle will use these voices towards you too – “I was so ashamed of you!”
These voices and the feelings of shame and paranoia that they cause talk you back into the absolute need for the “not-me” for public display.
“Not-me” does not get the needs of “real-me” met – and this is a recipe for depression, stuckness and eventually all sorts of other problems.
“Real-me” needs parenting into the world step by step if he/she is to fulfil his/herself, parenting by a new and better parent than you had back then and became to yourself. The best parent in the world is YOU, but the only parent you know how to be is the one forced by your Meta-Schematic Belief. It is not rocket science to realise that most people simply do not parent themselves well in the world we have all constructed today.
Being ‘Real’ is the easiest thing in the world – ‘real-me’ has some growing up to do, some practicing to do, and has to be introduced to the world step by step until he/she can flow into all your relationships without having to pretend you are anything other than the authentic self that is banging on the door to get out. ‘Real-me’ has to get his/her needs met to thrive and so must be out there amongst people to be able to do just that.
Natural development is innate in us – holding it back is not natural, and that is why it is so exhausting. EMSRP restarts the natural developmental process and grows you into your own best parent. It facilitates your journey back into your social world as a developing human being.
The great thing about the authentic self is that it never stops growing and developing – it is always a work in progress. One thing leads to another to another to another. The possibilities are truly endless.