One of the most fundamental spiritual errors we make in life is in believing that we are the personality of our body and conditioning. As a human soul born into an animal body, we acquire the physical characteristics and ancestral memory that’s inherent in our genes. Our genetic makeup bestows us with the basic tendencies that are then developed by our family dynamics (those who share the same tendencies) as our formative conditioning that serves to birth our initial identity (ego). Through our formative conditioning we form a story about our self that becomes our life theme. As we grow into adults we take over the process of continuing to condition ourselves by living out of the same story. We usually do this without ever realizing that the only reason it holds true for us is because we continue to live our life as though it’s true. Many people (actually most), firmly believe that they “are” their personality as they were shaped by others and society, and have no real ability to change themselves. They live their entire life without ever realizing that they’re actually the “story-teller” and one that’s producing the reality of their story, rather than a mere consequence of the story itself.
As we come into this life and our soul acquires the qualities of our genetic makeup, we’re initially shaped by others and outside forces to strengthen and develop certain qualities while others remain latent and underutilized. We exist as children in a predominately unconscious state (of hypnosis) where we readily take in and internalize whatever consciousness is actively being expressed and demonstrated all around us. Whatever dynamics we’re apart of as a family structure, we become programmed with, and they serve to form the foundation for the story we begin telling ourselves as a means of making sense of things as we begin developing our conscious mind (between 8 and 21 years).
Our personality is formed from an unconscious state as a form of hypnotic programming that lays the foundation as a life theme for our identity to spontaneously emerge through our conscious development. As we begin thinking for ourselves and forming our own ideas about things (somewhere around puberty) we take over our own unconscious programming as our internal dialogue and the perceptual filters that we use for producing all of our experiences. We take over where our family left off, and our parent’s voice becomes our own internal voice and the means through which we interpret things to give them meaning through the story we begin telling ourselves about them. Our conditioning forms the basis for all of our initial internal dialogue as our means of thinking and processing information to form a consistent experience of our self, others, and the world around us. Out of this initial story-line as a life theme we consciously begin developing our identity by the roles we naturally take on and play through the relationship we form with the outer world and our life circumstances.
All of our primary memories are formed from significant emotional events in our life that had a strong impact of some kind that altered us in some way. The emotional impact came at a time when we couldn’t rationalize it in an objective manner, and so we processed the experience internally by making it all about us. As a child we perceive ourselves as being one with our family unit and haven’t yet developed the mental capacity to see ourselves as sovereign individuals. Whatever we hear being said about us by others around us we accept as being true without questioning it, and form beliefs about our self as a result. Through a basic form of hypnotic suggestion we’re given (subliminally programmed with) the same values, attitudes, perspectives, beliefs, emotional states, and behavioral dynamics as our family unit. We always shape ourselves to be just like our family, or what we imagine to be the opposite (relate or contrast), but either way, we still form ourselves by way of our family.
As we grow older we fall into a very specific and pronounced role within that dynamic and we begin developing ourselves based on what we’ve been taught to believe about ourselves and the way things are. Whatever other people say about us when we’re a child acts as a creative directive (hypnotic suggestion) for our subconscious to produce as a reality. The beliefs we form about ourselves as a child become our “core beliefs” out of which we form all of our other beliefs as a correlation, and ultimately becomes a form of “self-fulfilling prophecy”. What we call our soul’s “destiny” is usually the result of our conditioning as our “false identity”.
By the time our conscious and self-aware mind develops fully (around 21 to 28 years old), where we develop the powers of reasoning, discernment, and the ability to logically analyze things, and we separate emotionally from our parents and begin seeing our self as an individual, we’re already programmed and take over the process of conditioning (creating) ourselves by continuing to live out of our past. We continue to see ourselves and process our experiences as we’ve been taught to through our conditioning, and the voice of those who judged and criticized us becomes our own internal voice that we continue playing over and over in our mind.
How we Shape Ourselves
We all have a tendency to only live out of a handful of memories that we use as the means of constructing our story about ourselves and our life. These are the memories that had the greatest impact on us, and that we use in a continuous fashion to shape ourselves accordingly. There are many other memories that we could use that would contradict our story, or tell a different type of story altogether, but we choose to ignore and exclude those, and often, over time, forget them completely. This natural ability to select the memories that we use to build our life story out of is a demonstration of our soul’s true ability to create itself, but of course we usually fail completely to realize “how” our mind is operating to “create”, and focus instead on the conditioned content as what we’ve been taught to think and feel. We don’t know how to recognize the laws by which our mind works to create an image of ourselves “as” a certain type of person, and believe instead in the illusion of our own making.
My own experience of this as a realization came from a basic form of inner guidance that called me on my own story about things. One of the feelings I always had as a kid was that nobody knew me as I really am, and judged me instead to be the same as my family, which I was nothing like in the most basic sense. As a young adult I moved to a town where nobody knew me or my family, and as I was getting ready to walk through the doors of a restaurant I was working at, it seemed like a kind of metaphor for walking into a new reality, and a voice inside said . . . okay Linda, you’re always saying that people don’t know you for who you really are, so who are you? The only thing that people are going to know about you here is what you choose to tell them. No one knows anything about your past or what you’ve been through. And I decided at that point that I wasn’t going to talk about my past or my family.
What I immediately noticed is how people looked at me and how they treated me based on being myself. I felt a kind of heaviness had been lifted from me, and a strange, newfound freedom. Like I was standing in front of a blank canvas and deciding what I was going to create. I had a blank piece of paper where I could write whatever story I wanted to. As a result of never talking about my past and deciding I was going to create myself in a conscious manner, I began forgetting about the past and over time thought about it less and less. As I no longer chose to dwell in memories of the past, I began feeling different about myself and my life. My personal growth during this time was phenomenal and I slowly began transforming myself into a completely new type of person. The person I consciously decided to be.
Many years later, when I finally opened up and talked briefly about my childhood and what I went through growing up, people that knew me were shocked. They had no idea and thought I had come from a well-to-do family, had an extensive education, and was nurtured as a child by loving parents. As time went on, many years later, when I would talk about the crazy stuff we did as kids (I had 3 older brothers), instead of talking about it as abuse and tragedy, I decided I was going to embody the outlook and attitude of two of my favorite fictional characters, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and I re-told the stories of my past in a humorous and adventurous way. All of my stories about running away, hoping trains to who knows where, and living in forts on the streets became exciting adventures of exploration and freedom. I retold the exact same experiences from and entirely different perspective, and as a result changed the memories themselves in terms of how I “experienced” them and how I felt about myself as a result. I literally recreated myself using the same memories as life events while experiencing them in a whole new way. This was my first lesson in the art of self-transformation.
Now, as a fully mature person who has lived many lives in the course of this life and personality, I hardly ever talk about my past or myself in the general sense, and instead practice being present, talk about ideas and what my life is about currently. I’ve grown so much in terms of my ability to create myself intentionally that I don’t even relate to the little girl in my memories anymore. Many people see me as mysterious and a bit hard to get to know, without realizing that it’s because I no longer choose to live from my unconscious conditioning of the past, and instead identify with my true self as a universal being that’s the “storyteller” and the one creating the reality rather than the hypnotized personality still living out of the past and how I was shaped by others.
To wake-up in life isn’t to “heal from the past” by going through years of therapy where you “work through the issues of your past”, which usually only causes you to become even more identified with your past and the need to tell about “what happened to you” as a means of explaining why you’re the way you are. It comes instead through realizing who you really are as a soul and identifying instead with being the one who’s doing the creating by way of the story you keep telling yourself and others, often referred to as “your truth”. It’s detaching from your own past memories formed as a child when you had no real self-awareness and assuming the position of being the one who’s creating an image of yourself and producing the reality of your life “as” that story. You decide that you no longer need to keep telling that story as an expression of who you are, and you let go of it as a result. You no longer present yourself through the stories of your past and realize instead that you can create in the present whatever experience of yourself you want to by simply choosing to operate your own mind and imagination in an intentional manner.
What we think of as our “self” is formed out of memories. Our memories only remain alive if we continue to give them life in the present by constantly reliving them in our imagination. To change the self, you have to change the memories that serve to form it. All memories are actually something we create by how we interpret the events of our life out of whatever emotional state we were in at the time. By constantly reliving the memories over and over keeps us locked into the same emotional states. Whatever memory we play out and the emotion it keeps us infused with forms all of our natural perceptions, behaviors, and activities. You don’t change a memory by reinterpreting it to give it new meaning, but by “experiencing” the same event from a different perspective and attitude that causes you to “feel different” and elicits a different emotion in response to it. We evolve and transform ourselves by re-imagining our life experiences. All will to create lies in masterful use of your own imagination.