Self-image and the mind go together. What you think about yourself in your mind shapes the way you live.
Cecil Osborne, author of the book “The Art of Understanding Yourself,” writes:
“The conscious and unconscious feelings you have about yourself constitute your self-image. This self-image you will act out in life. You will always tend to act in harmony with it.”
Yesterday, I was treating Viktor, a high school student, of his digital porn addiction during a Viber therapy session.
“I do feel ashamed of it. I can’t control it. Like this week, I slipped two times. Whenever I feel bad about myself and stressed, the feeling leads me to it, I don’t know what to do anymore,” he shared with a tinge of desperation.
That’s all there is to it for Viktor. It’s when he’s “feeling bad about himself” all the time … then he always defaults to his unwanted addiction.
Viktor has been believing a lie about himself in his young mind. He has no clear picture of who he is apart from his “drug-of-choice.”
Our subsequent probing together showed how Viktor saw himself only in the mirror of his Mom’s evaluation of himself.
He shared about his Mom’s repeated criticism of him as “lazy” and “no good” and comparison of him with his older sister, since a little boy.
To establish a valid concept of himself, Viktor is now in his process. It’s only now that he’s starting to dredge up his early feelings about his Mom and himself.
Self-image and the mind. They’d be synchronized together in therapy to get out of his prison!
Hopefully, Viktor would come to see that it’s not simply what his Mom tells him who he is … but how he reacts to her words that determines his self-image.
His weak childhood self-image need not be permanent.
On the contrary, he can discover a new healthy self image that’s strong based on truths he’d learn to put in his mind.