The true impulse - The Third chakra and The Masochistic Character Structure

Written by: 
Katarina Subotich
Date of issue: 
„Desires are one thing, but possibilities are something else" was a sentence often heard from older members of our families who have gone through the horrors of the WWII. Poverty, inability and helplessness have imprinted themselves on belief system and attitude towards life as well as on the third chakra, as in individuals, so in the entire generation. 
The third chakra is precisely the portal through which we enter on the mental level of the energy field. It is a place where beliefs, a way of thinking, criticism toward oneself or others are formed. These beliefs are based on feelings, especially those of the second chakra: how do we feel about ourselves. 
Unfortunately, the negative and limiting beliefs engrave faster and deeper upon one’s psyche than the positive, and for most of us, the negative voices take the biggest part of mind. 
The third energy center, located in the region of the solar plexus represents the center of individualization and independence. The third chakra says: I have a right to own. Earth and water, elements that govern the first and second chakra are tied by gravity, likewise a child until its second year of life (still largely merged with the mother). 
In the period from the second to the fourth year, musculoskeletal system gets stronger, vertical motion is developed and thus the greater independence of the child too. The free will and specific individual desires appear, as well as intention to make these wishes come true. This center is controlled by the element of fire, which is the first element (after earth and water) that moves vertically. 
On the physical level, the organs which get their energy  through the third chakra are the stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen and the entire muscular system. The fire of digestion actually turns food into other forms of energy suitable for feeding the human cells. On the physical level, fire transforms the energy from one form to another (wood into heat and light) and precisely in the third chakra the first sparks of transformation appear in our lives. The impulse for action, for change and the desire to create the life we desire, are all born here. 
Starting with the physical sensations (first chakra), continuing over the needs (second chakra), we arrive to the desires and impulses for action (third chakra). Every desire is based on the need for something that is missing in our internal system (food, contact, touch, etc.). From this chakra we initiate the action for what we need. Desire is joined by the will and we move towards what we desire, towards something that is in the outside world, with the intention to draw it closer, to posses it, to accomplish... to fill up insufficiency and emptiness in our own inner world. 
This is where ego is born, the ego that allows us to stand up for ourselves, for what we want and to do it the way we want it. A balanced ego is necessary for the healthy functioning in this world. It is a mediator between the inner and the outer world, while giving a well-known sense of "self" to which we return after bringing an experience into our interior, with the goal to integrate it. 
Through the experience of risking, exploring and the effort to follow our own impulse for action in any area of life, we come across the achievements and failures. When we bring a success in our own inner world, we feel that we are able, whilst in the case of failure we feel inability and collapse. When, with the help and assistance of others we get back on our feet, at some point we think again: I can. I can survive both the success and the failure. Through these different experiences the self-esteem and a sense of power become stronger. 
The power often has a negative connotation in today's society: it is associated with power over others, occupation of a high social position, material goods and the like. Both the international and national media have been flooded with reports on violence, political, economic or military power. Domination, victimization, war: it's all about who is more powerful and who will overpower the other, either individually or as a community. Whoever is at the top has the power. 
In the individual, the inner world, this struggle continues: the dominance of superior (more developed) aspects of our personality over the weaker, which didn’t get a chance to develop (intellect over feelings, for example). 
Unfortunately, or I should rather say - fortunately, all this has nothing to do with the real, inner power and inner authority. 
The power starts with what is present in our lives here and now. Maybe it's precisely the feeling of helplessness. Acceptance and acknowledgement (to oneself) of the condition in which we are, be it sadness, hopelessness, inadequacy or else, requires courage, in other words, the strength and power to face those weaknesses and demons. Asking for help and support is a sign of flexible ego, humanity and humility, and not a sign of weakness. Men who show their emotions are sensible living beings with big, powerful hearts and not weaklings who actually live their life like robots obliged to control or completely eliminate their emotions. 
I hope this gives you, to some extent, an idea in which degree power is dislocated in modern day  society, like a twisted ankle. Indeed, such a life causes emotional pain, losing one’s self and trying to fit in a distorted image of the community, be it on family or society level. We lose touch with our needs and desires... we cease to live our own life and focus all the strength, mental and physical on satisfying the desires of others and on fitting into the general values set by who-knows-who and who-knows-when. 
Along with that, we learn to tolerate, to satisfy the others and we muffle our own impulse, desire and will. It is a symptom of the masochistic character structure, also known as a "persistent character." This character appears when a parent controls too much thus breaking the child’s will and its need for autonomy which grows slowly, but isn’t yet strong enough to stand on its own feet. In this case, subordination becomes the only way to survive in such an atmosphere. This is when the split appears between the inner and the outside world of the child: on the outside it is subordinated, but inside it resists strongly and opposes silently. Resistance becomes the only place where the Endurer feels power (internal dislocation of power and autonomy that is later reflected onto environment). 
This creates one of the most complex blocks that cause great inner tension and pressure. This is often reflected in the compacted physical body, a large "fortress" in the abdominal area, either in the form of body fat or as packed muscles. Due to the frequent criticism or denial of her own desire and will, the enduring character uses an enormous amount of energy to stop his impulses because ... “why should I even try, when there is no chance to get what I want”. This belief becomes the main kind of approach to life and it is easy to understand that from this projection we create our own reality, which further confirms that belief. Hence the large amount of negativity, and as we mostly stay in the passive state of internal resistance (we gave up action long ago), it remains to hate the world around us, to lament and defeat anyone who, even remotely, wants to help. 
Do you feel the interior atmosphere of the masochistic character? A lot of suffering that results from internal conflict, lack of satisfaction... in other words, we gave up our life and got stuck in a vicious circle where the only way to survive (as seen by a masochist) is to make a bigger effort, to work harder... “ because life is hard, and there is nothing one can do about it. “ A helpless condition that often leads to confusion, indecision and depression... 
Dead end with this character is that he doesn’t see the other way of existence apart from suffering. Power is not a thing; power is a way, a path to reach the desired goal. The power of choice. 
The way out for this character lies in exploring ambivalence, finding the impulse, one’s true impulse and not the one that has been imposed by the authority and the superior power (adult). Coming into contact with anger, as that impulse was stopped numerous times in one’s life, will lead to a feeling of great anxiety and then to shame, which one was exposed to due to following its own life course (often being punished too). 
Shame is a feeling that stifles the third chakra and the life force of the person with such energy structure. Shame blocks the energy flow that moves from the lower chakras and stops its transformation into action. When we are embarrassed, ashamed of ourselves and our instincts, we come to conclusion that these impulses must be controlled by the mind. All spontaneity and authenticity disappear from life and what remains is withholding inside everything that would move. Any movement of impulses causes terrible anxiety and we invest all the forces to prevent the impulse to come to the surface. The bigger the shame, more helpless we feel. 
Crucial for this character is to discover where and how he defeats himself and holds in his life. What others used to do before, we are doing to ourselves now, and often without even being aware of it. 
And this was another one of the five life stories, five character structures. And perhaps, if some of us didn’t have such a life story, either within the family or during education, I invite you to explore the places within yourself where you hold in your impulse. If it is not in the third chakra, look into the second, fifth, fourth, meaning in different aspects of your life: relationships, sexuality, the speaking of your own truth, creative expression and so on. 
As we get to know the following structures, we will increasingly come across layers and combinations of different defense systems. 
Until then, enjoy the impulse of your life force and its creation.
Katarina Subotich, BS, BHSP, SEP


Hello, thank you for your article!:) I've come to realize that unfortunately I'm the Endurer and now I'm looking for ways to overcome it. Based on your article, does it mean that I should simply star "living life" (I'm very isolated, but somehow by my own choice) - going out, meeting new people, take up some activities - in order to find a way out of that? I always feel like doing something but eventually always come to conclusion that it's better to stay home/I don't feel well/ I can do something more productive.. but then I have days when I feel miserable precisely for the reason that I'm alone. :( Unfortunately, due to my behaviour patterns, I suffered from bulimia, I've developed chronic problems with digestion (IBS), my stomach doesn't look muscular (it looks bloated all the time) despite the fact that I weight lift every day (as if it resisted) and it's just too much.. I just want to get normal:( thank you:)

Hi there. When we tell ourselves to do something with "should" or "must" it usually won't work:). It is a feeling that moves the healthy will. And most of us had traumas and woundings that keep some feelings in check. They cannot freely flow and enable our creative process. So doing some work on those things, personal process, WITH a good therapist, will help us discover more of who we truly are. Fear or shame of being seen will often keep us isolated. Dismantling the defensive mechanism that is protecting the wound will liberate a lot of vitality and life force. Than you will simply flow in the river of life, without demands of "should or must". You are life and life is you. No difference. All the best to you and thank you for reading and writing.

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