I loved the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. For me I saw it as her journey from being dependent on relationships to give her a sense of mattering, to arriving at a place of being at peace with herself. She went from the prison of being completely dependent on others to tell her she was important and valued to the liberating freedom of being able to say “I’m ok with people really knowing me because I feel comfortable enough with who I am.” This ability to love yourself without being dependent on others to feel loved is what it means to have a solid sense of self. But how does one develop a strong sense of self? Do we all need a year to travel abroad and eat Italian food, spend a few months in an ashram meditating, and sit at the feet of a wise old medicine man and learn from his experiences? I hope not, I’m not sure I’d be okay leaving my three kids and my husband for a year while I go find myself.
Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife said “Someone with a strong sense of self has a deepened ability to just be at peace in their own skin. They can be at ease in their own psyche because they feel a sense of respect or comfort with who they are.”
This solid sense of self makes all the difference in being able to live life meaningfully. But why is it that some have a strong sense of self and others do not? How do we develop a strong sense of self?
I recently interviewed Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife a licensed psychotherapist with a Ph.D in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. She wrote her dissertation on LDS women and sexuality, has taught college-level courses on human sexuality, and currently teaches online and community-based relationship and sexuality courses to LDS couples.
I have the opportunity to share with you portions of those valuable interviews opening up to you conversations with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife as she talks about the development of the self and being able to created a solid, mature, strong sense of self.
These “Conversations With Dr. Finlayson-Fife” will be published over a period of time sharing with you gems that truly have the potential to make a difference for the better in your life.
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