Can the self survive isolation? mind body and soul, think about it.

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

What is the 'id', that instinctual sense of self our desires, can one exist purely in the self, alone, or are we innately designed to be part of the bigger extrinsic society. During this extended international period of #isolation amidst the #COVID-19 pandemic, one can truly begin to reflect a lot on ourselves. For the true Introvert, this period may be a refreshing time of self rejuvenation a time of reflection, energised by the peace, isolation, and space they have been afforded, even though temporarily, the 'Ego' prevails. All too often though, self reflection can turn into self criticism, self loathing, self destructive behaviours or thoughts. For some however, the opposite is true, they become more self fulfilled in their own sense of knowledge, they become self important, self edifying, developing a self grandiose perspective on their own lives, and sense of self, this may, even become Narcissistic in nature, hence the 'Super-Ego' prevails. Therein lies the problem, what will happen when this imposed Isolation, social distancing is revoked, and individuals are compelled back into society, work and amongst family and friends.?

Can the 'self' truly exist without the society. With so much time to reflect, and without the medium of regulation through friends, family, work colleagues societal norms etc., are we heading into a new era of altered perceptions of self? I would suggest that self reflection is constructive, helpful, and may make us better/stronger, more productive individuals in life, when that reflection is supported by a second. By this I mean, having a second rational, reasoned and trusted person to sound off to, talk to, express ones self with, after all, self reflection is not reflection if you don't have a surface(person) to bounce off. Therefore, self reflection during this time needs to be measured, and inclusive of the outside influence of others in our lives. For those who chose to allow the 'id' the self desires to become prominent, then yes, buy all the toilet role you can, keep all your pasta to yourself, be the first, place self at the centre and forget where you are and where you came from, be selfish. For those who prefer the 'super-ego' to have dominance then be self loathing, overly self critical, constantly internalising the reflection, and seeing it through a misinterpreted perception of self, whether, that is influenced by historical events, background, family etc, never move on or progress. Or to those who, with their 'super-ego' dominance become narcissistic, keep posting selfies, continue your expert vlogs on beauty advise, fashion sense, how best to serve yourself and own needs in a relationship etc.. For all of these afore mentioned individuals, beware, when the isolation ends for society, will it end for you.

I truly believe that as the isolation continues, many will suffer from that same sense, consciously or subconsciously, of being alone. Interestingly prior to coronavirus emerging on the international scene, many experts were cautioning, advising, and suggesting that 2 particular age groups were becoming more lonely, due to social exclusion/isolation. The elderly, frail, immobile, and the 15-25yrs olds. Yes they have social media, they Instagram, snapchat, TikTok etc., but they lack true face to face communication, and that all important sense of being, belonging, community. We all need it, it is an intrinsic innate part of the Me. Why do so many people join, Facebook groups, darts teams, crotchet clubs, amateur sport leagues etc. All because we have a need to belong, but this belonging reinforces the 'Ego'. As Freud would say, that rationalising, mediating part of us, that links the instinctual desire for self the 'Id' and the critical, moralising 'Super-Ego' and balances it all out. For many that Ego is formed through our belonging, our family, community, our heritage even, and for some quite importantly the spiritual faith. For millennia peoples have identified themselves with their geographical heritage, their language and religions.

Now we take that away, and what influences us? Who or what becomes our peer(s), where do we learn and gain experiences from, and adopt our social skills, and real communication skills. Again, referring back to the experts who talk about loneliness, the stats show significantly higher rates of mental health issues, and particularly suicide amongst the young and older lonely elements of society, afore mentioned. Is it time, Now for the governments to support the Mental Health services, for the possible ensuing deluge of individuals needing help to find that Ego and mediate, rationalise, repair and restore the self. Also, do we as communities need to begin to restore our identities, acknowledge our part to play in the bigger picture, and the greater good. Do we need to encourage the street parties, village fetes so to speak, and to rebuild the community centres, encourage the Faith communities to re-establish their synagogues, mosques, temples and churches etc..? I suggest We need to move away from encouraging the ancient Greek ethos of self/'id', "look after No 1", but rather encourage the Nations, to once again build on families, community, local society and the larger society, the high streets, the faith of a community, their heritage and even faith in Their Nation.

Therefore, in these extreme times of self isolation, we need to be reaching out, talking and beginning, Now the rebuilding processes. Can belonging solve all our problems, No, but it is a strong foundation upon which to rebuild a nation, a people, a community, a family and the individual.