How Beliefs POSSESS Us!

๐Ÿ“Œ The Optimist believes in the best for the future. Therefore their mind likes to focus on hope and faith.

๐Ÿ“Œ The Pessimist believes in the worst for the future. Therefore their mind likes to focus on what’s wrong with the world.

๐Ÿ“Œ The Realist believes in seeing things as they are, not better or worse. Therefore their mind likes to focus on facts, not the emotional stories about the facts.

๐Ÿ“Œ The Cynic believes in the selfishness of others. Therefore their mind likes to focus on distrusting other people’s “good” or “virtuous” intentions.

What do all these categories have in common? ๐Ÿค”

๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐š๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž. They aren’t “right” or “wrong” necessarily, just ways of seeing the world around you. ๐Ÿ‘€

๐„๐š๐œ๐ก ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ž ๐š ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž. ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐ŸŒŸ Our beliefs constantly color and shape how we see life. ๐ŸŒŸ

Take an example of people who get into a car accident…

๐Ÿ“Œ The Optimist expects most of the people in the accident will be okay.

๐Ÿ“Œ The Pessimist expects most, if not every person in the accident will die.

๐Ÿ“Œ The Realist measures the probability the people in the accident will live or die based on the facts.

๐Ÿ“Œ The Cynic assumes the people in the accident were careless and intentionally caused it to collect insurance money.

๐ŸŒŸ ๐–๐ž ๐๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ. ๐–๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž. ๐ŸŒŸ

Carl Jung talked about how ideas can possess people, rather than people possessing ideas. And when a belief possesses a person, the person is no longer in control. The belief speaks through the person. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

I must add: beliefs aren’t intrinsically bad. We all have them and need them in order to function. ๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ-๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐š ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ. ๐Ÿ‘

So how can we check if our beliefs possess us?

๐Ÿ“ Acknowledge most of our beliefs are not even our own. We didn’t carry them from birth. We’ve picked them up over time and embraced them as our own.

๐Ÿ“ Challenge our beliefs. Question how they could be flawed or wrong. Question our ego’s need to hold onto them.

๐Ÿ“ Seek other points of view that challenge our beliefs. Don’t surround ourselves in echo chambers. It doesn’t mean we have to agree with those who disagree with us, but to nevertheless keep an open mind to a different perspective.

If weโ€™re unable to do any of theseโ€ฆwe may already have our answer. ๐Ÿ™Œ

Why Your Shadow MATTERS!

๐Ÿ’ฌ “๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐จ๐๐ข๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ’๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ. ๐€๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ, ๐ข๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ง๐š๐ , ๐ญ๐ก๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ-๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ.” ~ ๐‚๐š๐ซ๐ฅ ๐‰๐ฎ๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ’ฌ

The Shadow is the parts of ourselves we reject, the primal emotions we suppress for the sake of societal approval, the parts we deny out of a personal desire to deny they exist. โŒ

You could also think of the Shadow like “the devil on your shoulder”. The Shadow includes the thoughts that come up in your mind you’d never tell anyone else you thought. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

Think of an individual who is so kind, so loving, and so quiet. But one day you hear about an incident where they lost their temper, and you think to yourself: “NO! That is NOT the person I know! That is NOT who they are!” ๐Ÿ›‘

Or think of the priest who vocally condemns homosexuality in his church but is eventually found to have participated in homosexual acts. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

โžก๏ธ These are examples of the Shadow at play. โฌ…๏ธ

๐–๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ข๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž, ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ฆ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐๐ฌ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ”จ

๐–๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฃ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐œ๐ฅ๐š๐ข๐ฆ: “๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ!” ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐ฅ๐ž ๐๐ž๐ง๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐ŸŽญ

It’s why there’s so many people with emotional issues. It’s why we have many immature adults, ones who’ve never taken the opportunity to be better in touch with themselves. ๐Ÿ˜”

Instead, many have unfortunately had to settle for cultural expectations of possessing certain personality traits while suppressing others. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

A man needs to always be masculine and suppress his femininity (“Boys don’t cry”), while a female needs to always be feminine and suppress her masculinity (“Girls, know your place”). โ†•๏ธ

๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ. ๐ˆ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐, ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ข๐ญ. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

In some circles like self-help and spirituality, the idea of the Shadow can be frowned upon. “Let go of the things which don’t serve you.” “If you focus on it, the more energy you give to it.” ๐Ÿ‘Ž

I understand those perspectives, however I take Carl Jung’s perspective: “I’d rather be whole than good.” I’d rather accept every part of me, the good and the bad, the gentle and the aggressive, than suppress it. ๐Ÿ‘ค

๐Ÿค” So, how does one integrate their Shadow? ๐Ÿค”

The first step is acknowledgment of its existence. Whatever your Shadow is will differ from person to person. ๐Ÿ™Œ

This DOESN’T mean you have to start expressing your Shadow or have to start identifying with it. It’s simply about acknowledging it, you making a personal commitment to being brutally honest of seeing every part of yourself, whether you are “proud” it or not. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐Ÿ“ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š๐ ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง.

๐Ÿ“ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง.

๐Ÿ“ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฉ๐ก๐จ๐›๐ข๐œ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ก๐จ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ.

๐Ÿ“ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ƒ๐ซ. ๐‰๐ž๐ค๐ฒ๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐Œ๐ซ. ๐‡๐ฒ๐๐ž.

We acknowledge our capacity for evil while simultaneously choosing to be good. ๐ŸŽญ

As written in The Gulag Archipelago ๐Ÿ“–: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ข๐ฅ ๐œ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ .” ๐Ÿ‘ค

So, with this acknowledgement and acceptance of our Shadows, we can then take action! ๐Ÿ˜„

๐‘๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ ๐ฎ๐ฌ, ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ฌ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ! ๐Ÿ’ช

“๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ง ๐˜ข ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ. ๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ’๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด. ๐Ÿ˜ 

๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ’๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด?” ๐Ÿค”

What are some ways you could use your Shadow energy of anger and aggression for more constructive means?

โšฝ๏ธ You could take up a competitive sport.

๐Ÿ‹๏ธ You could use this energy in your workouts.

๐Ÿ’จ You could use it to get your work done faster.

๐Ÿ™Œ You could use it in situations which legitimately call for you to become more aggressive.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐€๐‘๐„ ๐ˆ๐ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐“๐‘๐Ž๐‹. ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ฒ! ๐Ÿ˜„

It’s what I mean when I tell people “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater”. ๐Ÿ‘ถ

Integrating our Shadow can be VERY useful. But we always need to make sure we’re in control and using it for a healthy means. ๐Ÿ˜Š

๐–๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ, ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

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LET ME KNOW IF YOU FOUND THIS USEFUL! โฌ‡๏ธ

Why I Never Forgot That TOWN! (PERSONAL)

๐ŸŒซ๏ธ โ€œIN MY RESTLESS DREAMS, I SEE THAT TOWNโ€ฆโ€ ๐ŸŒซ๏ธ

When I was in elementary school, I would often spend the weekend at my dadโ€™s house. ๐Ÿ 

I fondly remember those weekends! They were the epitome of what Iโ€™d call: PURE Relaxation and Indulgence! Or as some people today might call it in modern day: the IDGAF-weekend! ๐Ÿคฃ

On Friday nights heโ€™d pick me up from school, and before we went to his house weโ€™d stop for dinner at the nearby Burger King drive-thru. ๐Ÿ”

Another weekend we may have stopped at the local hot dog place. ๐ŸŒญ

Or heck, another weekend maybe weโ€™d order a bunch of pizzas for pick-up! ๐Ÿ•

As I write this, all the memories are starting to come back to me! I remember the times my dad, sister, and I would order a few huge pizzas, each with different toppings, along with a few liters of soda, and we’d pick them up from the local pizza place. ๐Ÿฅค

We’d spend the rest of Friday night binging on pizza, soda, and watching movies! ๐Ÿ“บ

For those who know me now, let me clarify: eating healthy was NOT at all a factor for me back as a young teen! ๐Ÿ˜…

And I remember one of my favorite movies Iโ€™d watch again and again was โ€œGood Burgerโ€, a very dumb comedy but all of us shared the same sense of humor! ๐Ÿ˜‚

But as time passed, my sister got older and found other ways to spend her weekends. Eventually these weekends became just my dad and I spending time together. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

But no worries, it wasnโ€™t just a pile of junk food and movies. We also had VIDEOGAMES! ๐ŸŽฎ

I can vividly remember the days of me packing up my PlayStation 2 into a suitcase every weekend before heading to my dadโ€™s house. Iโ€™d wrap up the console and game controllers in towels because I didnโ€™t want them to bang around in the suitcase during the travel there. ๐Ÿ‘

And so, every weekend Iโ€™d pack it up in a suitcase with other PlayStation 2 games, and Iโ€™d bring them over to my dadโ€™s house to play. ๐Ÿ˜

Sometimes weโ€™d stop at Blockbuster and Iโ€™d rent other videogames. For those not old enough to remember (I am getting OLD), Blockbuster was a store you could go in to rent movies and videogames for a set period of time and fee. ๐Ÿ“ผ

If youโ€™re still not familiar, this was all before Netflix! ๐Ÿ˜œ

Anyways, I remember renting MANY videogames including Pokemon games for my GameBoy Color, multiplayer games so I could play with my dad, and gamesโ€ฆthat definitely my mom wouldnโ€™t approve of me playing at such a young age. ๐Ÿ˜…

But Dad did! ๐Ÿคซ

I canโ€™t mention how many times I begged my dad rent the videogame โ€œGrand Theft Auto: Vice Cityโ€ for me. It was my favorite videogame, and I played for hours on end! โณ

To explain the game in the most politically correct way, you play a gangster in an open-ended city environment where you are pretty much able to do whatever you wanted. Most often than not that anything included some sort of crime and avoiding the cops! ๐Ÿš”

Mom, if youโ€™re reading thisโ€ฆnow you know! โค๏ธ

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ โ€œDONALDโ€ฆYOUโ€™RE RAMBLING AGAIN! WHATโ€™S YOUR POINT WITH THIS POST?โ€ ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

Donโ€™t worry, Iโ€™m getting there! This post is NOT about this game. This post is NOT even about hanging out at my dadโ€™s on the weekends!

If you remember the title at the beginning of the post, you may see where Iโ€™m headingโ€ฆ

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ โ€œโ€ฆUH, NO? RESTLESS DREAMS? WHAT TOWN? PLUS, YOU DIDNโ€™T WRITE A POLARIZING CLICKBAIT TITLE TO GRAB MY ATTENTION! Iโ€™M ABOUT TO STOP READING DONALD!โ€ ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

Feel free, I donโ€™t blame you! Iโ€™m sick of trying to endlessly please others anyway. And thatโ€™s why Iโ€™m even writing this post in the first place! โค๏ธ

What I really wanted to share with you all is a part of me a lot of you donโ€™t know about. For most who have met and known me the past few years, youโ€™ve seen many facets on my diamond. ๐Ÿ’Ž

But itโ€™s time for another facet to be illuminated, if not for you all but for my own authenticity! I say I’m going to be more real, so here you go…! ๐Ÿ˜Š

For those of you who have read my previous posts, Iโ€™ve lately become very passionate about the Psychological Development of the Individual.

I truly believe that if more of us took the time to analyze and understand ourselves that we’d discover there’s so much more to our greater potentials we have yet to unravel! โค๏ธ

But as a matter of fact, this passion for Psychology isnโ€™t new for me. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

In fact, if you want to know where my real passion for Psychology first started, it was HERE! It started way back here at my dad’s house when I was a teenager…

It was when I visited the town of Silent Hill. ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ

What used to once be a resort town has become a ghost town. What used to be a town filled with tourists is now completely empty, its streets shrouded in an endless fog. The complete history of Silent Hill remains a mystery, but what is known is it has a dark past. โŒ›

To clarify, Silent Hill is NOT a real town. It is actually the fictional creation of some Japanese videogame developers back in the early 2000’s, who made a series of survival horror videogames centered around this mysterious town. ๐Ÿ”Ž

But there was one particular game I played as a young teen at my dad’s house that caught my attention more than most: “Silent Hill 2”. ๐ŸŒซ๏ธ

โ€œDONALD, HORROR AND VIDEOGAMES ARE NOT MY THING! WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH PSYCHOLOGY?โ€

Iโ€™m getting there, donโ€™t worry! ๐Ÿ˜Š

So apart from me shooting up gangsters in “Grand Theft Auto” every weekend at my dadโ€™s house, I was also entranced playing the Silent Hill series and continuously renting it from Blockbuster too! ๐Ÿ’ฟ

It was the first โ€œhorrorโ€ game I can say I ever really wanted to play. Because Iโ€™m really not a big โ€œhorrorโ€ person! ๐Ÿ˜…

But something really caught my interest about the games, especially “Silent Hill 2”. It wasnโ€™t so much the “horror” or the โ€œmonstersโ€ in the games as much as it was about the story and its themes. ๐Ÿ“–

I was fascinated by how deep the storylines went, how complex (and all-too-human) the characters were, and how there was so much happening beneath the surface of the game! ๐Ÿ”Ž

Itโ€™s important I emphasize again: Iโ€™m NOT a big horror buff. But I realized that Silent Hill was not just some haunted house of โ€œboosโ€ game. What I was discovering for the first time in my life was what was commonly referred to as the genre of psychological horror. ๐Ÿ˜จ

Unlike other horror thatโ€™s filled with tons of jumpscares and gruesome violence, this horror dealt with the mind. Sometimes the greatest fears are the we create in our heads. Sometimes itโ€™s what you DON’T see thatโ€™s actually scarier than whatโ€™s actually there. ๐Ÿง 

โ€œVIDEOGAMES BEING โ€˜DEEPโ€™?! GIVE ME A BREAK DONALD!โ€

In order for you to greater understand what I mean, Iโ€™m going to briefly share with you the storyline of Silent Hill 2. โฌ‡๏ธ

It tells the story of James Sunderland, a man who is still grieving the loss of his wife Mary from 3 years prior. One day, James receives a mysterious letter from his Mary, saying sheโ€™s “waiting for him” in the town of Silent Hill, in their โ€œspecial placeโ€. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Yes, you read that right. He receives a letter from his late wife who died 3 years prior from a terminal disease saying sheโ€™s waiting for him in the town! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Still haunted by his grief and determined to seek closure, he heads to Silent Hillโ€ฆand what he soon finds is far more haunting than he could ever imagine…! ๐Ÿคซ

In order for you to better understand the โ€œpsychologyโ€ Iโ€™m referring to, Iโ€™m going to have to spoil the twists of the story for you all. For those who may want to actually play the game without spoilers, Iโ€™m giving you a warning NOW!

๐Ÿ›‘ DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER! ๐Ÿ›‘

๐Ÿ›‘ SERIOUSLY! ๐Ÿ›‘

๐Ÿ›‘ THESE SPOILERS ARE WHY THE GAME IS STILL CONSIDERED A MASTERPIECE TO THIS DAY! ๐Ÿ›‘

โฌ‡๏ธ OKAY, HERE WE GO! โฌ‡๏ธ

Eventually, James finds his way to he and Mary’s โ€œspecial placeโ€ that she referred to in her letter. After hours of playing the game, we as the audience are finally confronted with the truth about what happened to Mary…๐Ÿ™Œ

We realize that James, the character weโ€™ve been playing the entire time, is NOT the hero of this story. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

The letter he received from Mary didnโ€™t exist; it was just a black sheet of paper. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Mary didnโ€™t die 3 years ago; it was only a few days ago. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

And Mary didnโ€™t die of her terminal disease; James killed her in a desperate act to end both of their suffering. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

James didnโ€™t actually go to Silent Hill to find his wife; the guilty part of his unconscious drew him there so he could face the truth. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

The monsters James encounters in the town are not real monsters; they are manifestations conjured out of Jamesโ€™s personal fears and desires. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

The other people he meets in the town may be real, but they are merely a means for James to continue coming closer to the truth. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

One character he meets is a woman who looks exactly like his wife. But her name isnโ€™t Mary; itโ€™s Maria. Sheโ€™s not conservative like Mary; Maria is seductive and sexual. Sheโ€™s not independent like Mary; Maria is overly needy and dependent on James. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

But throughout the game, James continues to finds himself in helpless situations with Maria, where he keeps having to see her get killed by something outside his control over and over again. And for every time she turns up miraculously okay, another situation soon happensโ€ฆ๐Ÿ˜ซ

In finding out the truth, we realize that Maria isnโ€™t real. Sheโ€™s representative of who James wished Mary was. Maria is only a pawn created by the town to torture James, for every time she dies James is always unable to save her. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

And it is only when James fully confronts his demons, when he’s face to face with the truth, that the town no longer has power over him. It is only when he has made closure with his past that he is then free to leave Silent Hillโ€ฆ

So yeah, itโ€™s no Grand Theft Auto! ๐Ÿ˜†

But psychologists like Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung would have a field day psychoanalyzing this game! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

So there you have it! As unlikely as it sounds, my fascination with Psychology really did start off on a much DARKER note to say the least! ๐Ÿ˜…

And donโ€™t worry, even for the sake of this post I am still covering the bare minimum. There are way darker themes in the game I didn’t even mention here. Play the game if you dare! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

So yeah, perhaps some of my followers are shocked reading this, thinking a guy like me could ever ever be interested in stuff like this, to think the โ€œHappy Guyโ€ wasnโ€™t always about sunshine and rainbows! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m not afraid to embrace the dark. It helps the light shine even brighter! โ˜ฏ๏ธ

But as you can see these days, my love for psychology has clearly evolved from not just focusing on the darkest places but also to the brightest. But Iโ€™ve never forgotten my roots. Iโ€™ve never forgotten how “Silent Hill 2” was the starting point for me. ๐Ÿ‘

One thing is for sure: I would NOT be as passionate about Psychology today had I never visited Silent Hill…and squinted my eyes every time I heard nearby monsters in the game! ๐Ÿคฃ

It means a lot to me, to say the least! Yes, itโ€™s quite a darker topic, so I doubt youโ€™ll see me make any other posts about it in the future. But I wanted to share it with you all because it’s a part of me you don’t typically see! It’s always been there, just not as openly shared…and now it is! ๐Ÿ˜

If there’s anything you as a reader can take from this, “Silent Hill 2” reminds me how we all create our own subjective reality, for better or for worse. We may not have a town physically manifesting our hopes and fears but our minds certainly manifest how we see ourselves and other people. ๐Ÿ‘€

It reminds me how powerful the unconscious mind is, how itโ€™s influencing our lives even when weโ€™re not consciously aware of it. ๐Ÿง 

It reminds me to always look beneath the surface of what we say and do. So often there’s always far more than meets the eye. ๐Ÿ‘€

It reminds me how we need to make peace with our inner demons or they can mentally wreak havoc on our lives. ๐Ÿ™Œ

As Oscar Wilde put it: โ€œWe are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.โ€ ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

๐ŸŒซ๏ธ โ€œIN MY RESTLESS DREAMS, I SEE THAT TOWNโ€ฆโ€ ๐ŸŒซ๏ธ