Interestingly, we generally see ourselves as ‘normal’. When we grow up in a situation, be it loving and nurturing or abusive and neglectful that is our framework of life. We don’t know any different from our experiences, and therefore believe that this is what life is like for everyone.
As we grow up our lives are shaped by our experiences, which in turn creates behaviours and beliefs in us. We then adapt ourselves to fit into the circumstance we are faced with. For example, if you were neglected by you parents or primary care givers you will grow up believing that this is normal, and perhaps even exhibit similar behaviours into how you bring up your own children.
Within us all we create compensations, or sub-personalities that allow us to accept the situations we find ourselves in and further ingrain the beliefs that support our actions. We create confirmation bias’s that also support our beliefs thereby finding proof that our thoughts and way of seeing the world are right.
Sub-personalities are the parts of us that we use to distract from who we are in essence; without all the challenges and problems we have experienced. They can be seen as feelings of excessive guilt and shame, defensiveness, excessive anger and even violence. The survival instinct is also usually high in people who have been abused or neglected in some way.
It is also common to exhibit behaviours like anxiety, depression and stress as a reaction to the conditions and complexities of the life you have been brought up in. Once you start to realise that your upbringing wasn’t ‘normal’ you start to compare yourself with others; usually unfavourably thereby increasing reactions and feeling of being unworthy, or triggering strong defensive behaviours.
Wherever our thoughts are focused is what we will see as our ‘reality’. For someone who believes that life is scary and they are in danger, they will experience life from that place. On the other hand, if you believe life is good and full of opportunities you will experience life from that belief.
Plus, most of our behaviours are run by the sub-conscious mind so we tend to behave in ways that we are unaware of because they are so ‘us’ we just naturally identify with them and see them as ‘normal’. While someone else may be looking on and thinking we are something completely different to how we see ourselves.
That is why it can be difficult to self reflect, because you only know what is normal for you, and cannot see how you are experienced and perceived by people around you. It is also challenging to see life from another persons perspective, especially if it is far removed from your own. We don’t always see our traits and behaviours unless they are pointed out to us by another.
Trying to understand ourselves is a complex matter, and most people need input from a professional. Counselling and psychotherapy can be really useful in unravelling your psychology, and help towards understanding how and why you are the way you are.
This book is also really fascinating and can help you to accept and make friends with the difference aspects of yourself. It's available on Amazon.
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