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?)
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?
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.
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?