Your real, authentic self is not someone you strive to become, rather it’s someone you already are. Just like you were born with the potential intelligence,eye colour,height, genetic dispositions to certain disorders, innate to your physical body, so were you born a complete soul with its personality. However, just as the phenotypes and genotypes can be hampered or distorted by a non-conducive environment that stifles development, so can one’s true self be repressed by facades and defensive mechanisms.
As children, we respond differently to similar stimuli, according to our inherent makeup. Exposed to emotional or physical trauma, some children may grow up to inflict on others the trauma they were subjected to while other children may live in a state of perpetual fear and helplessness.
Because our minds and personalities aren’t fully formed until the age of 25, the brain protects itself against overwhelming pain by shutting down or any of the myriad of defensive mechanisms there are. It’s a matter of survival and maintaining sanity.
However,most people never get around to address those repressed traumas and wounds and they live out their lives in the shadow of their childhood. They remain unconscious and everything they do is subconscious.
Digging up the skeletons of the past may seem like a highly counterproductive exercise; after all, shouldn’t we let bygones be bygones?
That’s a common misunderstanding that operates on the assumption that out of sight means out of mind. That because we’ve forgotten a painful incident, it’s out of our system. But emotions are energy, and energy doesn’t just disappear unless redirected. We might think that because we’re not aware of the effects an incident had on us, that we’re ok, completely disregarding the fact that we’re burdened by negative thought loops and self-sabotaging mindsets as a direct result of unprocessed conflicts and traumas.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
— C.G. Jung