The Core Self and The Edge Self
When we think about ourselves and who we are, we think of the things that we are and do, feel and believe. All of these things make up the person that we are, and we try hard to hold on to each of them – these things are ‘us’. However, this doesn’t always work for us.
Who we think ourselves to be
The things that we believe that we are can be both complex and simple. It can be about what we say, what we think and what we feel but also be about who our partners are, who our children are, our job, our sporting team, the newspaper we read, the type of car we drive, the clothes we wear and many other things. In other words, it can be things that are quite central to our personality and physical being, and other things are more at the edge.
Problems with identification
One of the difficulties with identifying with things that are at the edge of us is that these things are out of our control. When we so closely identify with things that are outside of our control we risk losing them or being hurt by them – we lose our jobs, sporting teams lose games, newspapers change owners, car manufacturers go out of business, fashions change. To identify so closely with these sorts of things puts ourselves at risk to some extent.
Knowing the centre
In some cases we identify closely with these things at the edge of us because we don’t really know and understand the things at the centre of us, and so can’t strongly identify with them. A process of psychotherapy can help you better understand the things at the centre of you and this can help you become less attached to the things at the edge.
– Tim Hill
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