Identity: Exploring the Presented Self Vs Real Self

Every person I have worked with has at some point in their life has felt as though they are living a life that seems not of their own free will, as though they were battling for their identity with a fictional “presented” self and a core of being called true or “real” Self.

How is this possible to feel as though we are inhabited by two separate parts, aspects or entire identities?

We are born into the world as pliable clay with our own temperaments and tendencies which through the conditioning of family and society molds and shapes the clay in the assigned artist styles of others. This process as much as it is necessary and unavoidable, a condition of being human, violates a deep sense of who we really are… Self, not self. The distinction here is self is conditionally created where as Self is forever unchangeable and lays initially in the background of experience, and then through the process of healing, becomes the foreground.

The presented self is the one we learn to wear and present to the outside world in order to survive and get our needs met. Yet as much as we keep presenting this self, it feels ultimately unsatisfying… as though we keep trying to feed the presented self through means that can not feed the Self.

Why do we do that?

The presented self is like a layer of film covering up the Self… the denser the self becomes, that’s a complex process which is based on temperament and outer influences, will determine how far we feel from Self. So, depression and anxiety are direct experiences representing the thickness of the film… the further we are from Self, the more pressure we feel, the weight of the film squeezes the Self which responds with energy to grab our attention called depression and anxiety.

The more trauma we experience, the more separation we experience from Self, because the presented self works to protect us from harm but always at a price… the opportunity to let go, learn, and grow, so we therefore forgo vitality for safety.

The presented self feels to us like a mirage, as though it’s fake as though it’s a facsimile of the real Self. The presented self is felt like a mask we wear to keep away deeply repressed material that needs attending for the Self to shine through the clouds.

As we create the sacred inner space for repressed material, we will realize that we are not bad or incapable which we almost always learn in the molding process.

Let’s examine this process… when something happens that we find overwhelming, we will push it away and it goes into the unconscious with a price… it creates an energy waiting for release… like a blocked valve…

Then… as the material remains repressed we start to feel that something is wrong but we can’t identify it and therefore the self becomes the source of frustration and abuse… it’s like an auto-immune disease… in which we attack ourselves for the trauma and coping we needed.. but without the release and assimilation of repressed material the self is blamed for the difficulties in life and is assigned to be bad…

The situation is now toxic because now there is no processing of repressed material and a bad self.. so what happens then… negative coping like self abusive patterns.. you can imagine the range of those mechanisms.

About Alex Boianghu

Journey to Wholeness - About Alex Boianghu - Psychotherapist | IdentityWith Journey to Wholeness, my aim is to make psychotherapy readily available to everyone around the world in the comfort and privacy of their homes.

From my perspective, the goal of therapy is to let go of outdated ways of living that make you feel “stuck” or “in survival mode”, so that you can live in freedom, joy and success. You can learn more about me here.

In addition to psychotherapy, I am offering a variety of courses, practices, articles and videos covering a wide range of psycho-spiritual topics. Please feel free to get in touch with me for a free 15-minute consultation in which we can address your questions and discuss a plan of action for your specific needs.

I am deeply moved to walk together on the path of healing with YOU.  Join me!

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