The True Self Series
Welcome! This series is focused on encouraging you to reflect on your true self. Your true self transcends the habits and patterns you developed during childhood, as well as your cultural influences. Your true self is the wise seed within you that strives to experience the full expression of your connection to others, your sense of purpose, your joy, and the recognition of your self-worth. This authentic self is a reflection of your true nature and deepest desires.
One of the benefits of the work I do with individuals and couples is clarifying and practicing how to identify and speak from this deeper sense of self. In this series, we will look at characteristics of the true self.
I am creative rather than conditioned.
My true self is creative. Each day is a new opportunity, and I meet it with inspiration and creativity.
I realize there may be unexplored options for interacting with others. So, I ask myself, "Is what I am doing helpful?" I strive to release habitual responses and patterns that are not resulting in happiness or feelings of connection. Rather, I open myself to new possibilities.
I take time to fully perceive my physical and emotional experiences without judgment or hasty conclusions. I observe my inclination to revert to habituated responses rather than act on impulse. It is in that time of perceiving that I also invite new ideas and possibilities for responding. I give myself permission to experiment with bringing love, humor, kindness, curiosity, fun, appreciation, positivity, and other attributes to the situation.
I release expectations regarding the other person's response. What matters is my willingness to creatively engage with my life and my relationships. My creativity gives me new experiences, new information, and new possibilities in the repertoire of my possible responses.
Finding Healthy Alternatives
Identify a default behavior you don’t like. Write down a healthy alternative.
For example, if you identified the behavior of being impatient. Your healthy alternative is likely to be, patient. If you wrote, quick to anger. Your healthy alternative might be, listening.
Now write 1-3 new behaviors you might try that would be consistent with the healthy alternative. Next write 2-3 feelings you would feel if you were successfully doing the healthy alternative. Finally, write 1-2 thoughts you will need to have to support yourself in doing the healthy behavior.
The following is an example:
Healthy Alternative: Patience
What I would be doing if I was being patient:
- I would be breathing deeply and giving the other person time to fully express themselves.
- I would be having open non-verbal communication like nodding my head to communicate my interest.
- I would stop what I am doing and make eye contact to show the other person that I have time for them.
What I would feel if I was being patient:
Thoughts I will need to have in order to support myself being patient:
- "The other person’s experience of being heard is my priority."
- "I have enough time to both listen and express myself."
©2021 Laura Aube
In Imago therapy, I help clients learn to dialogue in a way that expresses their own authentic self while at the same time empowering the authentic self of their partner. To schedule an Imago Couples Sessions or Individual session, call (816) 359-1885.
If you know someone who would benefit from this series or from my services, please feel free to share.
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Thank you! Laura
Laura Aube, LPC, ATR-BC, Certified Imago Therapist
Laura Aube is a licensed Counselor in the State of Missouri. She has advanced training as a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, as well as a fully-credentialed Art Therapist. Laura has twenty-five years of experience as a therapist and specialized expertise in grief, trauma, couples, and family therapy.