Accepting the Animal in You: The First Step to Becoming Civilized
Don’t be ashamed about your body needs!
“Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.” — Sigmund Freud
We all want to be civilized. We try to act in a socially acceptable way and meet the expectations of those around us. But what does it mean to be civilized? What are the steps we need to take for this to happen?
To become civilized, we must first accept the animal within us. We must also understand that humans are animals with basic instincts and needs.
Suppressing these instincts is counterproductive and will only lead to chaos. Once we accept our nature, we can begin working on becoming civilized.
Wired For Survival
Human beings, as well as other animals, are wired for survival. What does that mean?
It means that we have basic instincts that are necessary for our survival. These instincts drive us to do things like eat, sleep, and procreate. They also make us territorial and protective of what is ours.
All these instincts are normal and okay. We should not feel ashamed or guilty about them. It’s when we try to suppress them that problems arise.
The first step to becoming civilized is accepting the animal within us. Once we understand that human beings are animals with basic needs and instincts, we can begin working on meeting society’s expectations.
Eating, sleeping, and engaging in sexual activity are all natural things we need to do to live. They would not appeal to us if they didn’t feel good. Unless there is a problem, these activities feel enjoyable in our bodies.
Eating to Live, or Living to Eat?
Physiologically eating is when the body breaks down food and converts it into energy. We need to eat to live. But for some people, eating becomes more than a way to survive. It becomes an obsession.
Some people become fixated on food and start to see it as the only thing that matters. They may become overweight or even obese as a result. This is not a healthy way to live and can lead to serious health problems.
When we become fixated on food, we no longer eat to live. We are living to eat. This is not a sustainable or healthy way to exist.
It’s crucial to find a balance between eating for survival and enjoying the taste of good food. Eating should be pleasurable, but it should not be the only thing we think about.
We All Have Sexual Desires
Sexual desire is another instinct that we have. It’s normal to feel attracted to other people and to want to engage in sexual activity. But like anything else, there can be too much of a good thing.
Some people become obsessed with sex and start to see it as the only thing that matters. They may become promiscuous or even addicted to it.
When we become fixated on sex, we no longer engage in it for pleasure or intimacy. We are doing it for the sake of doing it. This is also not sustainable or healthy.
It’s essential to balance enjoying sex and see it as a necessary part of life. Sex should be enjoyable, but it should not be the only thing we want.
Sleeping the Day Off
Who can deny that sleeping feels delicious? It’s one of the best things in the world.
Some people become obsessed with sleep and start to see it as the only thing that matters. They may become lazy or even depressed as a result.
When we become fixated on sleep, we no longer use it to recharge our energy. We are using it as a way to avoid life. This is not healthy or productive.
I recently wrote an article on sleeping habits. You may find it helpful.
Controlling our bodies and not having our bodies control us
It’s essential to find a balance between taking care of our bodies and allowing them to take care of us. We should not be ashamed of our instincts and needs. But we also should not let them control us.
We are all animals with basic needs and instincts. But we are also rational beings with the ability to control our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
When we accept the animal within us, we can begin becoming civilized.
Civilized does not mean perfect. It means controlling our primal urges and living in harmony with those around us.
It’s crucial to balance our animal nature and our rational side. We need to meet our basic needs, but we also need to think about the long-term consequences of our actions.
It’s critical to instill this habit in your young ones early. It’s vital to teach your children to keep their impulses under control.
One of the most extraordinary things you can do for them is showing them that immediate gratification isn’t everything. Teach them how to delay gratification and think about the consequences of their actions.
Are you ashamed of your bodily impulses? Have you embraced the animal in you? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
This article was first published on Medium.com.