Being in touch with your ‘Self’ is a prerequisite for being a ‘whole’ person with a healthy body and a healthy mind. This combination makes for a productive and successful life. Being ‘in touch with yourself’ can only happen if you actually have a Sense of your Self. So a Sense of Self is necessary if you want to live up to your potential. ‘Natural’ in a ‘Natural Sense of Self’ means a Sense of Self which is developed at the right time, in an adequate way in the natural order in the development and growth of a human being.
Despite our talk about ‘having’ a Natural Sense of Self, it is really a verb and not a noun. A Natural Sense of Self rather than being a ‘thing’ is our ongoing connecting to the core of our being. Having a Natural Sense of Self is natural and meant to develop in the natural course of childhood, and therefore can be described as a healthy way of relating to our own being, which is our uttermost authentic potential and manifestation as a person. Please check back on Introduction to Natural Sense of Self.
In case this development isn’t supported, is thwarted, or for some other reason doesn’t take place, the void that forms due to the absence of this natural development is comparable to a ‘Black Hole.’ This analogy is used to point out to two similarities: the total void inside the psyche of the person and the gigantic suction that is generated by this void to fill up the hole with something, anything that gives structure to the psyche. The suction applies to the positively reinforced behavior that reduces the child’s negative experiences (pleasing behavior in all kinds of forms.)
The negative experience that caused the hole in the psyche of the person in the first place is the lack of acknowledgement of the young person by the parent. The observations and deductions done during the time the Early Childhood Survival Strategy was formed are what is closest to getting the gaping need met of being acknowledged as an independent and potentially autonomous person. The degree to which one seems to be able to live up to those conditions seems to be crucial in this process. So over time this ‘Black Hole’ is filled by a structure of some sort that measures the degree to which one is or isn’t able to live up to the early Early Childhood Survival System-conditions (the Ego-References. The degree to which one is or isn’t able to live up to these conditions is determining the degree of ‘Self-experience’. In other words one could state that in case there is no ability to live up to the Youth Survival System conditions, there is a form of ‘dissociation’ at play. The person experiences this (Substitute) Sense of Self only if there is a certain degree of success in the task of living up to the conditions. His or her own personal being is not in the game at all.
This substitute way of Sensing the Self consists of a whole network of conditions and rules of behavior. Fulfilling the conditions and abiding by the rules ultimately becomes the one and only way for the person to ‘feel-good-about-him/her-Self’. This desired state, which is nothing more than a (perceived) virtual approval of the parent, functions as a sort of psycho-emotional ‘high’ and equals a ‘reward’. Ultimately this state becomes the way the person relates to as him/her self which explains the compulsion for it to be renewed over and over again: if that state of ‘reward’ isn’t reached or within scope there is a sense of not-being (seen by the parent). This state is the Substitute Sense of Self.
It is a challenge to put a Sense of Self in place where there is never experienced one. Still I see ‘restoring a sense of Self in a person’ as the only sincere and integer solution to get her out of the trouble zone. Having a Lack of Sense of Self results in an automatic set up of a ‘Substitute Sense of Self’ which generates a great number of problems, including but not limited to compulsion, disease, dysfunction and even WAR.
For a detailed study of the signs and symptoms please proceed to the page with the Chart that compares the Natural-, Substitute and Restoring the Sense of Self. Restoring the Sense of Self of a person eliminates many of those symptoms and leads to a more peaceful and more successful life and a better world. For more details, read the Introduction to Restored Sense of Self.
or to go into more details: Introduction to the Natural Sense of Self