Many times we seek either divine assistance or human assistance in the form of workshops/self-improvement programs and books in the hope that it does an emotional/mental/spiritual ‘detox’. This leap of faith or perhaps for some, just a small step of hope comes with the expectation that doing any one of these will cleanse you of your ‘sins’, faults and limitations. I guess one of the difficulties all of us have is determining what is the problem, where the problem stems from and amongst many others, finding the ones etched so deep inside of us. For example, those where we don’t see it is a problem but others see it so clearly. So, how do we remove our blinders and really start observing and for others, really waking up from eternal slumber?
So, are you on your way or faraway? I guess the great consolation is that you are ready to start this journey of self discovery so consider yourself to be on the way to highlighting the salient triggers that are so hidden from your conscious.
Why We Are The Way We Are
In the early 20th century, Sigmund Freud first established that the human psyche is multi-faceted, and that each of us has warring factions in our subconscious. Since then, theorists have sought to prove that there are different parts of our personality that are played out when we are exposed to the varying experiences on a daily basis.
In 1951 Dr Wilder Penfield began a series of scientific experiments. Penfield proved, using conscious human subjects, by touching a part of the brain (the temporal cortex) with a weak electrical probe, that the brain could be caused to recall certain past experiences, with the feelings that come along with them. This was possible despite not normally being able to recall them using their conventional memories.
Penfield’s experiments over a period resulted in a wide acceptance of the following conclusions:
- The human brain acts like a tape recorder, and whilst we may ‘forget’ experiences, the brain still has them recorded.
- There is a certain connection between mind and body, i.e. the link between the biological and the psychological, e.g. a psychological fear of cockroaches and a biological feeling of yucky things crawling through your clothes.
- Along with events the brain also records the associated feelings, and both feelings and events stay locked together.
- It is possible for a person to exist in two states simultaneously (because patients replaying hidden events and feelings could talk about them objectively at the same time).
- Suppressed experiences when resurfaced are vivid and affect us like how it did when first experienced.
A Window To Peer Through
My greatest awareness of my own circumstances were especially the one’s I was ashamed of, disappointed and frustrated about and I sought to dig deeper to find the source. We tend not to do this because of our inability to handle and remove the source hence, ignorance is bliss.
The Beauty of Journaling
Many men think this is an exercise for women. Only women keep diaries, share their thoughts and keep track of them. Is it too ‘girlie’ an exercise? Journaling allows you to express without sharing with others what you truly feel but have left bottled up. Frequently, a thought pops up which causes us pain and the most convenient thing to do is to detract and distract by thinking about something else s as to reduce or diminish emotional pain. This thought when distracted gets accumulated in the toxic box of your emotional system. It bothers you for the rest of your life when you choose not to close the loop which in behavioral terms means seeking closure by gaining acceptance of the situation and moving on. And while you may not notice it because the thoughts sort of disappear for a while in the deep recesses of your subconscious, it manifests itself in frequent anger, frustration, unaccountable pessimism, fear and resignation. This is why we sometimes cannot make a connection with why we feel so yucky and yet there isn’t a direct connection that we are conscious about. Well folks, it’s an accumulation of issues from the past that been left to fester.
In the next post, I will share with you how to start reaching out to these emotions and ‘making friends’ with them rather than avoiding them.