Draw three concentric circles. These represent three parts of your self and how you disclose yourself to others.
Label the outer circle Public. Describe how you show up in public, with people in general. How would people describe you? What is your image or public persona? How do you carry yourself? How do you communicate?
The middle circle is called Private. Describe how you are in private–with your immediate family, for example, or your close friends. How would these people describe you in more relaxed or private moments? How do you show up when you are out of the public eye?
Label the innermost circle Secret. Describe what you know about yourself but that few others know about you. What does the voice in your head say about you? What does your shame voice say? When you are alone, how do you act? What do you hide from others–dreams or secrets or wounds?
Take a moment to look at your drawing. Reflect:
- What do you notice?
- What surprises you?
- What scares you?
- When you look at your public self, how similar is your public self to who you think you really are? Is your public self mostly “real” or are you wearing a mask or managing an image? Or do you have different public selves in different situations? What does this stir up for you?
- How permeable are the boundaries between each circle? How are people invited into your private or secret self? Are there parts of your private or secret self that you would like to share with others? Who?
In a time of prayer, share your picture with God. Invite God to speak to you about the different parts of your life. Psalm 139:23-24 can be a meaningful way to enter into this time of prayer. Describe each part of your self to God; “see” God responding to you with compassion and deep acceptance. Hear God say to you that you–as you are–are deeply loved. Rest in this awareness for a few minutes.
To practice growing in authenticity and vulnerability with others, share your diagram with someone else in your life. You can share all of it or part of it–you get to choose what you share. Notice what this experience is like for you.