How did we become the person we are today? How did we develop our ego? This might sound like a pretty dry subject to tackle but I strongly believe that we need to understand this process if we really want to know who we are.
I had no idea, until I attended an online course with Ken Wilber (Super Human OS), that babies were born without a sense of self. In other words, infants see themselves as part of the world. They don’t understand that they are their own wee person. But what really broke my heart was finding out that infants identify with the feelings of their primary care givers. How many times, as a young parent, did I resent my child for crying hours on end, when my own frustration was the direct cause of her distress?
By the time babies are around a year old, they start to organize the world in their growing awareness. They learn what makes mummy and daddy smile, what makes them angry, what is hot or cold, what is sweet or bitter. In other words, children learn to categorize their experiences to make sense of the environment they are in. Everyone has heard the “you are a product of your environment” quote, but I never realized how profound that statement actually was.
Because we adapt our behavior to get the best possible outcome, we inevitably end up burying behavior and feelings that generate negative experiences. And it all makes sense. The problem with that self-defense mechanism process however, is that part of us becomes labelled as good or bad. Of course, the bad stuff gets buried and in the long term, it festers and turns into shame.
So there were are, little kids, learning to take control of our environment (and building an identity) by cultivating what works for others and repressing what doesn’t. Fast forward 20/30 years and we have become masters of the game. We know exactly what to do in what situations to create the response we think we need. We don’t even know we’re doing it anymore. But deep in our heart, we feel restless. Our higher self knows that we are meant for so much more and it’s trying to reach out.
You see, I believe that we are born with a set a strengths and weaknesses that are perfectly adapted to the person we are meant to be and I believe this uneasiness we feel is created by the difference between what we could be and what we have become. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you could have done anything differently when you were growing up or ever since.
But if you hear the call, the choice is yours.
Much love: Sandrine
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