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  • Writer's pictureVlada Zapesotsky

Share your True Self with me

In my opinion, one of the biggest cultural rituals is the presentation of the social self, the external story that people create as a part of the cultural tradition. This is one of the cultural myths that I’ve been examining for a long time as a part of my personal and professional journey. This observation comes from my own story of consistent movement, from one country, language, culture, and society to another. This international experience allowed me to realize that the story that truly counts is the one that I hear from the inside, in a sense that the external circumstances may change, but what stays is my own unique view of the reality.

I noticed that I am playing a long-time accepted game, which if I play right, presenting a culturally correct/appropriate version of myself, gives me a key to the social world. It is a game which I learned to play very well in different settings and decorations, but this is not the true story of who I really am. So, I began to relate to this cultural ritual as a game, not something that I take seriously but respecting the rules when I need to. With that observation, my own view of people and myself changed significantly. I could still absorb the external information that people shared about themselves, as a part of a cultural ritual, but became very attentive to when people were able to release the social appearance and share a piece of a story that comes from the inside, openly and spontaneously. I treasure these rare moments of connection with my whole heart. I allowed myself to release this need to be socially presented and defined in a certain way and began to listen more and more to my own truth, my inner story which appeared to be very different from what I knew about myself, regarding my life circumstances. My work as a therapist became much clearer and focused because of this care and attention to creating a healing space where the person can find his/her own truth that lies under all the social and cultural norms that come from their near and far environment.

My hope and belief are that we all can critically examine this specific cultural myth as an only way of a social connection and create a new cultural conserve of a deep human connection, from heart-to-heart.

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