Everyone Has a ‘Look Closer’

In the movie “American Beauty” we are compelled to look closer. As the movie progresses, we learn that what appears on the outside to be a normal, happy, well functioning family is crumbling on the inside. What is so remarkable about this movie is how exquisitely it communicates the complexities that lie beneath the surface of one’s inner world. Shame, pain, confusion, hope, fear are just some of the hidden, visceral feelings we experience and react to. The movie reflects an extreme contrast between outside and inside.

In real life, the distinction between yours and others’ inner and outer worlds can be far more subtle and less extreme. However, reminding yourself that everyone has their own “look closer”, just like you do, can help you feel less alone with what you perceive as your painfully flawed self.

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How (and Why!) to Love Your False Self

With groups, at work, with your partner, with your family, and alone you might feel like you are different people. At times you may even feel like a fraud. Somehow you think you’re supposed to know more, be different, have some sort of tangible or social skill set that you’re not sure you actually possess in real life, so you put on what feels like a false self to convince yourself and others that you are the person you’re supposed to be, that you’re better than you really are. But the process feels uncomfortable, inauthentic, and unreal. Here are 3 reasons to embrace what can sometimes feel like your false self:

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