- Mental Health
How to Evolve into a Self That You Would Rather Be
Do Not Rationalize about a Possible-You
What follows are some ideas that I always wanted to share with someone who had a dream about a different self. So, if you happen to be one of them, don't be bothered by the fact that I don't know you personally as to be able to find those custom-made words pertaining to your dream.
For, I may not know the way you were yesterday, or the way you may turn out to be tomorrow, but if you want to change, I have known you from ever. My first and last appeal to you is not to rationalize about "whether the change is possible or it isn't".
There are those things that are axiomatic in nature, you can't either add or subtract from them by reasoning - such as love, happiness, peace of mind, harmony...or a miraculous personal change.
As a matter of fact, being smart about them could only take you further away from them, not closer. It was long time ago that someone said: "Mind can't understand reasons of heart", and that still stands true. As the days and years go by, there may be this nagging wish to start fresh with a new mindset, to write a new book of your life, not merely a new chapter - and only your heart can author it.
The same voice of wisdom coming somewhere from the depths of your soul may tell you that --- if it was up to your mind, you would have changed long ago. So, let's step aside with all reasoning, all doubts, all logic that would make that change impossible, while making a reality that old saying : " Follow your own bliss!"
You Are Not a Memory
If you take a look in the mirror of your heart, you would see the person of yesterday, because your "recognizing" means "knowing what was". You are looking at a memory of you. Now, are you a memory, or someone having a memory? How far back in time would you go with identifying yourself with your memories?
However, there is one age with which the real, present you has something in common --- it's the time of your birth. Time offering to both of you to share the opportunity of becoming. Neither of you has really a past to be identify with, there is only now and a future in front of you. However, with one huge difference - this time around you get to choose, and that's one huge advantage over that baby you used to be.
There Are No "Old" Hurts, only New Ones
One day it all dawned on me, how ridiculous it was to ascribe any of my present emotions to anything back there in the past. That would certainly include emotional pains. We simply feel the same pattern of emotional hurt at different times in life - not that one "originates" from the other.
So, your feeling lonely as a kid has nothing to do with your feeling lonely or bored these days, it's only that the same emotion is being repeated. To say that it "originates" from that childhood loneliness would be like saying that your pain in the thumb from accidental hitting it with a hammer "originates" from that pain of hitting it with a toy.
Let us not believe too much in those stories in psychology about "childhood traumas still affecting us". No one is saying that we have to repeat that pattern of emotional pain - or even to base our emotional personality fixated on it. It's only our memory that somehow emotionally connects a previous situation with this present one.
This is simply the way mind works---it borrows a pattern of experiencing from the past so that it doesn't have to create a new one. Technically we are talking here about mental laziness, because we don't consciously "feel like" giving every current situation an updated treatment.
You see what I am saying here? There is a whole possible repertoire of emoting, and just because one pattern has been repeated a number of times and so became a sort of "popular" in your automatic reactiveness - doesn't mean that it can't lose that popularity in favor of another bunch of emotions that feel so much better.
We become what we have been practicing, my friends, so let us stop believing that we are "stuck" with those emotions of the past --- let's "practice" some new ways of emoting. For, if we could junk our wearing diapers without "missing" any these days, why not junk those outmoded models of emoting?
Just because people are not talking about it as popular, or even being possible, it doesn't mean that it can't be done. I remember more than once saying it to myself in the past : "If it has never been done --- let me try to be the first one to do it". And my model of emotional functioning these days shows I did it.
All of Your Own Make
The crucial key in personal change is a matter of self-identity. Just like the new-you doesn't identify with your memories of yourself, so it is with your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, attitudes, and your worldview.
They are not you, they are your creations. Whatever your mind created in the past, you mind can blast out of existence. Just because our culture doesn't consider it customary, it's not a signal to us to stay stuck with all that emotional junkyard in our emotional repertoire that doesn't make any sense.
Imagine for a moment if creating ourselves was a normal part of school curriculum, and kids were bragging how they make themselves feel divinely blissful at will, or fall asleep in three minutes at night, or attach good feelings of humor to all negativities they hear from society.
Then imagine an older dude like myself actually being able to do all that without having attended such a school in his childhood. Well, it didn't have to be a part of my curriculum in school - I made it a part of my own curriculum in my "life school".
You see, it's all about detaching our true identity from our creations and attaching those chosen ones to our personality makeup. If you think this is "unnatural", then help your logic by realizing that something exactly like that was done in your childhood to you by your primary caretakers - something that had not been a part of you was attached to you.
Now you are left with that simple choice what to keep of that bunch of personality traits, and what to dispose of as useless to you. In this undertaking of changing ourselves we have to get used to treating all our experiencing as "learned patterns", and see ourselves as responsible for them. When I say "responsible" I don't mean "blamed", but response-able, or able to respond, to act upon.
In other words, whatever you are experiencing is of your own make, even if you are just allowing something to pop up in your mind or your emotions, because no one out there physically walked into your brain and press some buttons to "make" you experience it.
When we take others responsible for the way we feel, we surrendered our power to them and assumed a role of victims. Then our whole life is nothing but a drama, or a soap opera in which we are only helpless puppets acting out someone else's script prepared for us.
That's something that keeps us convinced how change is impossible, because we "don't have the power to make it happen". Reclaiming that power makes it possible, and that dream in our heart propels us to make those steps necessary towards our chosen change.
Set Yourself Free
Freedom is one of the most magic words in existence, right after love. Jesus was free, the Buddha was free, Mahatma Gandhi was free. Not to be free has nothing to do with social or moral restrictions, but everything to do with our self-imposed limitations.
Break loose from your own chains, and start choosing intentionally. You see, people keep choosing from moment to moment, but their choices are unconscious and based on knee-jerk reactiveness to life, and mostly just carbon copies of others' choices.
Freedom means choosing our own thoughts, feelings, actions, and attitudes - simply because they are intuitively making more sense to us, not because this or that person told us so. No one knows our intimate reality better than we do, and no one is called upon to tell us what to choose so that we feel more complete, and our life more fulfilled.
Somebody back there started the whole lousy paradigm of "normalcy", and from that point on everyone has been sheepishly following that whole package that's limiting who we are and what we are capable of doing. Now, whoever that someone was, what really makes him a leader of our minds and hearts? Why the heck should we spend our lives being "followers" of someone else's ideas - can't we use our own minds?
Let's think about it every time when our new ideas of self-liberation start clashing with an inner voice of an imposed outer authority. What's the point of choosing how to dress up today if we have no choice over the person that we are dressing up? For that matter we might as well be one of those shop window dummies, impersonal, all looking like one another but just dressed up into something that is supposed to "identify" who we are.
So, let us snap out of that imposed reality, folks, and start being who we want to be. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to our life and to that baby we used to be.