One of the easiest ways to understand how we become the way we are is to look at the natural relationship that exists between the inner and the outer, and between ourselves and another. We are all born into this world as a seeded inner core of qualities and characteristics that are â€œbrought out in usâ€ through interactions, relationships, and dynamics of some form as our formative conditioning (birth till around puberty) that form and establish our personality and natural tendencies that we continue creating out of throughout the remainder of our life in a purely unconscious and natural manner. As children, we donâ€™t begin developing the ability to think and consciously make decisions for ourselves until around 10 to 14 years of age. Weâ€™re born into a fully active subconscious mind, which is passive (absorbs and processes outside information) and instinctual (automatic) in nature, emotionally driven, present in time, and â€œexperientialâ€ in nature. It doesnâ€™t think in rational and logical terms (required to make decisions), but through pictures and scenarios as an experience. Itâ€™s fully present in the moment (no awareness of time), and isnâ€™t distracted or consumed with thoughts of the past or future, like the conscious â€œtalking mindâ€. It governs all of what we could call involuntary and some voluntary behaviors of the body through emotions and impulses of some sort, and based on suggestions given to it by other people.
In the most natural sense, weâ€™re constantly being stimulated internally by everyone and everything around us. As weâ€™re stimulated, it activates in us corresponding and complementary qualities that are of the same nature, bringing them out in us through an active state, where we â€œmatchâ€ the state of the being or event weâ€™re interacting with, and we express those qualities as a joint-reality through the dynamic thatâ€™s being played out. Whatever qualities are stimulated and brought into an active and creative state consistently and in an on-going manner, are developed as strengths while simultaneously acquiring the â€œdynamicâ€ as a tendency. As we create experiences out of those qualities and dynamics, we â€œsense ourselvesâ€ through them, associate and identify with them, and â€œbecome themâ€ as a natural part of our perspective, attitude, and behaviors.
The outside world can only act to call forth in us what already exists in us as a natural part of our constitution and predisposition. It doesnâ€™t act to â€œgive us qualitiesâ€ that we donâ€™t already possess, but simply develop the qualities that are of a similar and complementary nature that we share in common. Naturally, whatever qualities are consistently stimulated and used to express as a way of creating our experiences, become exercised, well-developed, and a dominate part of our character. Other qualities that arenâ€™t stimulated very often are more subtle in nature, unfamiliar to us, and less developed. Still other qualities that are seldom ever or have never been stimulated in us, remain dormant in us as a form of latent potential.
As we go through life, because weâ€™re naturally prone to repeating and living out of our conditioning and well-developed aspects of our character, we usually simply walk through life repeating patterns, naturally forming the same type of relationships that play out the same type of dynamics, unconsciously place ourselves in the same type of situations and environments, and act, for the most part, in a purely unconscious and habitual manner, without ever really realizing that thatâ€™s what weâ€™re doing or that we have the ability to change it. Most live out of whatever comes natural to them and fail almost completely to recognize the patterns operating in their life.
Anytime we find ourselves in new and untried situations or relationships, we can feel awkward, unsure of ourselves, and overwhelmed with deep seated feelings of insecurity. We encounter a part of ourselves weâ€™re not familiar with, and we donâ€™t know what to do or how to be. We can fail to relate in the most basic sense, and not feel capable of playing the role weâ€™ve been cast into. Thereâ€™s usually two basic ways to interpret this, one is that the qualities necessary to participate in the dynamic or activity exist within us as potential that hasnâ€™t been exercised, embodied, or developed, so it feels new to us, or, that we donâ€™t possess the qualities and characteristics necessary, and so the situation isnâ€™t stimulating at all and is not serving to bring anything out in us, and we donâ€™t relate or identify with it in any way, nor do we want to.
For the most part we are all walking through life in a predominately unconscious state where we lack a fundamental awareness of the natural processes going on within us and around us as a natural part of our feelings, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Because all behavior is produced in a natural and automatic fashion by our unconscious mind as our personality, we often have no real awareness of what weâ€™re actually doing or why. Emotions, which are freely being transmitted throughout the astral plane (atmosphere) act as a powerful stimulus that renders us unconscious, produce illusions as memories in place of objective neutral reality, and cause us to act and play out whole behavioral dynamics in an automatic fashion as a â€œreactionâ€.
Anytime weâ€™re reacting to someone or something, weâ€™re literally being controlled by it by becoming just like it. We instantly receive the emotional charge, have a strong internal reaction that instantly references and pulls up a memory formed out of the same emotion that becomes our perceptual lens as a template for producing an automatic reality that says â€œthis is the same as thatâ€ (of the same emotion and meaning), and we act the same way as an automatic process. The subconscious is the aspect of the mind that produces, stores, and utilizes memory to produce instant interpretations of reality and automated behaviors. The emotion we were experiencing when we formed the memory is what gives the event the meaning it has, and is what connects the present to the past as being of the same meaning and idea. This memory, as a whole dynamic and reality, provides the subconscious with a pattern that it repeats and uses to create more of the same type of experiences. All reactive behavior is automated and we create out of a primarily unconscious state to create more of the past in the present.
Anytime weâ€™re living out of our emotions, or are strongly affected by the emotions of others being projected at us or openly expressed around us, and dwell in emotional states inwardly by thinking and replaying memories associated with them over and over in a variety of ways, weâ€™re literally being controlled and determined by others and our conditioning, and creating our life in a delusional manner. Weâ€™re tossed about and jerked around by the emotions we internalize as realities, and the will of others. The most predominate way weâ€™re manipulated, seduced, and influenced by others is through emotions. As weâ€™re stimulated and allow the emotions into our mind and body, allowing them to take hold and start running our thoughts, we form illusions out of them that we then relate and identify with, sensing our self as them, and they shape and determine us as a result. The patterns of our conditioning as dynamics, which are emotionally driven, have a very magnetic quality to them, and we can feel as if we get drawn into them even when intellectually we know we donâ€™t want to. Itâ€™s as if we canâ€™t seem to help it.
When weâ€™re in a situation where weâ€™re being stimulated by someone whoâ€™s outwardly being angry and hostel and is upset or attacking us, and we have that momentary realization of how theyâ€™re making us feel and what kind of person they are, and weâ€™re on the verge of reacting by becoming just like them, and letting them â€œhave itâ€, or â€œgiving them back their own medicineâ€, we can also realize that in doing so we â€œbecomeâ€ just like them. We become the same type of person and behave (and self-create) in the same way. We bring the same qualities and characteristics into expression, invest in the same illusion, and create in the same manner. When this happens weâ€™re being fully controlled and shaped to be just like this person. We give our will over to this person and give them free reigns in creating us to be the way we are. We â€œwillingly create an experience of ourselvesâ€ as being the same way and the same type of person.
The more we willingly participate in reactive behavior brought on by emotional charges, the more we strengthen those traits and cooperate in co-creating the illusions that ensue from them, and we accumulate memories of ourselves being that way, and they become a natural part of our normal behavior where we begin playing them out more and more. The more we cooperatively participate in emotions and behaviors, the more readily and easily weâ€™re stimulated by them and engage in a natural and unconscious way. We develop them into strengths and employ them as our normal emotional state. Our resistance to them lowers and we begin building their reality into our story about things in a way that makes sense and validates and justifies them as appropriate and rightfully warranted. Once this happens, they become a natural part of us.
Through the recognition and awareness of whatâ€™s actually happening and why, we can not only prevent the emotion being projected at us from ever entering and taking hold within us, and resist it by refraining from acting on it until it fades, and in the moment of calm that immediately precedes it, we can realize that we have a choice. We can either become just like this person in kind, allowing their mentality to infect us, or, through the awareness itself, keep it outside of us and not let it affect us. Anytime we donâ€™t merge into the same emotional state as another, we act energetically to neutralize it. We donâ€™t feed and amplify it by giving it our life-force energy. If we react and take it on, we amplify and multiply it. No matter what our choice is, and what actions we take based on our decisions, we create ourselves accordingly.
If you tend to be very sensitive and vulnerable to emotions (as most of us are) and have trouble resisting them, try a few practices that will allow you to become more aware of them in the sense of whatâ€™s actually happening when youâ€™re experiencing them. There are two primary ways we experience emotions, one is because theyâ€™re being expressed, projected, and transmitted through the atmosphere and act to â€œenter intoâ€ and stimulate us internally, and the other is they come as a reaction to our own thoughts. In both instances, simply be present with whatâ€™s happening, and self-reflect or observe the process from a detached perspective of whatâ€™s happening within you and why.
When reflecting on emotions being projected at you, itâ€™s best to start with ones that are mild to moderate (theyâ€™re not as gripping), and remove your attention completely from the other person or whatâ€™s being said or done, and simply turn your full awareness inward and become aware of how youâ€™re being stimulated. Notice where the stimulus is located in your body (heart, stomach, sexual organs, etc.) and how its making you feel. Describe the feeling in sensory terms (buzzy, tingly, sinking, warm, stabbing, queasy, arousing, etc.) As you realize how youâ€™re feeling because of it, become aware of how you want to react. Allow the initial impulse to momentarily play out in your mind. What behavior is it acting to produce in you in an automatic fashion? As you become aware of the behavior itâ€™s acting to prompt in an impulsive manner based on how youâ€™re feeling, notice what memory comes to mind or what past event youâ€™re relating it to that was of a similar nature and caused you to feel the same way. Then allow yourself to play out the meaning of the memory in terms of what you told yourself about it, and what it meant about you and other people as a result. Your only goal is to gain a full awareness around the nature of whatâ€™s actually happening in you due to the stimulus. Awareness and self-realization is all it takes to bring it under control and refrain from reacting while maintaining a clear mind out of which you can calmly decide how you want to respond.
In terms of becoming aware of your own self-induced emotional states, realize that thought and emotion are always connected and of a complementary nature. Weâ€™re always either producing our emotions based on what weâ€™re focused on or thinking about, or our thoughts emerge naturally as an expression of how we feel. Anytime a mood prevails or emotions swell up inside of you and starts consuming you, notice what it is youâ€™re focused on and playing out in your mind as a memory or idea, and what youâ€™re telling yourself about it. Then realize that if you simply change what youâ€™re focused on and thinking about, the emotion associated with it fades and changes accordingly. Learn how to see the natural relationship that exists between feelings, emotions, thoughts, memory, and behaviors or activities. Notice that our state-of-mind is created by three complementary factors, what weâ€™re focused on, what weâ€™re telling ourselves about what weâ€™re focused on that gives it meaning, and our physiology. Change any one of these, and the other two automatically change accordingly. If you feel you canâ€™t control your focus or thoughts, change what youâ€™re doing with your body. If sitting, get up and move around. If slumped over or feeling tired, sit up straight or get up and engage in vigorous activity of some sort. As you change what youâ€™re doing, your mood, outlook, and thoughts change accordingly.
By becoming more aware of the relationships and operations of our mind and body, we can begin learning how to manage our own mental and emotional states. All abilities to utilize our own creative faculties comes through self-awareness and our ability to actively choose where we were once unaware, and willfully act out our choices to create new experiences of ourselves. In order to operate our own mind, we have to gain knowledge of our own subconscious mind and our ability to direct and guide it using our conscious mind. All unconscious and automatic processes can only be brought under control and utilized in an intentional manner by becoming aware of them. We can only work with what weâ€™re aware of. Self-awareness is the key to life and the pathway to self-mastery.
In situations where weâ€™re being stimulated by others or events, we have to notice what quality and â€œway of beingâ€ itâ€™s acting to bring out in us, and who we become by expressing through it. Notice that people are always acting on us to influence us to become â€œlikeâ€ them as a way of being and acting. All relationships we form at all levels of our life serve to naturally transform us by way of this process. Itâ€™s a fundamental process of cause and effect, stimulus that produces a like response, and action that produces and equal or greater reaction. At the energetic level of attributes, qualities, and characteristics, everything is produced, modified, and evolved through resonance, sympathetic induction, and coherence between two complementary systems. Once you realize it and form a fundamental understanding of it, learn how to use it consciously in a deliberate and intentional manner to develop yourself by way of it. Always work within the natural laws involved to create within the material plane.
Dr. Linda Gadbois
Integrative Mind-Body Medicine Consultant and Spiritual Mentor