Because childhood trauma can result in a lot of anger and intense, uncontrollable emotions, particularly if we have, as a consequence of our adverse childhood experiences, we have gone on to develop BPD a similar condition, may have done some things we deeply regret and are therefore carrying around a lot of shame and guilt.
Jung said we have a shadow self that has done or is capable of doing we find it hard to confront – the human ‘dark side’, so as to speak. We defend ourselves against this by using the defense mechanisms of denial, repression, numbing, and projection rather than acknowledge the existence of this shadow self.
A lot of the mental pain we feel derives from particular parts (or aspects) of ourselves being in conflict with other parts of ourselves or, as Freud expressed it, our ‘id’ (basic human drives like aggression) being in conflict with our ‘superego’ (our conscience).
Trying to deny and repress the parts of ourselves of which we disapprove and attempting, as it were, to send them into ‘exile’, however, creates its own problems. In order to lessen our mental pain, we need to allow our various parts to form an integrated whole, rather than keeping them in a fragmented state (from which inevitably a fragmented sense of self will arise). In short, we need to accept all aspects/parts of ourselves, not just those of which we approve, as making up the whole individual that we are. Also, by facing up to and accepting the parts/aspects of ourselves that Jung referred our ‘shadow’ they become easier to regulate and manage.
Whenever you have self-judgmental thoughts in the future…you will increasingly find you are able to simply notice and observe the thought…in a neutral, disinterested way …whatever the self-judgmental thought consists of…you will find you are able to remind yourself that you fully and completely accept yourself as you are…irrespective of past mistakes, no matter how serious…you may feel a degree of calm curiosity about your self-judgmental thoughts…asking yourself what you will do differently in the future…safe in the reassuring knowledge that you have learned from past errors…and will continue to learn as you go through life…you will also find you have no interest in comparing yourself with others because such comparisons are misleading…this us because we know ourselves from the inside…whereas we only know others from the outside and from how they choose to present themselves to the world…we can’t know what another person is really like deep done…or all the things he has done or thought…or would be capable of doing given the coalescence of a particular set of circumstances…everyone has issues in their life that are difficult to face. Increasingly…you will find you are able to treat yourself with more and more compassion…and come to be grateful for what past errors have taught you…enabling you to become a better person…and you will become more and more aware of your positive qualities…and…just as you are able to accept these qualities, so too…with equal peace, if mind…will you be able to accept all aspects of yourself…aware that you can only control the present moment…none of us can control what we have done…or what has happened in our pasts…we might not like it…and we need to accept the present moment for what it is…you will find more and more that you are able to do this…to accept the moment for exactly what it is…in the knowledge that fighting against negative emotions only serves to intensify them…instead of struggling against them…you will instead be able to remind yourself that you can get through them even if it is hard…and accept things just as they are…any anxiety you feel you will increasingly find you can tolerate…accept it…and not fight it…so eventually it can dissipate and fade away of its own accord…whatever we feel…feelings are temporary…never permanent…you will find you can manage your anxiety…and forge ahead with your plans in life..by accepting reality…remaining calm and logical…you will find that you are better able to plan successfully for the future and make good choices…letting go of judging or blaming yourself…and letting go of judging and blaming others…and you will be increasingly able to stay in the present and focus on doing the right thing now…
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)
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