MÉTASELF | The Actualized Self, Explored
by Lisa Khiev
Self-actualization is explored through the work of personal development and self-growth commonly visualized by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In short, it’s how humans are able to reach their highest potential based on the needs they learn to fulfill for themselves in this life.
What is self-actualization & how does it relate to healing? Here’s a breakdown:
- physiological - learning to give ourselves the basics we need to survive (food, shelter, etc.)
- safety - the security (like jobs) we need to feel to safe and afloat
- relational - the relationships we need to feel love and to belong
- esteem - the healthy confidence we need to show up fully
- self-actualization - the ascension into our highest potential
- transcendence - the ‘tap in’ with spirituality or a ‘higher self’ + unique services we bring to the world
How does this relate to self-healing? Reaching our highest potential (self-actualization) requires self-healing. Healing is “the work”. Life is not without its caveats and roadblocks and choosing to self-heal gets us past those blocks. What the path to self-actualization gives you is a sense of structure within the non-linear path that is healing (and the ability to reflect on what your personal needs are), so you can reach for what you desire.
Are your basic survival needs met? Are you able to pay the bills without feeling anxious? Do you feel safe? Are you surrounded by people that make you feel empowered, joyful, or loved? How confident do you feel at your job? Do you know your personal mission or intention for the world? Do you believe in a higher power outside of yourself?
We invite you to ponder your path. As your personal journey is unfolding, give yourself time to reflect and answer these self-inquiring questions in a journal. Writing your thoughts on paper or speaking to someone you trust will give you a sense of why certain experiences have happened for you and what you’re willing to do about it. Once you get clear, you become self-aware and this brings about the first step to healing: acceptance.