The biggest cause, I believe, of unhappiness, illness, both emotional and physical, feeling lost, discontent and a host of other issues is due to the abandonment of the Self.
What do I mean by this?
Abandonment of the Self typically occurs for most people at a young age, from around ages 5-15, but it can occur at any age. This abandonment, or disconnection from our true Self, happens when we feel that in order to gain the love, acceptance and approval of those we care about, that we need to change who we are in some way and conform to their expectations and beliefs. These expectations also come from our schooling, our religious upbringing and from the society we grow up in. For some, this self- abandonment is also a matter of survival in order to try to avoid different types of abuse from those around them by conforming or adapting to unpredictable and dangerous situations.
Unfortunately, most of us never realize or understand that this has happened and spend our entire lives disconnected from our original spirit, hopes and dreams that we had before the self-abandonment occurred. And so, we end up living a life created around a false self, feeling lost, dissatisfied with life and discontent. Many struggle with chronic physical and emotional issues that never seem to resolve, never understanding where they are coming from. Others face addictions, ongoing relationship problems, issues with anger, anxiety, depression, etc. And yet others spend their lives trying to fill this emptiness through material possessions, their careers, power, authority and fame.
We constantly look outside of our Selves for relief and to fill the void, never understanding that the only way it can be healed is to reconnect back to our original Self-- our True Self.
This can often take a tremendous amount of courage, as it means peeling away the layers of masks we have created over the years for the different people and situations in our lives. We have the mask we wear when we are at work, the mask at home, the mask with our family members, the mask with our friends and the list goes on and on. We've created so many different "Selves"that we don't even know who we are any more. And to begin changing this can cause a lot of discomfort to us and those around us. That's why most people never pull their masks away-- for fear of what will happen if they do. Fear of what others will think and say, and most of all, what they themselves will feel, think and say.
Sound familiar? You're not alone. Truly.
I myself have struggled with this and continue to uncover old masks that I need to shed. But each time I discover a new one, it's an opportunity to return closer back to my True Self. To go "home" again. To get back to the young, independent and free-spirited girl that hugged boulders and wanted to learn how to ride a bike on her own. The little girl that wore a bikini with her belly hanging out and was proud of it and who wasn't afraid to walk up to a group of teenage boys at a hotel pool in Las Vegas during a family vacation and ask them to show her how to dive from the big diving board. This young girl, as well as every young girl and boy, has an eternal amount of wisdom, spirit, creativity and enthusiasm to share with the world. They know what they want and they don't apologize for it. They run, play, sing, laugh and dance freely without worrying what others think and they revel in the small pleasures of life that come with feeling amazed by the world around them. These parts of our Selves have endless dreams, hopes, creativity and desires and they need to be remembered and honored in order for us to thrive and to be whole human beings and not just a bunch of confused masks walking around.
So the question to start asking ourselves is, where did this part of me go? When did it disappear and why? And what parts of the real Me have I forgotten about and covered up? And ultimately, to begin the process of reconnecting to that part of our Self. To stop pretending and to start being honest and authentic, and to unabashedly be our dancing, singing, laughing, outspoken, boulder hugging Selves.
Tania Manczarek is a licensed psychotherapist, intuitive energy healer, certified massage practitioner and hypnotist from Los Angeles, now living in the south of France. Tania has her own private practice offering distant psychotherapy and energy healing and also organizes holistic, wellness retreats in France. If you would like to know more about her or her healing community, go to www.mymindbodyhealing.com.