What is the cause of a self defense mechanism? Obviously, it’s the brain’s way of protecting us from perceived danger. But what causes them?
I’d always assumed they were the result of trauma. A way to deal with something inordinately dangerous to our person or psyche. Now I’m starting to wonder if we don’t all develop them along the way. Our upbringing, personality and interactions with others creates a trained thought process in our minds. Our brains only know what our conscious or subconscious tells it . Problem solving, it’s biggest task. Over time, it creates a virtual highway. A pathway to the correct destination. Scenarios input and the solutions output. Like a Tom Tom, quietly telling us where to turn and how to navigate to a better place.
In theory, it seems ingenious. Our brains, the most complicated computer ever created, automatically create a way to deal with things. A problem is recognized and then resolved. Simply and efficiently. Like 2 + 2=4. We don’t even realize it’s happening. On autopilot, we just do and it all works out. That is until it doesn’t anymore. I’m beginning to see that these defense mechanisms we build into ourselves are more survival mode than longterm solutions. A threat is realized and this way of coping is a way out now. No regard for the future, just the present.
And so a fresh, new delimma arises. What to do when your defense mechanisms no longer become productive solutions but instead destructive reflexes? How do you stop the cycle of something that’s no longer a thought process? Like a knee jerk reaction when the doctor strikes your leg. Your kick unplanned. Can you stop the kick when you know the hammer is coming down?
I have to believe it’s possible. This complex computer can be reprogrammed. With deliberate and methodical thought processes, it has to be achievable. The key seems to lie in recognizing the hit and the reflex to follow. Seeing the hammer and knowing your mind will say “leg kick” and ignoring it’s suggestion. The daunting task of seeing into your subconscious and talking to it instead of it whispering to you. Destroying the reflex before it destroys you.
“Men are not prisoners of fate, but prisoners of their own minds” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt