Adrienne Rich once noted, “Until we understand the assumptions in which we are drenched we cannot know ourselves.” In a post yesterday re a heart composed of “impenetrable stuff”, I used the psycho-analytical term of “introjections”— material that we have imbibed from the culture into which we were born and raised. These introjections…all of which are “assumed” to be sacrosanct…comprise a template through which we view the world. These early introjections evolve into essentially verbal chatter, or “self-talk”, which in turn tends to become almost autonomous, carrying us through our day to day life. If this “self-talk” happens to be consistent with the world at large, or at least consistent with our little corner of the world at large, then we will function adequately and perhaps even better than that. If, on the other hand, we have imbibed from an abusive family or from a toxic religious environment or if neuro-chemistry has dealt us an unfortunate hand, the resulting “self-talk” can lead to maladaptive behavior patterns.
But asking someone to look at his/her “assumptions/introjections/self-talk”, is like asking a fish to see water.