Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois

Well, hello Faith. How are you today?

Faith 

Well, I think I’m doing pretty good.

Lois

Excellent. And I’m glad we’re still laughing. Still laughing after a podcast like last week. And I allowed myself a little more laughter. Good. Only because I started thinking of it as a practice so then I had to make sure that I wasn’t faking it. You know, you do you wonder and like think, wow, this is so interesting because there are so many benefits, which I always love to laugh, but I didn’t realize there were actual health benefits to what I was doing and so I wanted to increase the amount of time I spent laughing.

Faith 

Mm. And did you?

Lois

I think I did. I think I didn’t go to a comedy show, but I really thought about things I brought up with people and the piece that we were talking about toward the end of it, which was sharing funny events with people instead of sharing serious events, sharing the funny the light ones and how much more that brings people together as a group instead of commiserating. What is it co-laughing?. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just what comedy is about. So, well, we’d love to hear what you all think about our podcast. So however you want to communicate with us and let us know, we hope that you’re willing to share them with someone, especially if they’re making an impact in your life. Let us know which ones are making the most impact. We can see by the numbers in some ways, but we’d also would love to hear from you and if you want to go to our website and sign up for our weekly newsletter, that’s www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com. It’s free and it comes out once a week. So please dive in. So we have a lot of fun exploring how to jump into our new podcasts each week. And today we are bringing you Episode 94 transition. The Impact of the False Self.

Faith 

Hmm. Oh boy. And I can just see some people squirming right now because that false self discussion does bring up a lot of different reactions because we’ve all had to deal with it because we have a self public self but there can be more to that even too about the fact that there’s more about that false kind of disguised self and we don’t always like to talk about it but it’s so important if we’re going to find the true self.

Lois

That’s right and find out who we truly are. So the false self is an artificial persona. Maybe you created him or her early in life to protect yourself from being hurt or somebody else required that you behave in a certain way and the false self really looks pretty fine. It can be very polite, it can put on a really great show. But inside you might feel empty and phony because you know that’s not who you really are. And our word to you today as we’re doing this is the false self isn’t the end of the story. That’s right. There’s so much more and we’re really excited to share with you. So Faith, how have you dealt with the false self?

Faith 

Well, first you have to find it and really see it and acknowledge it that it does exist. And that’s kind of the first wrestling point that you don’t really want to see it. You think, well, no, I’m fine. I’m, I’m a good person. And so we put all these different labels on ourselves because we want to fit into this world. We want to fit into life itself. So it’s not about negating all of that. It is about saying, but how is it protecting me? And um, is it, does it flow freely? Is that something that I feel comfortable in my own skin? And those are some of the early signs of, Hmm, maybe I’m not in my true self. Maybe I’m in something that doesn’t quite fit. But I thought it did. And so a lot of it for me was a self-discovery, reading a lot, influences from outside from people who had worked through their false self into knowing their true self and the desire. I had a deep passion to know who I really was and I think that’s something that you have to seek out and reflect on. Do I really want this or am I content to continue to live as I am? And if you’re not content, then that’s probably a clue that you want to know more. So go after it.

Lois

We hope we’re going to give you some ideas how to do that. I know for the longest time I felt like I was wearing a costume. I mean I love to act as a kid and I loved to perform and then I chose journalism as a career for many years. It’s not that I wasn’t who I was during those times, but I would put on a persona when I did it, which again we are not at all saying the false self is bad. We needed at times and it works for us and it provides a lot of comfort. And security, but I needed it on one level and then the more light I started to show into my life, the less I needed to wear that costume every time I went out. And that was what I started to notice was I could look more like myself. And part of the way I discovered this was that I talk a lot to myself. I talk a lot to other people too, but I like to actually have conversations with myself. And that was when, you know, when I’m in the car I often don’t have anything on except for conversations, whether I’m meditating or praying or just thinking about things I need to do in the day. And then sometimes I answer myself and I go back and forth. And that’s when I started to really notice that, okay, I’m going to do this when I go to this place because I need to fit in. Like you just said, it’s not bad, but do I have to do this every time? And so it became a question and answer I was having. And for a long time I said, Nope, this is still what I need to do and I’m okay with that. But I was becoming aware of the costume I was putting on to fit into certain places.

Faith 

Awareness is key that you understand what really fits well for a good reason and rather than I need to do this because this is who I believe I am and that’s a big difference. So you do that well and I’ll, by the way, Lois is quite sane. I can vouch for that just because she talks to herself. She’s okay.

Lois

I know I always heard it’s okay for you to talk to yourself if you don’t answer, but I thought what’s the point of talking to myself if I don’t want answer – I never understood that one because I have. But anyway, the English psychoanalyst and child psychiatrist, Donald Winnicott as the one who introduced this theory of the true and the false self, it was a series of papers in the 1960s and if you want to go back and read those papers, you are welcome to do that. But he studied infants and children and he actually found at the end of the day, this is by the way, we are really condensing this, but when all is well, a child develops this false self which he described as the capacity to behave according to the demands of external reality: like going to school, you sit at the table and eat how you behave with your family developing into an adult and working and so on. When we’re able to be our true selves, we don’t have to rebel and insist on our own needs, but things don’t always go smoothly. You may have a family dynamic that wasn’t as healthy as you wish and so you started relying on that false self so that you could cope with your life.

Faith 

That is so true. Those influences that we have at home and in school and in churches, in our neighborhoods. All these different influences begin to reflect some of that what we believe needs to define us and we begin to adapt. And if it isn’t safe, if there are things that we’ve encountered that have been hurtful or painful, we will begin to put up our own defense, our own guardedness against that which becomes a part of the false self as well.

Lois

So there’s a lot to unpack today and we’re so glad you are joining us in Episode 94 Transition the Impact of the False Self. So if you’re ready, we’re going to dive into what your false self might be telling you and you know, what is the false self? Well, both Faith and I enjoy Franciscan priest and author Richard Rohr and he says something very interesting about the false self that it’s your launching pad. It can be your appearance, your education, your job, your money, your success. So you can see that none of these are bad in of themselves, but they are part of our ego that helps us get through the day. The thing is though, it doesn’t go far enough. And so if all we rely on is our false self, it’s limited. It limits our beliefs.

Faith 

It’s so limited because now we’re defined only on the external and there’s so much more to each and every one of us that resides in the internal, the things that convict us and motivate us and our passions and our dreams and our hopes, all those things of which we’ve talked about over the many months of doing this podcast. Those are integral parts of our true self and we can miss it if we just live at that surface level.

Lois

So just know where that is. We’re not saying it’s bad, right? It’s just not enough, right? If you want to keep moving forward, Faith mentioned this before. Identify your false self and we mentioned this in almost every podcast, but what you focus on is what you strengthen. So if you intentionally start directing your mind to focus on what is going on, when am I not being real with myself? You’re going to find these areas popping up because you’re asking yourself, it’s kind of like the conversation I have with myself. Because I’m asking myself what am I doing in these situations? I’m getting an answer.

Faith 

Absolutely. And when you take that time to really focus in on your reaction out of that false self and sometimes shame can be a factor that we put up the false self or fear and we quickly just kind of gloss over it and move on. But if you will listen, like you just said, if you’ll just kind of reflect on it, it’s a clue, it puts a little spotlight on, look at this, look at this. What is this? Oh my goodness. It’s shame or fear or self doubt. And so when we can allow our false self to work for us and it actually reveals things that we otherwise would be skirting by and not wanting to look at. So it’s an opportunity.

Lois

Well, and it’s waking up, isn’t it? Yes, because this is the spotlight you just mentioned. When you’re willing to slow down and focus enough to look in it, you’re basically saying, okay, what is it that’s going on here and do I want it to stay this way? And the more we allow ourselves to see this is where I really am, that’s when we can step in to another area of life because we’re waking up, we’re self-aware and we’re also finding out that if you want to identify your false self, you have to put some light on it.

Faith 

You do. And that’s what we’re most afraid of because we think if we put the light on it, we’re not going to like it. Or if we bypass the false self and we go to where we think the real self is. Some of the fears sometimes can be, I don’t think there’s a real self in there and that is the biggest lie of all. There’s always a real self in there.

Lois

Right. And that’s where if the discovery is taking place, you’re going to grab and hold onto something. You know? It’s often when we’re not paying attention, when we’re literally on autopilot that the worst kinds of thoughts come into our heads because we have no control, right? We’ve let it all go and that’s when we rehearse incidents that haven’t even happened but we think might happen and we get ourselves into this little tizzy when we focus and say held on what am I really thinking, what’s really happening here? We ground ourselves and I think that helps us in this next step and then establish a practice. When you’re starting to like let go of some of these things, what do you do with them?

Faith 

That’s really good. You let go of them. You have to replace it so you cannot let go of something and not begin to understand what is going to replace that false self, which is so important of of it’s not the all or nothing. You don’t just say, okay, I’m going to get rid of my false self. You can’t do that. You have to understand it. You have to see where it came from, what’s kind of the historical threads that kind of wove that altogether for you. And then like you said, what do you want to do about it? And some of these things are keepers for sure because they are a part of who we are. But the things that maybe have been our defense, our protectiveness, the things that maybe we’ve shunned or pushed people away because of it. Those are the things that are saying that’s not really you. You know, if you’re a compassionate person, we want the compassion to rise. We don’t want it to be, I don’t ever want to care about somebody again. So false self will say I don’t care. And the true self will say I am caring. And so that’s how we want to sift out the difference between the false and the real. And it takes practice.

Lois 

It does. And sometimes you know, journaling about it, like we talked before, talking to friends about it. I mean getting it out. We always say that once you have an idea, if it stays just an idea, it doesn’t go very far. If you want it to go someplace, you need to find a way to express it. So whether that’s writing for you, whether that’s walking in nature and speaking wherever you are or speaking to a friend or a close friend, those are the kinds of ways that you can start to put some muscle behind this idea that you’re trying to move from the false self into where your true self is. Good. So we do have a new sponsor for our podcast, Affordable Aesthetics, and we’d like to introduce you to Anna Twerskoi. She’s an expert in skincare and she’s passionate about helping people like you look and feel their best.

Faith 

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Lois

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Faith 

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Lois

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Faith 

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Lois

You’re listening to mortal life with faith and Lois and we’re on episode 94 Transition the Impact of the False Self, so now if you are ready to dive into a path to release your false steps, here are some ideas on how to go about doing that and we’ve kind of mentioned it already to begin with, but now we’re, we’re finding out who you really are and when you start to find out who you really are, you’re going to get a little opposition.

Faith 

Not to say that lightly. Maybe a lot of opposition. Yeah, there’s always this internal conflict about what has become so familiar, so ingrained, so interwoven into our very fiber of existence to begin to really believe what we are discovering and how to balance that and how to become more of that so that you feel first, initially that resistance within yourself. Then you may begin to feel some external resistance as well from other people, right?

Lois

Because people have gotten used to us living in a certain way, and so when we start to identify and start to shed, we’re going to have a battle. How do you deal with some of those judgements and negative emotions and destructive influences? Because those voices in your head will do a big rallying cry to say, well, wait a second. You’re not so bad like this, even though you’re not good like this. I mean, there’s just this stuff going on. So instead of all of that, what happens when you come down to this is you.

Faith 

Mm. One of the first things, as you move into some acceptance, that’s when you can finally get past some of the intense battle. Then there’s more the embracing of, I maybe don’t understand the salt, but I am going to accept what I’m beginning to see about my true self and that’s not easy.

Lois

That’s not easy. Then we look at those imperfections from a different way. Instead of those being things that we have to fix all the time. We’re basically beginning to see that we’re whole, even with our imperfections. And that’s a very new way.

Faith 

Yeah. Or they’re healing or they’re being transformed or we’re growing or we’re developing, or they’re an opportunity. Those little flaws that we see about ourselves are just an opportunity to say, Hmm, how could I do that differently? Or how is it working for me and how is it not working for me? And those are the adjustments we make. So they’re no longer flaws. They’re the opportunities. And that’s a whole different way of looking at it.

Lois

You know, when we’re accepting ourselves, we also get to say, so what really motivates me, and if indeed most of your motivation has come from the exterior source of pleasing others or finding your way to fit into a certain structure, maybe what motivates you is not vastly different. But it’s a shift and you’re like, well, I actually like to look at it from this perspective when I’ve always been looking at it from another perspective over here. Accepting yourself allows you to say, this is what I would like to do.

Faith 

Another one is to honor the emotions. And this is critical. It’s vital. We tend to be so dismissive of what we feel. And if you are not blending the heart and the mind, you are not balanced because you are both. The false self sometimes, oftentimes approaches it from a very linear perspective. This is how you behave, this is what you do. And so it’s what we’ve learned to live life out. And it’s like we said, it’s good, but if you leave the heart out, something’s missing. And the heart oftentimes is a piece of where we listened to it and say, what is this offering and how does it change my perspective on what I am doing and how do I feel about what am I doing? Then if you don’t like it, it’s an opportunity to change it because maybe there needs to be changes in what you’re doing.

Lois

Yeah, and it’s so hard. Faith or you bring it up when you want to honor your emotions. Some of us run from emotions, you know, we do.That’s the one piece. Look, I’ll make all these changes, but don’t make me feel like something’s going on. And so we’ll stop. The wonderful beauty of life, if you’re actually moving toward wanting to find your true self is you’ll get, you’ll come back. So you can either face it now, right? Or we promise you in a few weeks or months, you’re going to be facing it again. Absolutely. When do you want to face it? I know, right?

Faith 

And it’s okay to cry. I mean, you’re going to feel sadness, you’re gonna feel grief, you’re gonna feel lost at times. And when you’re actually kind of pulling out of that snake skin of the false self into becoming the new self, it’s painful. And there’s going to be some ripping apart of some things that you’re going to want to be letting go and that hurts. And so tears may come. So don’t repress that. Grieve it. Say farewell and begin to see what is emerging.

Lois

And then embrace yourself. Yes, because this is the moment, and Faith you brought this up earlier, it’s not just yourself. Do you sit there and go, wow, I’m not sure I can really do this, but people who have long seen you in a certain light are not ready to see this change and generally when you are moving from the false self to your true self, it doesn’t happen overnight. You know what the process, but even that process, some people are not as supportive of and so how do you take care of yourself? How do you embrace yourself in this change, in this focus, change that you’re doing. It is beautiful thing, but know that taking care of yourself during this time is going to be really important.

Faith 

One mantra you want to keep saying over and over in your head is I’m listening to what is true. I’m listening to what is true because you are going to have things in your own head and outside influences that are going to say, this isn’t – what are you doing? This isn’t right. What do you, you know, you’re not the like you used to be. You’ve changed. That’s a big thing. I saw a cartoon that said of a husband saying to his wife, you’ve changed and the next cartoon is, as she says, you’re supposed to.

Lois

Imagine that.

Faith 

Because the funny thing, and this is, this is what makes this so funny, she’s now a butterfly and he’s still in the Chrysalis.

Lois

Ah, just happened a little faster.

Faith 

Yes. Right.

Lois

You’ll get there honey. Really you will and you know sometimes the way we can offer a statement to someone who is like uncomfortable is exactly, I love that. Well, you know you’re supposed to and you will too or something so that they know it’s not an affront to who they are. Right. But this is a change about who we are, who you are and keep that in front of the mind and then embrace and move on with yourself.

Faith 

Yes. There is so much more to who you are. You want to find it. Yes. As you begin to uncover your true self, you might realize that much of what you thought about yourself was there to give you a sense of a place in the world.

Lois

So letting go of that false self is a call to abandon the thoughts of who you think you are in place of finding a stronger sense of self.

Faith 

Be present in all you do so that you can create the life you want. And please share this podcast.

Lois

And join us next week for Transition, the Impact of Intimidation.

Faith                  

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website, and please subscribe.

Lois                       

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.