Living from emotions such as guilt, shame, fear, stress, anxiety, anger, bitterness and resentment is the result of early programming and conditioning that created a sense within us that operating from these feelings and identifying with them was our normal. Because of this, being continually drawn in by them is familiar for many of us.
But just because an emotion is familiar doesn’t make it who we are, useful or helpful. Becoming aware of which emotions are familiar and noticing them rather than acting on them can change the way we view ourselves, our lives and our experiences.
Our thoughts create our feelings and the thoughts we developed early on about who we are and what we can expect to achieve and experience in life created neural pathways in our brains that we have continued to reinforce as we have gotten older. These have created familiar emotions within us that we default to.
What we have come to feel most often about ourselves, our place in the world and our experiences with other people influences our understanding and perceptions of life and the way we live and operate and we subconsciously seek to reaffirm these understandings and perceptions via our interactions with the world.
Until we realise this it can feel as if we are trapped in a constant cycle of thinking and feeling the same things which lead to the same experiences and we can seek extreme methods of escape. However, the only true way out is in; changing our minds and our familiar emotions by becoming aware of those that we feel most often drawn in by so that we can notice their draw without getting caught up with them.
We do this by recognising that we have the choice to change our beliefs, to reprogramme our subconscious minds and to change our thought patterns. As soon as we know that we have the ability to do this, we seek out ways that will help us to align with more positive and powerful ways of being in and experiencing the world.
When we refuse to keep returning to the familiar in favour of a more beneficial approach to life, we change our concept of self and begin to peel back the layers of personality that are covering up who we really are and what we are really capable of.
This also leads to us forgiving ourselves for the feelings that perhaps we have been criticised or shamed for expressing in the past. Self judgement does not lead us to health, happiness, peace and clarity of mind but to more feelings of stress and unhappiness which further cloud our perspective and affects our level of awareness and understanding.
The ego is uneasy about change and so there can be moments on the path of self discovery that feel extremely uncomfortable as it screams out that we can’t do this and lists all the terrible possible outcomes of us becoming more brave, more loving, more connected, more seen.
And yet we know on a very fundamental level that we are not supposed to live in a constant state of insecurity and unhappiness. We know that emotions are okay to be felt and nothing to be feared or ashamed about. We know we are human and here to experience life in many wonderful ways and we have to tap into this knowledge to allow ourselves to change.
We do this by uncovering who we really are, by returning to a sense of self that is pure and untouched by all that we have seen and done and had done to us. A self that is able to regulate thoughts and emotions by defaulting to resilience, coherence and love. A self that guides us to learn how to process life’s events in a way that empowers us and expands us beyond the familiar.