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How To Love Yourself First
The least-honored–and most powerful path to self-love
Ken Page L.C.S.W. Ken Page L.C.S.W.
“The great psychoanalytic theorist Donald Winnicot said, “Only the true self can be creative and only the true self can feel real.” I would add that only the true self can bear the risk of deep intimacy.
Every time we face the choice to share our deeper self, we stand at a precipice. Often, it’s just too scary to take the step forward.
Imagine taking a pet you love and putting it in a yard with an invisible electric fence. When it moves outside its allowed space, it gets stunned by an unexpected shock. It will only take a few jolts before your pet gets the message: if it goes too far, punishment will be instantaneous. In a short period of time, your pet won’t act as if the borders even exist; it will simply avoid them. If pushed closer to the danger zone, it will exhibit increasing signs of anxiety. The world outside the fence just isn’t worth the pain.
Now imagine turning off the charge from the invisible fence, and then placing a bowl of food outside its perimeter. Your pet might be starving, but it will still be terrified to enter into the newly free space. And when it finally crosses the line, it does so with trembling; anticipating the pain of new shocks. It is the same with us; even though we yearn for the freedom of our true self, some deep reflexive instinct still tries to protect us from being hurt again.”
Originally posted 2016-06-11 20:19:48.