Who is the real you? Do you find yourself hiding your innermost thoughts and feelings from others? This is a natural behavior of human beings. It is because we are afraid of how others will react. There are certain norms and societal standards that we need to adher.. Society expects us to act a certain way. There are standards for beauty, for what is good behavior and what is successful. We receive harsh judgment if we do not conform. As a result, we become experts on hiding our true selves. We project an image to society based on what we think is acceptable. This is our persona. But behind the persona lies a different side that we keep to ourselves. The black swan is a metaphor that pertains to our ‘other self’ – the self that we hide from others.
What mask are you wearing? And it is not about any form of physical mask. The truth is every human being wears a mask. In fact, we even wear multiple masks. We act differently in front of family, friends, boss, colleagues, etc. Sometimes, it becomes so natural that we begin to forget who we really are as a person. This is a natural behavior but if done for a long time, unhappiness will kick in because your other self will try to set itself free. It is also draining and exhausting to maintain a facade in front of others.
Have you ever experienced having it all yet you still feel unhappy? Maybe you are successful in your career but for some reason, something is missing. That’s the effect of trying to suppress the other self. The unexpressed part of an individual is known as the shadow. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychoanalyst, described shadow as the unknown dark side of the personality. Sometimes, shadow manifests itself through dreams and visions.
Slowly, I open my eyes. I’m in my workroom, it’s my studio. The darkness in waves brings agony but I’ll never give up. Inside I saw myself, myself…– Black Swan, BTS
Journey to Self-Discovery
To be able to live life to the fullest, one needs to take the journey to self-discovery. Who we are as a person is not just our persona but it’s the combination of both the persona and the shadow. instead of suppressing the shadow, it is best to embrace it. Recognize your faults, weaknesses, inferiorities, issues, anxieties and even false beliefs. That’s the only way to conquer the shadow. It is only through this do we get to understand our true self and who we really are as a person. From there, we become conscious of the unconscious mind. Moreover, we give ourselves the power to control and improve our conscious mind.