Authenticity: I am I. You are You.
The Gestalt prayer was written by Fritz Perls, a great neuropsychiatric psychoanalyst who, together with his wife Lore Posner, worked to give a simple explanation of how we create our world. Together, they helped us to understand that in our wanting to please others, we become our own executioner and that valuing our own reality is the first step toward understanding ourselves and moving forward.
I do my thing.
You do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations.
You are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are You.
I am I.
If by chance we find each other,
If not, it can’t be helped.
I lack love for myself
when, in any attempt to please you, I betray myself.
I lack love for you
when I try to make you be the way I want
instead of accepting you the way you really are.
You are You and I am I.
The truth is that the lies that hurt us the most are not so much the ones we tell, as the ones we experience. There are moments in our lives when we can make the mistake of living a false reality that we sometimes even end up believing.
Living in a cage that we created ourselves means believing in one set of values and following another, acting strong when we’re not, feeling scared and faking it, showing interest we don’t have, and countless other possibilities.
Actually, we all create this false reality at some point in our lives. It’s extremely common; we do it to earn respect, money, power, or prestige. This not only implies deceiving others, but also rejecting ourselves and not believing in what we think and feel as unique individuals.
We reflect our diminished authenticity at many moments in our lives. In fact, the way we fail is often as simple as just denying that we ate the last bit of chocolate that was left in the cabinet or we weren’t the first ones to see the tear in the curtains.
Why is self deception so common?
This is really all strongly related to the way in which our parents and society have been educating us since we were little. Right from birth, we have been indoctrinated to suppress our feelings and emotions, to avoid expressing what is real and what we truly feel.
We have created an exterior that looks nothing at all like the inner experience that we are actually having. It often happens that our ideals are not the ones we fight for and that our ideas, our fear, and our objectives do not correspond to the reality that we are expressing.
All of this has very negative repercussions on our life development and ends up encouraging us to put on the mask that we have been making since our most tender childhood days. In general, our parents and teachers have invited us to reject emotions like anger, fear, or pain, which has brought us to hide them.
This is why we believe that we can become indifferent to these emotions when in reality that is impossible. Fear, pain, or anger are always there and form a large part of our life experience. However, we tend to act strong and emotionally repress the frustration and manifestation of pain.
Another one of the contradictions that we absorb like sponges from a young age is whether or not it is good to lie. Older people do it while telling us not to, and to add insult to injury, as we start to become more aware of the things happening around us, we notice that we have to accept it and sometimes take part in it, too. In this way, we become confused.
Keeping our self-esteem high and showing our true self won’t please everyone, but it does offer us authentic, pure, open, sincere, and independent relationships.
Accepting ourselves and being true to who we really are will keep us from fearing what we want and who we are. We must do it, even if we awaken envy in the hearts of those who haven’t dared unify their interior and exterior truths.
Being authentic and maintaining a healthy self-esteem helps us to distance ourselves from the false side, encouraging us to be ourselves at all times and not to forget to love ourselves the way that way that we deserve.