Reprogramming our Dysfunctional Ego Defenses
"Recovery involves bringing to consciousness those beliefs and attitudes in our subconscious that are causing our dysfunctional reactions so that we can reprogram our ego defenses to allow us to live a healthy, fulfilling life instead of just surviving. So that we can own our power to make choices for ourselves about our beliefs and values instead of unconsciously reacting to the old tapes. Recovery is consciousness raising. It is en-light-en-ment - bringing the dysfunctional attitudes and beliefs out of the darkness of our subconscious into the Light of consciousness."
"We need to let go of the illusion that we can control this life business. We cannot. We never could! It was an illusion. And we need to let go of the false beliefs that tell us that we are bad and shameful. We cannot become whole as long as we believe that any part of us is bad or shameful.
That includes the ego - that bloated out-of-balance dragon within. . . . . . . now is the time to get things into balance - the time to bring ego-self into alignment and balance with Spiritual Self.
That is the transformation which is known as "the death of the ego.". . . . . . . The death of the ego is not an event - it is a process. It is not an act of violence - it is an act of Love. A process of learning to Love.
We are bringing ego-self into alignment with Spiritual Truth. We are reconnecting with our Spiritual nature and Spiritual purpose so that we can find some fulfillment and happiness in life."
Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
Our experience of reality, of life, is determined by the interpretations of our mind - by the intellectual paradigm which we are using to define / determine / translate / explain our reality. The attitudes, definitions, and belief systems which we hold mentally create our perspectives and expectations - which in turn dictates our relationships and our emotional reactions.
In order to have healthier relationships - with self, with our inner children / emotional wounds, with other people, with concepts like romance and success, etc. - it is very important to become conscious of, and be willing to change, the intellectual paradigm we are empowering both consciously and subconsciously. Our subconscious intellectual paradigm was adapted by our ego in early childhood in response to our emotional experience of being a child.
The ego is the part of us that is charged with responsibility for our survival. The ego is the seat of the disease of codependence.
Being born into an emotionally dishonest, fear and shame based, Spiritually hostile environments (based on separation rather than connection), caused us to be emotionally traumatized in childhood. In response to that emotional trauma our egos adapted some very dysfunctional programming. (Functional in terms of survival, but dysfunctional in terms of helping us to be happy and at peace within.)
For some of us, the wounding started in the womb where we: incubated in our mother's fear and shame; or got addicted to adrenaline because of the emotional volatility of our mother's life; or could feel our mother's waiting for us to arrive to give meaning and purpose to her life; or felt how unwelcome we were because she had already had too many children and was feeling overwhelmed; etc.
We exited the warm nurturing cocoon of our incubator into a cold, harsh world. A world run by Higher Powers (parents and any body else bigger than us - siblings, grandparents, hospital or orphanage personnel) who were wounded in their childhood. Gods who were not emotionally healthy, and did not know how to Love themselves. Our egos were traumatized - and adapted programming to try to protect us from the pain of emotional trauma that felt life threatening.
The people we Loved the most - our Higher Powers - hurt us the most. Our emotional intimacy issues were caused by, our fear of intimacy is a direct result of, our early childhood experiences. Our lives have been lived in reaction to the intellectual paradigms our egos adapted to deal with emotional trauma.
The part of a child's brain that is logical and rational, that understands abstract concepts (like time or death), that can have any kind of an objective perspective on self or life, does not develop until about the age of 7 (the age of reason.) As little children we were completely ego-centric and magical thinking. We did not have the capacity to understand that our Higher Powers were not perfect. We watched their role modeling, experienced their behavior as personal, and felt the emotional currents of our environments - worry, frustration, resentment, fear, anger, pain, shame, etc. - and were emotionally traumatized.
Our ego adapted itself to the environment it was experiencing. It developed emotional and behavioral defense systems in reaction to the emotional pain we experienced growing up with parents who were wounded codependents.
If you have ever wondered why it is so much easier to feel Spiritual in relationship to nature or animals, here is your answer. It was people who wounded us in childhood. It is people who our egos developed defense systems to protect us from.
I have told people for years, that the only reason to do inner child healing work is if we are going to interact with other people. If one is going to live in isolation on a mountain top meditating, it will be fairly easy to feel Spiritually connected. It is relating to other human beings that is messy.
In order to start being able to have healthier relationships with ourselves - and therefore with other people - we need to start changing that ego programming.
The way we do that, is to first become aware of it, and aware that we have the power to change it. Then we start learning how to catch it - as I talk about in my articles Union Within and Union Within - 5 years later.
The programming is so powerful and entrenched that we cannot really rid ourselves of it. Unfortunately, it is not like software that we can delete and replace with new software - Love 4.0. It is wired into the hardware.
So, what we need to do is tape over the old tapes. Positive affirmations are the single most powerful tool that I have found for doing this. We need to do positive affirmations to reprogram our subconscious intellectual paradigm. We need to do them because we don't believe them. The times we need to do them the most are the times when we least feel any belief in them. If we believed them, we wouldn't need to say them.
Once we start learning how to develop a detached observer perspective so that we can start setting internal boundaries, then positive affirmations are a very powerful tool in helping us change our ego programming.