The goodness, the ordinary, and the decent selves that we display in our daily lives are nothing without the hidden powers of the vicious, the dark, and the terrible energies that we conceal from our realities. Our ego and alter ego are an inseparable pair just like light and shade, and yet we only seem to focus on what lies above the surface.
Have you wondered what lies beneath the surface of your being? Were you curious enough to look beyond the borders of your conscience and face your dark side? Were you ever keen to know what traits and perks of your personality have you dismissed from your daily life, carrying them unconsciously in an invisible backpack that seems to haunt you more and more as time goes by?
To face the unknown, to face your darkness, can be a scary thought, but if you leave it unexplored and untamed, ignoring its power, your shadow will eventually be projected somewhere out in the air and it will define your life, making you a bitter, hateful, barbaric man unable to control his impulses and resist his vices.
A man that will be consumed by regret, a man blaming his situation on anything and everything but himself, his fears, and his inability to accept that his current condition is the result of the demons he is not willing to face.
Reject this possible path in life, and build enough courage to explore and understand your own darkness. Just like everyone else, you carry with you an invisible “backpack”, filled with every little thing that you had to put away in order to develop the self that you present into the world, the self that can function in a group, in a community, and in society.
From a very young age, you packed some parts of yourself and hid them away to please the ones that cared for you, learning step by step how to function in a small group. In exchange for love from your parents, you stashed away in your “backpack” impulses and reactions that you were told are not acceptable. Anything from not standing still to not killing your siblings.
As you grew older and started interacting with other people, your “backpack” started to fill even more. From your teachers in school who told you to throw in the “backpack” your anger and aggression because good boys are not getting angry and are not playing aggressively to your peers from your class to whom you automatically lie, just so that you fit in with the group.
This process is useful and unavoidable, but you have to understand that by the time you will be in your twenties, the “full self” that you think you display in the world is actually representing only a small piece of yourself, the rest being in the “backpack”, pushing down its huge burden on your shoulders.
The parts of you that you stashed away, if left unchecked will regress towards inhumanity, and when the time comes, to open your “backpack” and it will, you will find hostility. The self you pose into in your day to day life, the wonderful, moral, and ethical man who is always thinking about the good of others, is just the guardian holding the door closed, the door behind which the wildness, the anger, the impulsiveness that you stashed away are regressing more and more towards their hostile and primitive form.
Remember that if you avoid looking into the darkness of your “backpack”, if you avoid understanding the true nature of your being, and if you avoid bringing some of your true nature into your reality, someone else will do it for you indirectly.
That someone else might be your loving wife that sees you as a hero, until your uncontrolled anger, rolled up inside you and unexpressed for twenty years, turns you into a tyrant.
That someone else might be your son that sees you as the man he wishes to become until he has to face your repressed masculine energy that will make you brutal in your criticism, forcing him to reject his own manhood, while also being rejected by the man he by default admires.
Building your personality based on cultural and collective values is only the first step that you have to take into your journey of becoming a man. To be a part of fundamental structures, like families, communities, or any other form of group that represents certain ideals or values, you have to repress some of your qualities.
But repression does not eliminate these qualities nor does it stop them from functioning. It only removes them from your awareness, which will transform them into fears and obsessions, continuing their existence unchecked and in disruptive ways.
As shocking as it may be, have the courage to accept that the “backpack” that you carry is filled with the things you do not wish to see. It takes nerve not to flinch or to be crushed by the sight of your own darkness, but I dare you to refuse to project your evil into the world and have the courage to accept responsibility for your inferior self.
Do not disregard your selfish and evil intentions, and realize that only when you will be truly shocked by who you really are can you begin your journey of becoming the man you aspire to be. You are not responsible for the way you are or feel, but you are accountable for the way you act. Confront your demons and have the choice of when, how, and where you allow yourself to express your dark tendencies, so that you can do it in constructive ways.
Do not deny yourself this possibility by virtuously looking the other way and have the courage to open your “backpack” and descend into your darkness. Confront your demons, keep them in your awareness.
We all have a dark side, both you and me, and if you assume you do not have it, it means it already has you.
Are you able to see your demons?
For if you don’t, it’s time to be alert!