Childhood Fears, Authenticity and Happiness – Insights from the Wilderness #84

Childhood Fears, Authenticity and Happiness

Your primitive ego uses childhood fears to harm your authenticity and prevent happiness.

If your goal is authenticity and personal growth, understanding the unconscious primitive ego of your inner-child will help you discover the beams in your own eye; those fears and beliefs from childhood that have been creating so much of your unhappiness and lack of authenticity.   Your primitive ego creatively used your unique gifts and strengths to create your “false self” or “personality” as a way to hide the authentic you and help you ignore the powerful fears of childhood.   In other words, your false “personality self”, was the only “self” your childhood primitive ego decided was OK to show the world.   By the time you entered grammar school, the false self created by the primitive ego of childhood had unconsciously become the personality known as “you”.

Until we do the work of discovering how our primitive ego covered our true self under the layers of our false “personality self”, we will live our lives knowing in our hearts that we are not living authentically; that our lives are not reflecting who we really are.

Until we do this work, the authentic you, the unique essential self that you were born to be, will remain hidden. The person you were meant to be, and the life you were meant to live will remain unexpressed; hidden in the shadows of your “false self”.

The spiritual yearning that so many of us feel, the sense of emptiness, the sense that something important is missing in our lives is our authentic essential self struggling to assert itself, to make itself known. Until we awaken to the fears of childhood, there will be a wisdom at the core of our being that” knows” true happiness, our true purpose in life, and the person we were born to be, will continue to elude us.

So how do you begin to live more authentically? How do you learn to say what you really mean instead of simply saying what you think others want to hear? How do you become comfortable living in your skin, proud of the unique person you know you are inside?

The work can be challenging, but the answer is simple——-become self-aware.

We all grow up avoiding various childhood fears. Until we have the courage to confront those fears, we will struggle with unhappiness and an inability to live authentically. We will avoid conflict, or live in fear that others will go away or abandon us; the fear that they won’t come back to us. We will live our lives convinced that we are somehow flawed or not OK just as we are, or that we don’t belong, or that we’re not loveable, smart, pretty, or special. The list is endless.

Anything that could, in any way, threaten our sense of “self” in childhood is experienced as a fear by our primitive ego.

These fears are far too painful for us to fully understand or manage in childhood so our primitive ego steps in and uses its primitive understanding of the world to begin creating a “personality” or false self that will allow us to function in the world and keep our fears from entering our consciousness.

For example, our primitive ego often uses black-and-white childhood thinking to create a “perfect” self by turning all of our beliefs into self confident, absolute truths so-as-to avoid the possibility of criticism. Or it might use our tendency in childhood to be narcissistically self-focused as a way to eliminate feelings such as vulnerability.

Sometimes our primitive ego embraces vertical power or survival of the fittest thinking to create an assertive or aggressive sense of self; a person that is always in control so-as-to avoid feeling powerless. Another common personality is a false self that care-takes others and ignores self.

The most common personality type created by the primitive ego comes from the experience that everything good or bad comes from the outside world. The personality it creates is the false self that learns to value impermanent things of the world as a the  source of happiness or unhappiness; a personality addicted to stuff, power, prestige, and financial success.

The combinations of traits and survival skills used by our primitive ego’s to create our individual personality can be almost unlimited in variety, but they all represent one common theme.  Because they are personalities constructed and artificially created by our primitive ego, they do not represent our true essential or authentic self.

Until we are willing to become intentionally self-aware and embrace the courage it takes to pay attention to the negative energy we feel inside, and the negative energy we are sending into the world, the yearning we feel to live more authentically will not bring about the transformation toward authenticity we so deeply desire.

When we have the courage to intentionally look deeply into our behaviors and feelings, and sit with the childhood fears we have been reluctant to bring into our consciousness, only then we will begin to live into the authentic person we really are; the person we were born to be.

If we attempt to change who we are by force of will, it will only make the journey toward authenticity more difficult. It will only create another layer of false self; another “self” we think we “should” be. Only self-awareness can create the authenticity we hunger for.

Learn to sit with your feelings. Learn to pay attention to the behaviors and energy you are sending into the world. Explore the fears and beliefs behind those feelings and behaviors. As you do this work, the layers of personality that are keeping your authentic self hidden will slowly begin to peal away.

It is important to remind ourselves that our childhood fears will never fully go away. They will simply become conscious. And like all fears, the more you move into them, the more comfortable you are acknowledging their presence, the smaller they become. Over time, your ability to live more authentically will begin to emerge.


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