There truly is stunning power in the qualities you hide in your love relationships. These parts feel most tender, most passionate, most central to our inner lives. When we learn to appreciate and champion these “Core Gifts” our worlds change–and our search for love moves toward available people who love us for who we are. In this episode, you’ll discover your most central Core Gifts in the parts of yourself you hide.
Table of Contents
- The Qualities You Hide Within the Center of a Target
- A Sense of Great Awe for the Qualities You Hide
- Questions That Reveal the Qualities You Hide
- The Antidote Question to Unveil the Qualities You Hide
Episode Introduction: The Qualities You Hide
Did you know that the part of yourself that you’re the most timid to reveal in your love life actually holds the key to one of your greatest core gifts in romance? Stay tuned to this episode of the Deeper Dating podcast to learn what your core gift is.
Hello everybody and welcome to The Deeper Dating Podcast. I’m Ken Page and I’m a psychotherapist and the author of the book Deeper Dating. I’m the host of this podcast and the creator of the Deeper Dating online course.
Today we’re going to talk about something really profound and really important and very usable. It’s the part of yourself that you’re most timid to show in your romantic relationships and is actually connected to your deepest core gifts. When you know how that’s true, your relationship life begins to change and your dating life changes in powerful ways.
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In the work that I teach, what I’ve come to discover and what I believe more and more deeply all the time is that the parts of ourselves that have been least understood, most taken advantage of and have kind of gotten us into the most trouble or that we feel the most insecure about actually connect to our greatest gifts, what I call our core gifts.
And in my courses, in everything I do in my book, I spend so much time helping people be able to name and identify their core gifts. So what are core gifts?
Core gifts are the places you feel the most deeply.
The Qualities You Hide Within the Center of a Target
If you imagine a target and you imagine that the closer you get into the center of the target, the closer you’re getting into the very essence of your being, the true you. The place where you feel and care the most. The place where the deepest kind of almost uncountable dimensions of wisdom are available to you, but also where you can be hurt the most deeply because you are so much more at stake.
And the further out you get in this target, the more you become a kind of airbrushed defended version of yourself. In this work and on this path, we come to realize that those core parts of ourselves that I call our core gift, that we often learned we had to suppress or hide or cover in order to survive, are actually the key to the greatest meaning in life and to our success in our creativity, in our profession, in our relationships, in our relationship with ourself and definitely also in our search for love.
And this is such a powerful and rich concept. Today, I’m going to be talking with you about one way to discover your core gifts. One particular core gift that I think is going to be one of the most important ones in your own personal journey and your search for love.
When this core gift is named and when it’s honored and treasured, you will see profound, profound shifts happen in your own inner organization, in the people you’re attracted to, in the people who are attracted to you and in the way that you live your life.
Different Processes to Discover the Qualities You Hide
So that’s obviously a really big deal. In my course we spend a lot of time looking for what our core gifts are. There are a number of different processes that we do to help people discover their core gifts. But there’s one process that we do for one particular, kind of one way in to look at this.
That is this – it’s thinking about what’s the part of myself that I am the most shy or timid or vulnerable around revealing in romance and in love, in sex, in intimacy. What’s the part of myself that’s really me but it just feels too tender, too vulnerable, maybe too passionate, maybe too generous, maybe too wild, maybe too quiet, maybe too tender.
And I’m going to talk about why this is so. but whatever that quality is, the degree to which you cherish it, the degree to which you cherish that part of you, the degree to which you honor it and dignify it is the degree to which you’re going to find people who also honor it and cherish it and the degree to which you’re going to find yourself, your true essential self in love and in life.
So there’s something nuclear about the parts of ourselves that we’re shy about revealing. Why? Because within that lies a core gift that we haven’t been taught by life, how to honor and treasure and validate and it’s the secret, it’s the secret to self-love.
The Secret to Self Love
It’s kind of a real secret in life to learn to find the gift in that place and that’s what we’re going to do today. By the end of this episode, you will have an idea of what that attribute is and you’ll have a deeper sense of why it is actually a profound gift, and this is actually a formula.
The degree to which you honor that part of you is the degree to which you will be happier in love. You will make better choices in love. And the degree to which you feel ashamed, ambivalent, you hide that part of yourself. You’re controlled by the shame and the trauma around people who have not treated that part of you well. To that degree that you experience shame and hide it.
To that degree, you’re going to be sexually and romantically attracted to people who aren’t good for you or you’re going to just hide from love. So this is an amazing formula and it’s true and you’ll understand that more as we go on. But I’m just going to stop for a minute and talk about just kind of a little bit of the theory. This is the deeper physics of dating I think and why is that so?
A Sense of Great Awe for the Qualities You Hide
And this is where I have a sense of great awe. Like I have a sense that there is a blueprint, a really deep blueprint for how this stuff works which is very benevolent and very powerful and designed to lead us to wisdom once we get this.
Sadly, it brings us so much pain until we get it. Carl Jung talked about why this is so and what he said was,
“We all have parts of ourselves that we don’t kind of know what to do with. Maybe we judge them, we’re ashamed of them.”
They’re really authentically us, but we feel awkward about them. And there’s so much about why we feel awkward about these parts, but I’ll just say a few reasons and this is a huge, huge subject.
One reason is we weren’t taught to honor these parts of ourselves. These parts of ourselves are our genius and genius ain’t easy. The world is afraid of things that are too tender. The world is afraid of things that are too fierce. The world is afraid of things that are too original. Also, sometimes people milk us for these qualities, these gifts that we have.
They see them and they take advantage of them and that’s also a traumatic experience. Another reason why is because these parts of ourselves are challenging to us. They’re kind of bigger or deeper than we are. So we don’t know what to do with them and it’s a life’s work learning to bear the humanity, the beauty, the radiance, the ferocity, the truth of these parts of ourselves.
What Swirls Around the Qualities You Hide
It’s not an easy thing. And the last reason, and I know there’s so much here, but it’s just, it’s such rich, rich content and such exciting stuff, but the last reason is because these parts of ourselves are so highly charged, we tend to make a lot of mistakes around them.
We kind of have car crashes, our deepest immaturities swirl around our greatest gifts. So for example, let’s say you have a quality of a fierce love of truth, right?
So you’ve got this quality where truth is really important to you in relationships. And you grow up in a family where it’s really important for people not to have the truth spoken.
You speak the truth and you get really punished for that. No one wants to hear it. You get told that there’s something wrong with you. You’re over-sensitive, you’re too much. You are hurting people’s feelings.
If you tell the truth to someone who’s a narcissist, a parent who’s a narcissist, you’re going to get in big, big trouble, if that truth doesn’t meet their emotional needs.
When this occurs, we then go in one of two different directions essentially. We either suppress that part of ourselves which is not good. It’s an act of quiet violence against our being.
So maybe you just don’t speak your truth and that’s not a good thing because it kind of burns inside of you.
Developing a Love Relationship With the Qualities You Hide
It might make you angry, it might make you withdrawn. It might make you avoid deep intimacy for fear of being hurt in the same ways. Or potentially, if you don’t suppress it, you might act it out – which is to express that truth in ways that are angry, holding the kind of build-up anger and strident qualities of a lifetime of having them pushed down.
And so then when we act them out, we get in trouble too because we hurt people and we get hurt back. So these are just some of the different reasons why there’s such a scary charge around our deepest gifts.
And now, not like you can get rid of these things, they’re there, but the key is to develop a love relationship with that core gift. To be able to see the beauty in it, to honor and name the gift underneath all of that hurt, underneath those bad experiences. And to be able to say there is a treasured gift here.
That’s the beginning of an overthrow. That’s the beginning of a beautiful revolution of healing inside our being. And when you do that, you will watch your romantic life change in the most amazing, amazing ways.
So in a minute, I’m going to help you identify a core gift in a place where you have been timid to reveal who you really are. We’re going to do that in a moment through a series of very kind of wonderful questions. But first, I just want to go back to Carl Jung and just explain how this connects to his work.
So Carl Jung said that there are these parts of ourselves that we’ve just talked about where we are ashamed or frightened to reveal these parts of ourselves. These then get suppressed and they become our shadow and that’s what he called “The Shadow.”
The shadow is the part of ourselves that we just don’t think is okay so we push it away.
And what he said is, all of that energy of that authentic self that we’re pressing down, ignoring, avoiding, not giving a vote at the voting table, denying will then turn into situations and relationships in our life that crushed us, that hurt us, that leave us feeling insecure.
In other words, those shadow parts take on a kind of semi-monstrous form and attack us in our life. So in the land of dating, the qualities that are so deeply you that you don’t show, if you are ashamed of them, and if you suppress them, you will probably end up attracted to people who hurt you right in those very places.
Jung talked about the need to embrace and integrate those shadow qualities. That’s just what we’re talking about here. Because the quality that you’re going to name in the next section of this episode is going to be a shadow quality which is a core gift and as you come to name it more deeply and love it more fully, it won’t be kind of attacking you from the outside.
In fact, you’re going to be more likely to find people who treasure it. So let’s do this right now. I’m going to ask you some questions and I’d like you to think about your answer to each question.
Questions That Reveal the Qualities You Hide
I’m just going to pause a little bit after each question. If you want more time, absolutely pause this recording, write down your answers, think about your answers. Maybe you’re taking a walk or a run or you’re in the car and you could just take some time, pause it and then think. Or maybe you just want to take this kind of moment or two that I’m going to leave in between the questions and just see what comes up for you.
But we’re going to do that right now. So I would like to ask you, what’s a part of your personality that you suppress or you feel hesitant or timid to reveal in your romantic life?
Now, I am not talking about an incident that happened to you that might’ve been shameful or difficult or traumatic. I’m not talking about a part of your life that might be difficult to share.
I’m talking about an attribute of your personality, a part of who you are, and I’m going to give you some different examples. For me, a quality that I tend to be ashamed of is an effusiveness of spirit. Like a love that feels really big that makes me silly and huge and demonstrative.
I have shame and embarrassment around that. So in my love relationships, it’s work to be able to say, “I’m going to get behind that and celebrate that and be that.” Because there’s a kind of ring of fire of embarrassment that I feel.
The Different Needs That Suppress the Core Gifts
Another one is need. That’s another one for me when I have a feeling of need. When I want to lean into someone, when I have a need for whatever that is, that’s a shameful, embarrassing feeling. That’s one that I maybe hold back on.
Some people have a fierceness of character that they are ashamed of showing. Some people have a need for a deep, deep sense of trust that they might be embarrassed to show. Some people might need a lot of communication and they feel embarrassed that their partner won’t be able to handle that.
Some people need reassurance. Some people have a generosity that they don’t want to show because it’s been taken advantage of. Some people have a quality of needing distance and space. A kind of dignity and space that’s a real part of their being that they feel just isn’t romantic enough.
I’m just giving a range of different examples. But I’d like you to think now about one part of your personality that you suppress or you feel hesitant or timid or ashamed to reveal when you really like someone, when you’re in a romantic relationship early on or even further into the relationship. Because I know for me those same qualities in my marriage, I’m still afraid to show my husband.
It’s an ongoing, ongoing journey and when I’m doing my best, I show these things and I’m not ashamed. When I’m not doing as good, I suppress them and then I get defensive and prickly. So take a minute now to think about yours.
The Fake Kind of Defensive Self
Okay, next question. How do you behave with someone that you’re in a romantic relationship with or dating relationship with to suppress that part of you?
Who do you become? What’s the false self that you become? Maybe it’s people pleasing, but in what way? Maybe it is just acting kind of more typical, not showing the depth of your need or your tenderness. Who’s that person, this kind of not so real person that you become to protect your true self? To not show that? To not get rejected?
What’s the fake kind of defensive self that you create? It might not be super fake. It’s not like you’re a liar about who you are, but it’s not the deepest truth. It’s not showing your soul. And let me tell you, the difference between sort of showing who you are and really showing who you are is vast because sort of showing who you are often lacks energy.
They say awkwardness is the compromise between impulse and inhibition. You want to show something, you inhibit it, but then you show a little of it. It’s going to be kind of awkward. It’s not going to have a lot of power. And when you really show it, there’s a generosity that can have a very powerful healing impact.
So take a minute to think about this, what is the self that you create to not show the real part of you? Take a minute to think about that.
Okay, so here’s an interesting question. How has life taught you that you’re not supposed to show that part of you? That this part of you is not wonderful, is not going to be treasured?
The Antidote Question to Unveil the Qualities You Hide
This is a huge question, but take a minute to just think about that. And now the antidote question, how do you feel when you’re with someone who respects and appreciates and treasures this part of you?
Think about someone who has done that for you. Maybe not perfectly but pretty well, where to this day you could think about them and still feel good inside? Someone who has gotten the beauty of this part of you, with whom this part of you felt safe.
Maybe there hasn’t been anyone. Then just imagine a person like that and what does it feel like? Or what do you imagine it would feel like or what has it felt like to be with someone who allows and gets and delights in this part of you?
This is your future. That’s where you’re going. That is what you want. It’s where you’re going. So just imagine that, picture it or remember it. And now, I want you to think about that person who gets it, how would they describe it as a gift?
How would they say or what have they said that they love about that part of you? Or just imagine someone who finally got that part of you even in its excesses, even in its immaturity, they still saw the beauty.
Just imagine that. What would that person say the gift is here. And now, I’d like you to think about what the gift is, what the core gift is here, a love of truth, a tenderness of spirit, a deep, deep need to give, a deep need to receive.
What Is the Sole Gift
What for you is the gift here? Try to name it as a gift. You’ve spent so long having to see it as a curse or a burden or a strange part of you. Now you’re going to think, “What’s the sole gift here? What’s the gift?” Frame it and name it as a gift. Give that a try.
It’s going to be a stretch, but try it and if any of you get stuck on this point, just go to deeperdatingpodcast.com and click on Ask Ken and you can leave me a question and I will help you be able to see what the gift is if you describe it.
Last question. If you could honor and express this part of you with increasing generosity and wisdom and self-honoring, how would that lead you to deeper love and meaning in your life?
If you actually treated this part of you as a gift, a treasure of your being, and expressed it in your romantic life and in your life, and then you started choosing people who also appreciated it, what would your life look like?
Now, maybe you’re doing this work already, I’m sure to some degree you are, but picture it even more so. Picture a life where you’re embodying this part of you with even more bravery and compassion.
That’s how you know where the gift lies. So what I would say to you is, this is a really big deal in your romantic life, in your dating life, in your sex life.
A Container for Deep Love
This is like a lever and the more you move this lever in the direction of knowing this is a gift, being only with people who don’t put you down for it, choosing those people, cultivating connection with them and living this gift more fully.
The more you do that, the more you allow yourself to do that, the more love will work for you and I see this all the time in my intensives, in my course, in the letters that I get.
The more you learn to treasure this attribute, to lead with it, to be this amazing you that you really are, the more you do that, the more your attractions will change, the more people you meet will be more people who can honor that. And in your relationships, the more you will be able to create healing, the less defensive you’ll be, the more truth-telling you’ll be, the more self honoring you’ll be and the more of a container for deep love you’ll be able to become.
So this quality that you have been the most timid to reveal is actually nuclear and the more you own it and name it as a gift, the more your life will change and I’m dying to hear your stories.
So do go to deeperdatingpodcast.com, click on Ask Ken and share your stories of what your experience is as you experiment with this. So thank you so much for listening. Give this a try, it’s deep and rich material and at the center of it, at the heart of it are your deepest gifts.
Please feel free to share this with people who you think might appreciate it. You can go to deeperdatingpodcast.com to get each one of those questions so you could spend more time with them and I look forward to seeing you on the next episode of The Deeper Dating Podcast.