My False Self

One of the best metaphors I have heard for the “false self” we unknowingly come to inhabit is that of an espaliered tree. Espaliered trees are saplings that are made to grow into a desired shape. To make this happen, the soft, delicate branches of the developing tree are bent to a desired shape and then held in that position by wires or a trellis. New shoots that don’t conform are pruned away.
The result is often magnificent and impressive. And as impressive as it may be, it isn’t real. It isn’t true to the innate capacity and potential of the sapling. Rather, it has entirely contorted itself to the expectations and desires of others.
There is a lot to reflect on here for ourselves and our children.