Self Knowledge is the Beginning to Self Mastery
Do you know who you are? You’re a
Uncle or aunt
Niece or nephew
But who are you? Really?
More than twenty years ago when I was procrastinating for the CPA exam I stumbled upon the encyclopedia of sociology (yes, I was that board:) A social psychologist named Stryker hypothesized what became known as Stryker’s Identity Theory stating the structural symbolic interactionist perspective… essentially that the self” is essentially all of the roles which we play in life assembled upon an imaginary pyramid. Each role is subconsciously given a level of importance and priority which determines the behavioal outcome in any given situation.
You see, you play a lot of different roles. But what happens when the situation gets complicated. For example, you’re speaking with your child and your boss walks in? Or your a college student hanging with the guys at the bar and your grandmother walks in. Or you have a day off and decide to play golf with colleagues or take your kids to a park? Which role wins the day? Right? You’d never speak to your boss like you speak to your baby…of course they are both the authentic yet multifaceted “you” but the face that you show them are entirely different aspects of your …self. But not so fast.
Who are you on a desert island?
You see, Stryker is a social psychologist presenting a societal perspective. Without the society where do you stand? When we categorize our roles into three basic categories a different picture emerges. You and your fellow humans You and the Infinite One Above Time and Space You and…yourself. You …your soul….and your self. On a desert island you are left with relating to G-d and yourself. Now lets bounce back to Stryker. Who are you? Well, there are two new roles that we need to add to the subconscious pyramid. You in relation to G-d You in relation to …yourself.
How do you prioritize these two new roles? See, some people place themselves at the bottom of the pyramid. Everyone else’s opinions and needs come first. Their own needs and feelings are at the bottom of the list. These are peace makers and appeasers and pleasers. Other people place themselves at the top of the list. They need others to honor them so they can reinforce their self love even at the expense of others. And people do the same with Gd. Some people put Gd above all other relationships and sadly hurt those around them in the name of worship even though upon further investigation their own religion probably doesn’t condone hurting others. Others put Gd at the bottom of the pyramid and worship public opinion before all.
At the end of the day, it is helpful to know what your internal world looks like…including this subconscious pyramid of roles we all play. First we must recognize the roles we play, then we must recognize the priorities we give these roles. Only then can we consciously design our ideal self as it relates to others. What are you waiting for? Isn’t it about time that we make the time to …begin. You can schedule a visit here.