by Frank M Wanderer
Who or what am I? I’m just the sum of my personal life story, memories, experiences, thoughts and sufferings? Or is therein me a hidden dimension of a mysterious Consciousness, which is superimposed by the noise of my personal life stories?
Let’s find together the answers to these questions!
We request you to have a brief rest on your spiritual Journey and play with us for a few minutes. What you need is a blank sheet of paper, a pen, and half an hour of free time. If you have all these, the game may start!
Before starting, please divide the sheet into four equal parts, and number the parts clockwise, starting in the upper left corner. The first task is to ask yourself the question:
What Do I Think of Myself?
Who am I? What kind of a person am I? How could I describe myself?
In box no. 1 enter all thoughts that you have about yourself. It is important to answer not only the question “Who am I?” (e. g. I am a human being, a man, woman, husband etc.) but also to the question “What kind of a person am I?” (e. g. I am honest, I do not forgive easily etc.). If you have a break, you do not have any idea for a few minutes, no problem; do not give up. Be patient, perhaps some important information that you have not yet written down, will come to your mind. If nothing important comes, finish the task.
The next turn in the game is to count how many expressions you have used to characterize yourself. Enter the figure into the lower left corner. When ready, examine the terms and decide whether they are positive, negative or neutral. In the end, count the positive, negative and neutral terms you have used to describe yourself. Write these numbers into the lower right corner.
As the second task of the game, ask yourself the following question:
What kind of a person I would like to be?
As the third task of the game, ask yourself this question:
What kind of a person would other people (my husband, wife, children, boss etc.) like to see me?
In box no. 3 of the sheet write down every idea that occurs to you about this question. When you have run out of ideas, finish the exercise.
As the fourth task of the game, ask yourself this question:
What kind of a person am I in other people’s eyes?
In box no. 4 of the sheet write down every idea that occurs to you about this question. When you have run out of ideas, finish the exercise.
If you have some more time, you can do this task together with your wife, husband, children, friends etc. In this way you will be given a more detailed image of what kind of a person others see you.
When the four numbered fields of the paper are no longer empty in front of you, the first part of the game is completed.
These are notions and ideas, obtained with the questions, that constitute your image of yourself.
Why is the Self-Image Important?
Self-image is the mental image that we have about ourself. The first thing we notice about this image is that it consists of several components.
One of the important components is the actual self-image. This is the cluster of the characteristics that we can use to describe ourselves at the actual moment.
In the first half of our game we dealt with this actual self-image, this is what the answers in box no.1 of your sheet contain.
The actual self-image has two major dimensions. One is the complexity of the self-image. Look at the number of the terms you used to characterize yourself (figure in the lower left corner). The higher that number is, the more terms you find on the page, and the more complex, more elaborate your self-image is. The other dimension of the self-image is its quality, that is, whether we talk about a positive or a negative self-image. If you compare the respective numbers of the positive and negative adjectives you used to describe yourself (figures in the lower right box), you will have an idea about the quality of your self-image. Usually, positive characteristics outnumber negative ones in people’s self-image. If there are no negative adjectives at all, or only very few, next to the positive ones, the self-image of the person concerned is unbalanced, overtly positive. This is the case the other way around, too; that is, if your self-image is too negative.