So Who Do You Think You Are?
You may think ‘I know who I am’… but I’m sure there are times when you think, feel and react in ways that you neither recognise, or want!
Of course we all have our own unique genetic differences – and our predispositions to certain character traits, our own preferences, our self-concept, and our degrees of introversion and extroversion.
Our brains aren’t mature until the age of 25 and they also have the ongoing capacity to change as needed in response to our experiences and the meaning we give to these experiences.
Our values, beliefs and needs change too – we are not a ‘constant’ and fixed entity – and that’s even before we go down to the Quantum level at which we are mainly empty space anyway!
We also have the added complexity of having a whole ‘cast of characters’ or ‘Sub-personalities’ within us. These came into being as a result of our earlier experiences – particularly traumatic ones; and the people who have influenced us; and the sense we made of these experiences at that time.
The ‘decisions’, about how to cope and survive your life, were made outside of your awareness and by your immature brain, and they have shaped your present-day life – usually not for the better!
Any one of these ‘characters’ can ‘jump into the driving seat’ of your life at the most inappropriate and unhelpful moments. This is different from Multiple Personality Disorder – also called Dissociative Identity Disorder, or Schizophrenia, which are much more profound mental disorders that require specialist psycho therapeutic help.
Perhaps your ‘Inner Critic’ and/or ‘Inner Saboteur’ keep making life difficult for you, by constantly nagging at you, and ensuring that you don’t succeed, or reach your full potential. There may be a Seducer, or a Tragic Victim, or an Aggressive Adolescent lurking inside you – waiting in the wings to jump on stage and take over the show! Maybe your ‘People Pleaser’ sub-personality has a convincing mask – and although you know it’s just a mask, perhaps people only seem to like you when you’re wearing it, and so you dare not even try to take the mask off.
Some people are so accustomed to wearing masks they have forgotten who they are underneath and live their lives as if the masks were real. They may then have some form of ‘breakdown’ or rather a ‘breakthrough’ when the real and authentic ‘self’ breaks through the fake personae and cries out to be seen, and to desperately try to get their needs for love understanding and belonging met.
Most of the time we are living our life like a child inside a ‘grown-up’ body; and the ‘child’ within us yearns for help, care and understanding. We may try to silence these deeper longings by using alcohol or drugs, by promiscuity, gambling, over-spending, over-eating, work-a-holism, self-harming and other ways of avoiding the real and deeper needs we have. Needs which we haven’t allowed ourselves to become fully aware of, or to find a way to have sufficiently met.
Although we appear ‘whole’ we are in fact more like a mosaic of fragments held together that give us the ‘illusion’ of solidity and predictability – some people being more cohesive and resilient to life’s pressures than others. Not surprisingly, our early experiences, and the meaning we ascribed to them, will have determined how ‘well-glued-together’ we are.
Without access to the insights of who we now are, and how we became that way; we are condemned to repeat old unhelpful patterns. We may have a conscious hope of changing the outcome of our familiar dramas – but we are doomed to keep repeating these until such time as we introduce knowledge, understanding, and the skills to make the changes we want. We may have to change the subconscious ‘Script’ of our life and create a new healthier and positive drama, and attract a new cast of people into it, too.
Isn’t it time you got to know more about who you are, and why?
This will have a significant effect upon your choice of partner, the health of your relationships, how you parent your children, and whether you succeed in your chosen job/career/life path.