Tuesday, 17 October 2017 01:41

Using love to heal personality disorders

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THINK AND BEHAVE FROM LOVE AND YOU CHANGE YOUR PERSONALITY

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

Personality is learned. It is learned in childhood. People do not come into this world with a preexisting personality.  What they come to the world with is something in them that can learn a personality.

There is something in people; it is not definable. Let us call it spirit. That something is born in a human child. It takes the configuration of the child's inherited body and social experience, especially the child's family interactions as building blocks and uses them to learn how to behave so as to adapt to the world it now finds itself in.

Learning is intense during the first few years of life.  By age six the child has, more or less, learned a pattern of behavior. At the end of childhood, before adolescent, age thirteen, the child has learned a pattern of behavior that is now called his personality.

Personality is the individual's predictable pattern of behaving, of responding to his physical and social world.

The environment is always bombarding people with stimuli and they are responding to them; personality is the individual's pattern of responding to stimuli emanating from his physical and social environment.

Each human being, by adolescence (age 13-18) has an established pattern of behavior. Most people, more or less, have normal personalities but some have personality disorders.

In personality disorder the individual's pattern of behavior produces tension and stress for him and for those around him. Those with personality disorders generate loads of social conflicts and get the feedback that their personalities are problematic.

The problem is that once personality is established in childhood it is very difficult to change it. Very few human beings have understood their personalities let alone changing them.

In this paper I shall try to understand personality and show how to change them. Yes, personality can be changed. It can be changed because what is learned can be unlearned and replaced with another learned pattern of behaving, another self-concept.

PERSONALITY DISORDERS

At present the American Psychiatric Association in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual delineates nine personality disorders. They are paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, and narcissistic, histrionic, borderline, anti-social, dependent, avoidant, obsessive compulsive and passive aggressive.  These personality disorders are enduring patterns of behavior that generate social conflict for those who have them.

Briefly, the paranoid personality disordered person is very suspicious; he does not trust anyone else to look after his interests; he feels that people will screw him; he is guarded and scans his world looking for danger and often sees what he is looking for; he feels inadequate and compensates with false over adequacy and fears other people demeaning him, belittling him etc.; he generally accuses other people of belittling him and quarrels with them.

The schizoid personality does not care much for other people's attention, he does not care whether you like him or not; he keeps to his self and does his own thing.

The schizotypal personality is eccentric and odd; she tends to believe in what those around her do not believe; she often claims to have extrasensory powers.

The narcissistic personality feels inadequate and compensates with belief in his exaggerated adequacy; he feels special and wants other people to see him as special; he seeks other people's attention; he often uses other people to get what he wants and when they are no longer useful to him he discards them without any qualms.  He generally works hard and makes loads of money and marries a beautiful woman that he expects other men to admire (and thus indirectly admire him); she is his parlor wife, his trophy wife; he really does not love her for he does not love himself and cannot love other persons.

The histrionic personality is the drama queen who is always looking for attention and wants to be the center of attention; she has little or no feeling of love for other people, and no attachment to people; she just wants your attention but does not give it to you.

The borderline personality is unsure who she is; she does not know what her gender is, and does not know what she should be doing with her life; she latches unto whoever gives her attention and would not let go; she would threaten to harm or kill herself if you want to leave her; she controls people by making them feel guilty for the wrong they supposedly did to her; often she cuts on her body.

The anti-social personality has underdeveloped social conscience; he does not feel guilt or remorse when he harms other people or takes their things; it is from this class that criminals emerge; at their worst they are sociopaths and psychopaths; some are even sadists who enjoy inflicting pain on people.

The Dependent personality feels weak and wants other people to take care of him; he will please other people if those take care of him;  he is not interested in leading other people but just wants to follow those who take good care of him.

The Avoidant personality feels that as he is, is not good and feel that if other people get close to him that they would see that he is not good and reject them. He feels anxious in social settings. Not wanting to be rejected he avoids people and keeps to himself. He has underlying fears and anxiety.

The Obsessive-compulsive personality thinks as if some inner forces he dares not disobey pressure him to think; he often behaves compulsively.  He seeks perfection in whatever he does. He is riddled with self-doubt (he checks and rechecks to make sure that his door is locked, stove is turned off, car is locked, paper typed well etc.).

The Passive- aggressive person so wants to please other people that he dares not assert himself lest he offends people  and they reject him; he keeps quiet and is pushed around by aggressive people; he is seen as a door mat; occasionally, he blows up and people feel surprised at his seeming unwarranted intermittent explosive anger.

People with personality disorders are found in all walks of life, in all professions. Many heads of states are paranoid and or narcissistic personalities; many actors and actresses are histrionic personalities; many engineers, mathematicians and scientists are schizoid personalities; many writers and professors are avoidant and or obsessive compulsive personalities.

Simply stated, we find personality disordered persons in all professions and areas of life.  You may have a personality disorder and don't even know it.

UNDERSTAND YOUR PERSONALITY

The first order of business is for the individual to understand his personality, normal or disordered. There are many personality tests out there that can give one reasonable feedback on one's personality. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, MMPI, coupled with psychological interview by a psychologist can reasonably tell one what ones personality is like.

BIOSOCIAL GENESIS OF PERSONALITY

You can look at it any which way you like the fact is that the individual's inherited body and social experience affects his personality.

The spirit in the human child uses his body and social experience to learn a pattern of behaviors, develop a personality type and to construct a self-concept.

Biology and society plays key roles in the origin of the individual's personality type. If you are born with a different body and had a different social experience you would have a different personality.

If you were born with serious life threatening medical issues and needed to be taken care of by your significant others you probably developed dependent and or avoidant personality.

If you are born with tendency to anxiety and your parents expected you to be perfect before they accepted you, you probably developed obsessive compulsive or passive aggressive personality.

If you feel that there is something the matter with your body you probably feel that other people see you as not good, feel angry at them and develop paranoid personality disorder.

How do you change your personality?  To change your personality you begin with accepting certain basic truths. You were born with a spirit; what that spirit is we do not know. The spirit that you were born with was born in a human body and society. In childhood that spirit used your inherited body and social experience to form your self-concept, aka your personality.

Spirit, body and society are the three key factors in the formation of personality.

By adolescence you have formed a personality type, learned a pattern of behaving, and posited a self-concept. For the rest of your life you are more likely to behave as you did in childhood.   Even with scientific psychotherapy folks seldom completely change their personalities. It is here that spiritual psychotherapy comes in.

One must first go to scientific psychotherapists for they enable one to ascertain ones personality type. In addition one must also have spiritual psychotherapy or religion that enables one to reconcile one's self to life on earth and what happens when one dies.

THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO THE HUMAN MIND

Each human being has two sides to his mind, to his thinking and behaving. There is the ego mind and the Holy Spirit in one's mind.

I employ the term Holy Spirit because this is a paper on spiritual psychology but you can change the term Holy Spirit to your higher self.  What you call it doesn't matter provided that you understand that there is a part of the self that thinks about metaphysical matters.

The ego mind is the mind we all develop in childhood. All of us already have ego minds. The ago mind is the mind that wants to adapt to this world and does what it has to do to adapt to the exigencies of this world.

In childhood your ego mind figured out what your body is like and what your society is like and does what it has to do to adapt to them.

To be a human being is to be an ego. The ego is the sense of me, the self that wants to survive in you. The ego is self-centered and does what it has to do to survive. It puts its interests ahead of other people's interests for it knows that when push comes to shove nobody is going to do for it what he needs to do to survive.

We came to this world alone, live alone and die alone. The ego understands these facts and does not rely on other people for its survival.

THE EGO HAS FEAR

The ego mind sees all the forces arrayed against its physical and social survival and feels fear. In the ego is fear.

Most ego behaviors are shaped by fear. For example, before you cross a busy street your ego mind anticipates the on-coming car; it only crosses the street if it is reasonably sure that it would not be run into by the car. If you had no fear you would be reckless and try crossing the road and cars would run into you and kill you.

Without fear no human child can survive in this world.  The ego is fear based; it has to be so for survival on earth needs fear to alert one to the danger that surrounds one.

THE MIND HAS A PART WITH LOVE AND NO FEAR IN IT

While your ego mind is filed with fear and fear helps it to do what it has to do to survive another part of your mind, as it were, sits back and observes what is going on. That part of your detached mind does not feel fear. It knows that you have eternal life and that it does not matter whether you are killed by cars, people, and hurricanes or not.

The right part of your mind knows that you are an immortal spirit trying to have a fear based body experience. This part of your mind is calm and does not interfere with your fear based thinking and behaviors.

However, if you ask your right mind, ask the Holy Spirit, ask God what you should do, he would suggest that you engage in non-fear based response.

Love is the opposite of fear; the right mind always asks you to love people and the world. Only love eliminates your fears.

For example, if you are afraid of other people rejecting you (that would lead to avoidant behavior) ask your right mind, the Holy Spirit and it would tell you that it does not matter if other people rejected you or accepted you; you are eternal and what other people do to you does not change your divine reality.  The Holy Spirit would tell you to love all people and overlook whether they loved you back or not.

If you love people they can still reject you. If you are black and love racists they may still reject you, for they think that you are an inferior being who would drag them down to your inferior status. Be that as it may, the Holy Spirit asks you to love racists and leave them to have their racist view of you.

If you choose to you can think and behave from the right side of your mind, from the Holy Spirit, from your higher self.

Your ego suggests fear based behaviors and if you listen to it and do as it asks that you do you are back to the personality you formed in childhood.

If before you think and behave you keep quiet and ask your right mind to think for you, to guide you, if you think from your right mind, from the Holy Spirit you would be told to do what loves all people.

PERSONALITY NORMAL OR DISORDERED RESULTS FROM SEPARATION FROM GOD

Your personality, normal or disordered was formed by your real self, the son of God, bent on separating from God.

If you did not wish to separate from God you would not be born on earth. The fact that you are on earth means that you had wished to separate from God. To be on earth is to be separated from God.

Each of us has separated from unified spirit, aka God or else he would not be on earth, in body, in space and time.

To be on earth, in the language of Christianity, is to be born in sin. To be born in sin is to have separated from God.

The original sin that Christians talk about is our separation from God. The fall from God's grace happened when human beings decided to separate from their creator, God.

Human beings originally lived in God. Thereafter, we decided to separate from God and now live in the world.

To live on earth, to be  an ego is to be in the dark, to be fallen, to have committed the original sin plus whatever other sins we commit on earth by not loving people (to sin is to not love people).

To be an ego is to have separated from God. And since God is light, to separate from light is to live in darkness.

RETURN TO GOD, UNIFIED STATE HEALS PERSONALITY, NORMAL AND DISORDERED

The individual human being must return his mind to God, to unified state; this means that the individual must let the Holy Spirit guide his thinking and behavior.  In real terms this means that before you think you pause and ask: from what part of my mind am I thinking from left, from the ego, wrong mind or the right, the part of my mind that contains the Holy Spirit and Christ.

Ask that question and do not try to answer it from the ego part of your mind; just stay quiet. The part of your thinking that gives you peace and confidence is the right mind.

When you think from the right mind you think from love, love for you and love for all people affected by your thinking and behavior.

Only speak when the Holy Spirit speaks for you; that is, when you love and do what is good for you and all people.

At first it is difficult to always pause to ask the Holy Spirit to think for you but with a little practice it becomes a habit. In time your mind will only consider love for all and you think from love.

When you think from love for all, have social interest, you tend to be peaceful and happy. Peace and joy is indicator that you are living from love.

LET US APPROACH THE VARIOUS PERSONALITY DISORDERS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT

Normal and personality disorders are of the lower self, of the ego. They are necessary formulations of behavior in childhood.

Now that the person is an adult he can choose to think and behave differently. He can choose to behave from love (that is, his right mind, the Holy Spirit).

The paranoid personality disordered person can choose to think and behave from love.  Normally the paranoid is distrustful, suspicious and fears demeaning.  These are all ego based thinking and behaviors.  They can be corrected if the person now chooses to think and behave from the right mind, from the Holy Spirit, from love.

Paranoid thinking goes like this; that person in front of me does not like me. He thinks that I am small and powerless; he wants to harm or kill me. I should therefore be careful around him.  I must not trust him. If I let down my guards he is going to take advantage of me.

Now change your paranoid thinking to loved based thinking. You say I could care less what that person thinks about me. What matters is what I think about him. I choose to love him. I choose to see him as one with me. I choose to see him as unified with me. I choose to see us as the sons of God. I will not worry about what that person thinks about me but will concentrate on what is within my control, love or hate. I choose to love him and all people. I choose to forgive those who show harmful behaviors towards me. I choose to forgive racists. The correct behavior is to love all people. I will trust love and leave it at that.

Of course, the person you choose to love may not be a loving person and may still want to harm you. Then say, he cannot harm my spirit but my body. What can be destroyed, body, is not important. The racist may destroy my body but he cannot destroy my spirit. So, I am going to forgive his racism and insist on love for all and not fear his terroristic attempt to intimidate me with fear. I will not give in to fear; I will do what love asks me to do.    If you think along these loving lines you will feel peaceful and calm.

Persons with schizoid personalities generally do not believe that there is anything wrong with them; they just keep to themselves and mind their business; it does not bother them that they do not have friends. The only thing that needs to be said is that they should think and behave from their right minds and that means loving all persons.

Schizotypal persons do not bother anyone with their seeming weird beliefs. As long as they try to think and behave from their right minds there is nothing more to say about them.

The narcissist wants to seem special and have other people admire him, pay attention to him; he tends to use other people to get what he wants and thereafter discard them. The narcissist can change his mind and now approach people from love and ask how can he help people; what can he do for people and not from what can he get from people.

The narcissist henceforth sees people as one with him and only does what is good for all people.   If you want to be respected and loved by all people respect and love all people. Return your mind to love, to God, to unified state and you end narcissism.

Anti-social persons who harm other people do so from the ego, wrong, left mind; if they paused and thought a bit they would realize that all people are their siblings and that the best behavior is one that cared for people not one that hurt people. With regards to their envy of the rich, if you feel that some people got rich through illegal means then work through the law to make sure that folks become rich legally.

Histrionics must learn how to love and care for people; we all seek attention; if histrionics remember to give attention before seeking it they are doing fine.

Borderline personalities manipulate people in the effort to be cared for; they could change if they learned to care for themselves and cared for all people; they must learn to love and become loving persons.

Dependent personalities should think and behave from their right minds; that means that they should love all people. In love there is no fear so they do not have to fear people and depend on them to take care of them.

Avoidant personalities should know that no person rejects them and just love all people. No one can reject a son of God. They are good by virtue of being the sons of God.

Obsessive compulsive personalities should think from their right minds; pausing and asking their right minds to guide them would remove their self-doubts and anxieties. The pursuit of perfection is of the ego. The right mind and the Holy Spirit accept them and all people as they are.

Passive aggressive persons must learn self-assertiveness and assert themselves from their right minds, not their ego minds.

PERSONALITY IS A MASK; BENEATH THE MASK OF THE EGO IS THE SPIRITUAL SELF

The term personality comes from Latin, persona. Persona means mask. Persona is mask worn by actors to disguise their faces as they act out roles that those in the audience may not like.

We all wear ego masks, personalities; we believe that we have to wear these masks in society; we act in a way that we know that other people would like us to act.

Most people are afraid of alienating other people so they adopt patterns of behaviors that they believe would please people and get them to accept and not harm them.

We all have personalities' means that we all wear masks that we believe would make us safe in our world.

What we now need to do is ask: who is it in us that wear the mask? Do we have a self that is not our egos? Do we have a real self as opposed to the false ego self?

Can we live from the real self without the necessity of wearing masks to please other persons?  If we removed the mask of personality what would we see?

If we removed the mask of ego personality, discarded our ego self-concepts we would know that our true selves is a part of unified self, aka the son of God.

The son of God does not have body but in his separated state he constructs a body to wear; body enables him to seem separated from God and from his brothers and live a separated existence.

If he accepted to live as his real self he would literally cease living in body. The human body is a dream figure that enables us to play our roles in the world of dreams we live in. If we stop dreaming, stop wishing for separation we have no more need for bodies.

In the meantime, we wish for separation and live in bodies. What we can do within the bodily state is to live from our right minds, the part of us that is in touch with our real self, unified spirit.

If we consistently live from the right mind we would occasionally see ourselves and all people in bodies made of light.

The Holy Spirit has already remade our bodies and everything in our world into light forms. If we love and forgive all we occasionally see that world of light forms (Hinduism calls it the astral world). When we die we see the world of light forms.

The world of light forms is not our ultimate home. Our ultimate home is the world of God. In God we are not in forms. God is a sea of consciousness; in God each of us is a unit of consciousness.

God is a wave of spiritual light and each of us is a particle in that wave of light. In God we are eternal, permanent and changeless.

In the world of light forms we do not die for it is our world purified with love; in our world of dense forms we do die for we live in bodies made of matter and what is composed must decompose. However, the spirit that lives through our dense bodies is eternal. That spirit, upon our physical death sees itself in the world of light forms and if it had not learned to love all while in the world of dense matter returns to the world of dense matter until it learns to love all people.

After loving all, upon death, one's spirit stays in the world of light forms.  From the world of light forms ones spirit helps teach those in dense matter the nature of love.

CONCLUSION

Upon birth in body and society, in the world of space, time and matter each child forms a pattern of behaving, a personality, normal or abnormal.  He must have a personality that enables him to cope with the exigencies of his world of separated selves and things.

While he is in the world of the ego separate things the individual can choose to think and behave differently; instead of thinking and behaving from the ego he thinks and behaves from love.

The part of our minds that know only love can be called the Holy Spirit, the higher self, the right mind. Call it what you like what matters is using one's mind to love one's self and all people.

When we choose to love we are no longer living entirely from the ego, separated mind. We have returned our minds to unified mind, to God. In that unified mind we feel peaceful and happy and in so doing heal the psychological pains caused by our earlier choice to live as separated ego minds.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

October 16, 2017

www.centerformindscience.org

 

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176