“Deep down, I manipulated the way others thought so that I would look good to them.” Anne Lafarnge
Does that sound familiar at all? Maybe you are not that duplicitous, consciously, but in some ways we have all done this. Don’t we manipulate others’ thoughts when we project ourselves a certain way for the express purpose of trying to gain some sort of emotional response? What about when we want them to think we are a little different than those who know us best?
Sometimes, what we feel naturally expresses itself in our body language. We may very naturally look sad about something, but sometimes we affect sadness in order to gain sympathy. “What’s wrong? You look so down.” Or maybe it’s more like “Wow! That’s a big wad of cash you are carrying.” Fronts and affectations. You can project yourself in a myriad of ways and evoke responses from others, and when it is done to manipulate them — whether consiously or not — then it comes from ego.
Maybe our ego is hurt or needs to be stroked, so we slavishly try to conform to others’ expectations, even though it’s not the true you or me. The important thing to remember is that if we are not displaying our core Self, then people won’t identify with us or relate to us in the way we need — a genuine relationship. That only creates more ego needs, and a vicious circle begins. So, what’s an alternative?
The opening quote introducing this post is spoken by Anne Lafarnge, one of the main characters in my novel, The Fellowship of the Heart. The novel traces the self-awakening of Eric and Anne Lafarnge. The voice of their own hearts helps them. Anne is brought to the realization that she has constructed an image of herself to project to others, an image that effectively manipulates the way others think about her. This hides who she really is, and it has prevented her from joy and sincerity in her life as well as causing problems in her marriage.
Do you think it would do the same to us? I know it has for me at times. We want people to think well of us or fear us or feel sorry for us, etc., so we give a false sense of who we are — consciously or not. The only solution is to listen to that inner voice. It might help to read the novel, but you can’t quite yet!
You can, however, begin speaking to your heart at any time. I do frequently. I ask. I listen. I think.
Who am I, really?
Am I living that Self and not trying to project anything to anyone?(Extremely challenging for me; maybe not as much for you.)
What is my purpose?
What is my vision?
Am I doing what I’m doing because it is directly involved in living my purpose (or at least indirectly and helping me move that way)?
Anne Lafarnge discovers Self, purpose, and vision. What about you?
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!