Written By Kristen Boike, MS, LPC, NCC
A threat, safety, and sense of self are the cornerstone for feeling secure in this world. Every cell, of every species, and every individual of human existence has an invaluable necessity to recognize, understand, and learn from their threats to adapt to their daily lives and become their authentic self.
According to David Roger Clawson, M.D., a Psychical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician, our internal and external environment influences and shapes our physiology at any given time. Secondly, our physiology influences and shapes whether we immobilize or mobilize in threat or whether we will mobilize or immobilize in safety. In other words, “our physiology determines whether we are inflamed or not. It determines if we are reactive and impulsive or contemplative and measured; whether we are infertile or reproductive, asocial or prosocial. It determines whether we approach in anger or in love and whether we collapse in submission and despair or rest within vulnerability” see link for the complete article.
Our spiritual, emotional, social, and physical selves are constantly changing with our physiology. The way we think, how we behave, how we look, and the way in which we feel all transform depending on the degrees of threat or safety we are presently occupying. There becomes, who we are. Individuals desire to have higher self-esteem and have components to pursue it, but self-esteem, just as the self, is not a form but a
by-product of our physiology of being seen, safe, and secure in the world. We are sidelined when it comes to teaching selfesteem or convincing someone to have high self-esteem due to its absence of intellectual parties but physiological. When we are seen, safe, and secure in the world, we feel good about ourselves.
We as individuals have determined that to be meaningful in the world, and we must always be competitive, work, stoic, never show vulnerability or weakness. Such a strategy prevents us from threat physiology. Increasing rates of kidney disease, ADHD, bipolar depression, anxiety, addiction, cancer, obesity, dementia, schizophrenia, and suicide in, addition to homelessness all, point to our susceptibility. Not only can we become them, but we are becoming them.
This article was one that I found very interesting as I provide the means to become more Self-Aware and find your true self within my sessions with clients. Personally, I feel that if we are not aware of who we are to the core, our thoughts, feelings, behaviors; not only why and where they originate from but how they can have influences on the journey of our path and to becoming the best version of ourselves, that one will only never wholeheartedly know who they are; or authentically know their self.
The eight components (self-worth, self-love, self-care, self-compassion, self-forgiveness, self-exploration, self-understanding, and self-forgiveness) I implement with my clients to become more self-aware and learn about oneself and how the world around them affects their daily lives can ultimately change the course of one’s life for the better.