In my life, I feel like I struggle to be authentic. To fully express myself.
And I don’t mean 20% or 40% authentic. I mean 100% authentic.
As a student of life, I ask myself: why is that?
Few nights ago I was digging the Bright Side of YouTube, listening to a talk on Authenticity by Dr. Gabor Maté.
And while listening, I had one of those moments when I feel like all my chakras have magically aligned and I have been given the keys to the Kingdom of Knowledge!
Here is the insight that fired me up. As clear as I can put it.
It’s about childhood, and how we are molded by it.
Basically, during the first years of our lives, we all have two major needs:
1. The need of Attachment
Attachment means the need to be in the proximity of another human being for the purpose of being taken care of. As infants in fact, being the least mature, most dependent and most helpless of any newborn creature, we need attachment to survive. We can’t make it on our own.
But we also have another need.
2. The need for Authenticity
To be authentic is to be in touch with ourselves, our gut feelings, our emotions.. and being able to express them.
This might not look like a primary need, but it is. For many years in the past listening to our gut feelings was also key to survival.
And now comes the interesting part.
What happens to a child when the need for authenticity threatens the need of attachment?
Let’s say that we get angry, or annoyed or disappointed at our parent or educators for some reasons. And it’s important to say that as children we can get emotional for many reasons, even stupid ones. If the parent or educator makes us feel, repeatedly enough over time, that we should not be angry, or annoyed, or disappointed towards them, we will probably suppress the emotion in order to maintain the attachment relationship.
We adapt, unconsciously.
So we learn to go through life suppressing our emotions/authenticity just to be loved/attached.
Boom. Bingo! That’s why.
Now, for sure it’s a bit more complex than that.
But that freaking makes a lot of sense. It would explain things like:
-why we hesitate so much before expressing anything
-why we are so scared to live our own emotions
-why we don’t develop a strong intuition-based decision making
-why we are so fucking attached to people and struggle to let them go
-why we care so much about other people’s approval
..and so on.
I mean, that’s a big deal of shit right there.
Definitely something to ponder upon.
Gabor closes his talk with a positive note, he believes we can unlearn what we have learned along the way. Our essence, our authenticity, it’s still here and we can get back in touch with it at any time.
How? Well, that’s up to us to figure it out.
Still, I believe it’s a great insight to take our struggles much less personally and understanding ourselves on a deeper level.
Just needed to share this.