“The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.”
Carl Gustav Jung
It took me a bit longer to put this article together than I initially thought it would, given that I was sure I had all of the information I needed to write this piece.
I had my links, I had my quotes, and I even had my own stories to back up every cleaver thing I had to say...
And then life happened, as it does, in such a way as to make me question it all again.
All of it.
But most especially my own story.
'I' and 'am' are the two most powerful words in the verse - when you string them together.
I kid you not. I swear - I tell it true.
Because anything that comes after those two little words... becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, of sorts.
And many times these thoughts about ourselves are totally unconscious.
I am a failure
I am a victim
I am tired
I am old
I am fat
I am lonely
I am unworthy of love
For many, these little gems tend to run on auto-pilot in the background, often cancelling out all of the times we consciously tried to cheerlead ourselves.
(In the thinking game it's all about the numbers. You have to think more positive thoughts than negative thoughts to get ahead.)
Therefore, if we want to live a conscious life it becomes imperative we root out these insidious mind-worms and replace them with something a bit more constructive.
Because, like Carl Jung once said, "One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
And that darkness he's talking about, that's where the unconscious stories we tell ourselves live.
Oh, and just to complicate matters even further, according to Jung, as well as many other notable thinkers, "The human mind has innate characteristics “imprinted” on it as a result of evolution. These universal predispositions stem from our ancestral past. Fear of the dark, or of snakes and spiders might be examples, and it is interesting that this idea has recently been revived in the theory of prepared conditioning (Seligman, 1971).
So, not only do we have our own predisposition to negative self-talk and beliefs, but we might also be inheriting them from our ancestors, through our blood. (Again, think genetic memory like migration routes in birds and whales.)
So, basically, the question I'm trying to get across here is...
Are your self-fulfilling stories the result of your intentional thinking, or are they part of unconditional programing, from this lifetime, and possibly others?
Oh, and in my opinion, this is possibly THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION you could ever ask yourself:
Who made me?
Because, to make matters even more complex...
we are also bi-products of our conditioned societal beliefs.
Societal beliefs such as:
Women are weak
Boys shouldn't cry
The working-class will never get ahead
Oh, and if you really look into it you'll find that most of those so called 'societal norms' were actually force-fed to us via Hollywood and the media.
In fact, here's an excellent video explaining how Freud's brother helped Kellogg's convince an entire nation that empty carbohydrates were a healthy breakfast choice for our children:
(Video provided by: 'Academy of Ideas' via their YouTube channel. Their website is: Academyofideas.com)
But don't despair.
Because there is hope!
That's because not all subconscious thoughts are negative. Because, just like we might have been pre-programmed to feel fear at seeing a spider, we also have buried within our collective psyches the very solutions to our problems - the Archetypes.
Oh sure, you can try 'Reasoning' your way out of subconscious negative self-talk. But, and be honest here, haven't you already tried that? Like... a million times already?
And let's get serious, 'reasoning' is more-often-than-not just more fixation on a problem that was unreasonable to begin with. I mean, problems are typically based around our emotions, and emotions are rarely reliable to the facts.
Reasoning then, is kinda like herding ants. Sure, you can get some of them some of the time, but to what end?
Oh, and, if you're thinking you'll just ignore the issue (like Chris Evans ignoring that Captain America is slinging African Child Slave Labor Chocolate), that doesn't really work either.
Because suppression typically just results in health issues, as emotions are instead forced deeper inside. And such things like; digestion problems, body tension, trouble sleeping, headaches, and sexual disfunction, all result from the suppression of hidden emotions.
I mean, let's face it... who hasn't heard about the suppressed priest trope? Right?
Or those nasty politicians who try to appear perfect on the outside, but on the inside are hoping to score in the men's toilet on their lay-over in Minneapolis.
Of course, you can always spot the super-suppressed ones (like Chris Evans) by their perfectly manicured images. (He has zero 'likes' on his Twitter social media platform because he's terrified some of that repression will seep through... what do you wanna bet?)
Of course these repressed, suppressed or otherwise denied parts of ourselves, always seem to leak out when we least expect it. (Much like Chris' wiener pic on Instagram. Sigh, it's just so gosh-darn predictable, ain't it?)
So, if you're serious about taking charge of Your Story...
Then you have to learn to manage your dark side.
Again... I said, "manage" - not suppress - or attempt to reason it away.
So, how does one manage their dark side?
Yup, labeling sounds easy, but it's the hardest thing anyone can do, because you have to label correctly.
And honestly, it hurts some (a lot) of the time. (Like a bad sunburn, just after your older sister has slapped it good.)
Mostly though, it hurts because once we label something unwanted within ourselves - we automatically try to fix it.
But that's not always possible. Nor advisable. At least, not all at once.
Cuz like Abraham Hick's always says, "You can't get there from here."
So, that's another reason the labeling helps so much. Because it gets you moving.
And, over time, by labeling our emotions and our auto-pilot thoughts, we become less of a slave to them, and in many cases they just stop happening. Or are replaced by bigger and brighter thoughts that will move us in the direction of our dreams.
So, how do we become a labeler instead of a reactor?
Well, that's where the Archetypes come in. AND Joseph Campbell.
According to Joseph Campbell some common archetypes are:
But the archetypes aren't as important as the functions they provide.
You see, by examining which archetypes we're resonating (or identifying) with at the moment, we are better able to examine our situation from a higher perspective. Because it allows us to describe our present moment from a multitude of sides, that before may not have been available to us, if we were simply looking at the immediate facts of our current situation.
Again, this helps us identify the emotions, which in-turn helps us to take better control of labeling our situation.
A good example might be:
Identifying with David, in the David and Goliath myth, can move you from viewing your situation as one of unsurmountable odds into viewing it as your long-awaited destiny to fell a giant beast.
Of course, the cuts and bruises you gain along the way seem much more manageable when you're painting them against the back-drop of your own David and Goliath hero-story, rather than continuing to lament your daily grind as having no purpose, and worse yet, no possibility for victory.
By identifying with symbology, mythology, and the archetypes, we are better able to change our story, to mold our destiny, and to evolve in a conscious way... rather than that knee-jerk way, that tends to get us deeper into it, rather than help us rise above it.
And by identifying with common story tropes, such as Joseph Campbell's 'Hero's Journey', we tend to find more common ground with the people that surround us. We tend to see them more as helpers, or mentors, or even instructors when they're really annoying us.
You see, by reaching for those common themes and learning to express them into our own lives, we find we are more similar to those around us, than different, we find that our hearts beat more in unison, and we see our dreams often overlap.
When we see the bigger picture, as it were, we find our stories do matter, and even though we can't control what anyone else thinks of us, we can always be heroes of our own tale.
And in the end... that's all that really matters.
Finding the courage to be be bold enough to be the hero, maiden, mother, father, warrior, or King, in your own story.
And if others want to come along... so be it! The more the merrier!
© Raena Exe 2020
All Rights Reserved.
Raena's Wellness Facts:
1. I am healthier and in better shape now, at 48, than when I was at 25.