Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Dark Side of Us: Breaking Down Defence Mechanisms and Parallel Identities

The Dark Side of Us: Breaking Down Defence Mechanisms and Parallel Identities

By Julia Katsivo

Different identities in parallel worlds are created through experiences and our consequent thought processes. Working on separate premises means that we are mostly unaware of our split personalities, until faced with situations requiring a battle of wills.

Irony and fight lies not in squelching those things that are unfavourable to us but in understanding that the aspect of our lives we seek to protect are the very elements that need be destroyed. The threat to self is most evident when we attempt to align our spirits - for they serve separate goals. One part of us wants to live and experience life to the fullest, while the other battles to preserve a pre-determined life and way of experiencing that is adverse to change.

I call it the "why not and who said" vs. the "what's the point" factor.

Why not and who said - questions our defence systems at every turn and angle, seeking to understand where we decided not to take chances, believe in something different or attempt to critically analyze our interactive patterns. We dare not have any regrets for we may be forced to change. What's the point - is more of a work to rule, whereby deviation from pre-set conditions is an abomination and tactical offence to the sense of self. It is there to discourage and satiate existing conditions through unchanging thoughts to new and varied experiences. We dare not go ahead anyway because we don't want to deal with pain. As these differing personalities exist within the same soul, the solution then becomes an arriving at an impasse in which peace of mind is artificially acquired in a "what's best" approach.

What's best approach can be deceitful in nature as its existence is determined and controlled by the stronger of the two personalities. What's best could be a passive-aggressive adaptation of what's the point or unharnessed or overly cautious implementation of why not. Either way, the deceit lies in our self-affirmation that we have a keen sense of identity and thus work well within ourselves and with others.

If this were so, we would by all means be gods. Our human nature however reveals these internal conflicts in various ways and our singular goal then becomes our personal advancement against battling spirits within us - we work to strengthen and control what we can, so that we are able to accept what we cannot. In a never-ending game of cards, we ply wins and fails against ourselves, stacking our experiences as the cards dealt, diligently placing our bets in our best interest. As examined before, a deceitful what's best is not in our best interest, and interest then should become our area of focus.

It is in our best interest to survive, and mitigate damage to self as much as possible. It is in our best interest to adapt and evolve against an increasing experience that can be as varied or mundane as we determine. These interests collide against the identities fashioned to deal with each one - each end goal as far apart from and yet linked to the other like independent-minded conjoined twins.

The realization that to move forward in one respect or the other involves a "killing" of sorts of one personality in favour of another brings about both fight and flight reflexes, and a resulting paralysis of the soul - a mutual agreement to "just be, and stay as is". Impasse is time's greatest enemy, and by virtue of seconds ticking with or without our movement, unfolding experiences stop being catalysts for change but the enemy that must be subdued and conquered in our quest to protect ourselves. We are who we are - gets fitted into a workable mould, an agreement between self to foster an identity acceptable to us in our varied roles, so that we may somehow progress.

A lot of us live and die never fully understanding the different parts that formed us, having given into what's the point mentality and seceding from ourselves. Unknown to a lot more, many of us checked out of ourselves a long time ago, allowing the empty shells that represent us, to live and make choices on our behalf. Very few people we meet challenge these empty vessels that speak on our behalf, because it is finely tuned defence mechanisms they stand up against - and as previously established, it is in each individual's best interest to steer clear from injury to self. As a result of stunted experiences, we are unable to accept the only medication necessary to fractured selves - that being, love and selflessness, even though we know how to mimic, project and give variations of such things. We are after all intelligent beings, innately adaptable and conforming to acceptable societal standards.

Working on the premise that only love breaks down walls, I conclude that only self-love can attempt to bridge the gaps formed between our different personalities and their differing goals. The tragedy of this remedy stems from an innate inability to accept let alone reciprocate love and selflessness, as these two aspects trigger sites of trauma well-hidden and show-cased under a strong armour of strength and resilience. To know love is to give love, and yet the type of love required to bring about restorative power cannot be generated by faulty machinery.

The power of love, which thus remedies its tragedy, is found in its source. God starts the process of self-love for us. He first calls us each by name; the identity He created and hid deep in our souls, the unblemished facets that make us unique and whole in Him. In remembering God, He reminds us of ourselves - who and what we are (Matt 6:33). By relying on His love (discarding artificial sources of comfort) we then can face the dark sides of ourselves with a singular goal which is to redirect and structure our fractured selves into one (John 10:10).

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