What is Your Destiny?

We are not what happened to us. We are who and what we choose to become.” – Carl Jung

Even those who have never given much thought to psychology have heard of Sigmund Freud, and the greatest contribution Freud made to psychology is perhaps the idea that we all have an unconscious mind. The unconscious mind comprises aspects of ourselves that we are not aware of—desires and motivations and fears and goals that can’t readily be seen. These are parts of ourselves that we typically ignore, or completely refuse to acknowledge altogether. And yet, the unconscious mind persists in pursuing its desires, sometimes creating a dichotomy that manifests as counterintuitive or even self-destructive behavior. (Remind you of anything?)

Understanding Fate

Taking Freud’s idea of an unconscious mind one step further, Carl Jung said: “Unless you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

Since the dawn of human existence, we have tried to make sense of our place and actions in the world—the why of who we are and what we do. And while it can feel easy to chalk the parts of our lives that we don’t understand up to fate, I encourage you to instead consider Jung’s theory. If we imagine an unconscious mind struggling to satisfy desires that don’t align with our conscious needs and goals…Doesn’t that feel a lot like the disordered eating experience?

Diving Deeper

When you are able to dive deep into your psyche and tap into the unconscious mind, you’ll find that’s where the metaphors live—far beneath the shadowy surface of your conscious thoughts. And these metaphors contain the deeper meaning behind the foods you crave or fear—and, with that meaning, the tools for recovery.

It is only when we are able to submerge ourselves in the actual meaning of our struggle with food or weight (not the surface stress around counting calories or watching the number on the scale, but the actual meaning) that we are able to work our way through and out. Diving deeper to meet our unconscious mind—and, with it, unconscious programing from past experiences—is how we’re able to bring those patterns to the conscious surface, and ultimately break or change them to build a path forward.

Moving Forward


While having an eating disorder might appear to be your fate, remember: That’s not the end of your story. Your past experiences have influenced you, but they don’t define you. Your identity is not determined by the story of what happened to you. Your fate is only the first act of the play. It shows you far you’ve come, and where you are now, but it does not determine where you are meant to go from here. That’s the difference between fate and destiny: Your fate has already happened, but your destiny is what you choose—or, as Jung put it: “We are not what happened to us. We are who and what we choose to become.”

Now I would love to hear from you:
So, what will you choose to become?

Warmly,

Anita

  • I find diving into the unconscious mind daunting if not frustrating and fearsome. How can I dive into something that is unconscious? Seems like explaining the color red to a blind person. I am reading your book right now and considering “Cracking the Hunger Code” but I have serious doubts. At some pt, what we were trained aka programmed to be IS what we are. Immeshed and like trying to remove ie nutmeg from a cake mix after it’s mixed in with everything else. Or, similarly, no one could ever get me to believe the world is flat just like no one could ever get me to believe I’m lovable or acceptable if I’m not thin and beautiful or prove my worth by what I do. Yes, I often feel undeserving. Just today a neighbor helped me get to the store in an ice storm. I felt so guilty that when I got home binging was nearly impossible but I didn’t. The guilt was as heavy as a wet wool blanket soaked in dirty water encasing my body. But, this conflicts with what I WANT in my life, in fact what I need but have never been able to attain. So that infuriates me. I don’t like my ED but I LOVE being beautiful, thin, taking care of myself, exercising etc. 90% of the time an ED isn’t an issue as I’ve learned to “manage” it by avoiding many triggers, stressors, setting boundaries, speaking assertively, saying “no” etc but the programming which I accept……..leaving it behind would be like amputating a limb. I guess I just don’t know how to access the “unconscious” and especially what the consequences of such what seems to be a dangerous thing to do. Isn’t it unconscious to protect us?

  • I want to become more empowered. I want to feel comfortable standing in my own power so when certain situations or conflicts arise I’m not left feeling doubtful, intimidated, or crushed by the circumstances of the situation, someone else’s opposing views, needs or negative behavior, or questionable opinion of me. I want to unearth my fear of people, relationships and conflict. I want to feel that I can hold a conversation with anyone and not feel afraid or intimidated. I want to be honest with myself and others about how I feel. I want to continue to stand up for myself and recognize what my needs are and feel comfortable asking for what I need without feeling unworthy. I want to learn to assert myself and my boundaries in a clear, concise, relational way without feeling that I did something wrong or bad. I want to stop being overly concerned about other people (and their feelings) more than mine. I want to feel more confident that I can handle difficult and challenging situations. I want to be strong and empowered, carefree and confident. I want to believe in myself and live a fulfilling life. I also want to be happier, the way I used to be when I was younger and less worried about what bad thing might happen next that I may or may not be able to handle.

  • Such a beautiful difference…. Fate and destiny….. Past and future…. And in the midst of them, the present moment where I can try to create a little space to keep on asking” in doing what I’m doing, what am I really doing? “…. This question it have given me from a teacher of mine, but it is the same curiosity that Anita keeps on inviting us to….. It is a thread to hop dit tight, so that when I travel through life I don’t get lost in the surface of the ocean with all that turmoil…. I guess in the past I was quite afraid to touch deep spaces like instincts emotions desires are… I thought I could loose myself become slave of them…. Now…. Slowly slowly I m learning to know them and I discover that, even though sometimes my rational mind fears them, they are often a better guide and faithful friends….
    Thank you Anita.. Always…. To give us an opportunity to search, being curious and alive..

  • Your food metaphores made me understand what’s the deal behind my cravings. I used to think I had a sugar addiction because I always wanted chocolate… Yet I hate soda, candies and all sweets that are too sugary. What I crave, as you say, is more sensuality in my life. And I started craving it after a past brakeup. This isolation thing is not helping (i haven’t seen my current partner for over a year now!), but understanding is the first step of changing.

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