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What is the unconscious mind? Why does it matter?

*This is an introductory article on what the unconscious is thought to be. It is by no means exhaustive. Don’t worry. I’ll continue to elaborate in the future.

Have you ever asked yourself why is it that you keep falling into the same destructive pattern of behavior time and time again? You either end up in toxic romantic relationships or place yourself in situations you did not want to experience? Well, I have a possible answer for you.

Enter the unconscious mind…

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When you were born you were quite vulnerable. Had your parents not fed you, gave you shelter, and attend to your needs, you wouldn’t exist today. You would be quite dead.

Think about it for a second. You were in a very precarious situation. You were absolutely dependent on your relationship with your caregivers. One thing you had for yourself was that you were a cute baby, and adults tend to love babies…

Now, try to place yourself in that situation. What could you do to make sure you survive this? You would try your best to be cared for. How? By pleasing your parents. Every time your caregivers liked an aspect of you, you exaggerated that aspect within yourself. When they didn’t, you suppressed it. It was life or death.

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Now, take into consideration that you were born in an imperfect family, society, government, world… Most humans in this planet are not a representation of enlightenment when it comes to their own behavior, including the child-rearing aspects of their lives.

Depending on the geographical location, culture, and year you were born, there were certain aspects of you that your family considered acceptable, and others that were not desirable.

Now let’s come back to you…

Your family loves part of what and they dislike some of your behavior. When you suddenly see your mom/dad angry at something you did, you associated this with imminent death and suppressed that aspect you thought was the problem. You became split. You pushed a part of yourself so deep, that you were not able to recognize it within yourself anymore. That aspect you don’t see is what we call the unconscious mind.

The fact that you deny part of yourself, doesn’t make it disappear. In reality, much of what you do in your day to day life is influenced and even powered by this unconscious force. What remains in your conscious awareness is only the tip of the iceberg.

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Why does this matter?

It only matters if you want to recover these aspects of yourself…

Maybe you received appreciation everytime you did well in school, but nobody told you that you were amazing and important just for being who you are. This could’ve led you to link love to your performance.

This may make you a great performer, but suppressing the inherent value you have simply for who you are is a problem.

Recognize that you have value for being an expression of the universe, of humanity. You are art. If you die, there will be a hole left unfilled.

Not seeing is self-denial. This self-rejection will lead you to self-hate. Because your unconscious mind will try to prove yourself what you think is real, you will find yourself in situations that will reinforce this belief. You will surround yourself with people that judge your worth to your performance, how you look, or how useful you are to them. You will think of yourself as a tool to be used by others, and will inherently see others as tools themselves… This way of living life is a lonely one.

This is but a distorted reality…

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There is hope nevertheless.

The world will bring you plenty of opportunities to come face to face with the pain of your fractured reality. You may do this in therapy, deep self-reflection or other mechanisms.

The original pain of rejection will come up when you face these buried parts of you. They will bring back the feeling you had during the original split. You will feel like you’re going to die…

But you won’t.

You’ll integrate those things that were hidden in you. You’ll get closer to loving yourself again.

Self-awareness comes to the ones who confront these darker aspects of yourself. We all have hate, evil, and animality inside us. You have to come to accept yourself in your totality if you want to truly know yourself, trust yourself.

A man trusting himself is an independent man. You cannot make predictions about him, he will move in his own way. Freedom will be his life.  – Osho

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