Your Authentic Self
Made in God’s Image
Humanistic Psychology begins and ends with the idea that people are fundamentally good. Some of the great thinkers of psychology; Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, Carl Jung, Rollo May, and Fritz Perls just to name a few, all believed passionately in the idea that people are good, and that what it means to be human is something beautiful, amazing and much more than we realize.
Looking at human nature from a spiritual point of view, every major religion and belief system in the world states some version of the idea that people are “made in God’s image,” that your essential nature is good and the Divine spark is at the core of who you are. In other words, your nature as a human being is fundamentally loving and that loving nature is whole, complete and perfect. The fears and emotional baggage of your ego may delude you into thinking you are less than you are, but your nature as a human being is good. Coming to understand and act upon the essential goodness and beauty of your true inner nature is the basis of emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
By extension, everyone you meet has the same intrinsic goodness and wholeness at their core as well. The remarkable beauty and perfection of the common humanity in everyone you meet hides behind the mask of their fears and their personality issues. Knowing the basic decency of our common humanity creates a foundation for healthy relationships and good communication. When you are looking for the good in people and see past the mask of their fears and their persona to the goodness of the Divine nature of the person in front of you, it becomes easy to be authentic and communicate positively with others. It becomes easy to have patience and kindness rather than judgment and criticism when the other person’s emotional baggage triggers their fear-based responses and unhealthy behavior. If instead you get stuck on their fears, anger, and emotional baggage and are unable to see past the mask they wear, then your fears will take over and you will create patterns of conflict that will dominate all your relationships.
The Fear-Based Thought System
Most of us don’t experience ourselves as whole, complete and perfect. Our fears and judgments blind us to our true nature and create patterns of dysfunctional behavior and repeating cycles of conflict with our loved ones and others that perpetuate problems in our lives. We have forgotten our Divine nature and are now acting out the drama of our lives believing we are somehow damaged goods and putting on a positive face to cover up our poor self esteem. What is so ironic is that our negative beliefs about ourselves are not even true to begin with. Our poor self esteem is made up on the fantasy of our inadequacy. Then we spend the rest of our lives trying to convince ourselves and others that we don’t really feel badly about ourselves and that we don’t really have the issues we think we have. We get depressed and feel badly about ourselves and act out our negative feelings with anger and criticism towards others, or we get grandiose and think ourselves better than others to compensate for our insecurities. We then spend our lives trying to accumulate money, prestige or power to impress everyone in order to compensate for a poor self image that was never true to begin with.
These pointless patterns of dysfunctional behavior continue in our lives until we begin to see through our fears and learn to appreciate the beauty of the Divine goodness inside ourselves and in everyone we meet. When you understand the exquisiteness of your inner nature, then unconditionally loving yourself and others is a natural byproduct which becomes a way of life that creates healthy relationships and positive synergy with the ones you love.
So how do we become lost in this trap of poor self esteem and negative or grandiose thinking? As babies we certainly did not come into the world this way. As we grow from infancy through our developmental years, we learn our fears and judgments in our developmental years and throughout the course of our lives. Ever since we were born, we were all carefully and systematically taught a fear-based thought system about ourselves and the world around us. Our parents and significant others acted according to their fears and neuroses and carefully socialized and taught us to believe their fear-based thought system. How we mentally, emotionally and physically react to Interactions with our parents, caretakers, significant others and events in our lives as we are growing creates the foundation of our habits, our thought system and our personality. Consequently, we have forgotten or lost sight of our Divine nature and have bought into the idea that we and the world around us are bad. This thought system alters our every thought and perception to validate our beliefs and fears. This fear based thought system deeply influences the basis our self perception, our decision making process and our personality.