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Unwinding from Unchallenged Emotional Routine
Consciousness and Emotions - Who Is the Boss?
A few of us are capable of a nonchalant removing those reactive patterns of negative experiencing which haunt the majority seemingly no end. For some strange reason folks can't shake off their knee-jerk responses to life, even when they are aware of how ridiculous and useless they are.
Is there a way to unlearn them, or we are indefinitely stuck with that irrational part of our emotionalism, just shrugging it as an unfortunate part of "merely being imperfect humans"?
It could be anger, guilt, jealousy, embarrassment, or anything else from our lousy emotional repertoire that may stick to us "making our day" - or much longer than that. Experts are basically telling us to allow such feelings to "run out their natural course" without much interference.
The philosophy behind it is that "chasing negative feelings through the door only makes them come back through the window". Well, as poetic and true as it may sound - I don't agree with that. Not because my theorizing would give a more appetizing food to mind, but because my pragmatic nature has tested it and applied it during my relatively long, relatively challenging, and relatively studious life.
In reality, we are shifting our "moods" all the time, because our fluid nature allows it. It's only that we have to be reminded how we can do it intentionally as well.
Experts May Be Misleading Us
When you get to the bottom of emotions, they are not something that "just happens to us" - but we produce them, whether consciously or unconsciously. We are responsible for them as something of our own make, and whatever mind does - mind can undo.
Then, if we would listen to those experts, allowing our emotions to "run their natural course" we are allowing ourselves to stay glued to an earlier, immature stage of development. Namely, we all know how kids think, feel, and act impulsively, at a spur of the moment.
Those experts should know, or at least be reminded that there is something like emotional maturation. Possibly starting with our toilet training, we refine those exhibits of emotional spontaneity into "emotional sensibility", which actually defines us as adults.
There are emotions which simply don't make any sense, and that refinement means creating those inhibitory algorithms in brain which tell our "lower brain" to shut up. Over a time it becomes an automatic feature of adulthood, and we don't have to "struggle" with temptations.
If a good looking chick is passing by, my 72 years don't prevent me from admiring her, because beauty is to be admired - but it doesn't escalate into a frustration over "impossibility of having her". We could actually go as far as stating how much of personal and global problems are a direct or indirect result of people's not realizing that emotions don't "have to" be honored as a part of our identity. We are not our emotions - we make them, and in many cases they simply don't make any sense.
It's About Rewards of Being in Charge of Emotions
Indeed, as our personality gets formed, our hearts (should) increasingly cooperate with our consciousness. However, the idea is not in suffocating our heart under a ruthless emotional discipline, but by applying an intent to make ourselves functional in life.
Figuratively, we don't say to our heart : "Stop feeling this because I say so" - but from a spiritual platform we see a rewarding outcome of not feeling it. If someone says to me that I am a village idiot, my played-in spiritual algorithm will automatically channel my reaction to noticing something unhappy about that person - instead of taking it as an insult.
Why? Because it gives me pleasure to see how mentally effective I can be while having advanced myself from my immature knee-jerk reactiveness to life. That's what spirituality is in its pragmatic application in life - this cooperation of heart and consciousness.
You probably noticed that I said "consciousness" instead of "mind". Mind is really our "automatic pilot", the seat of our unconscious living. Most of the folks identify themselves with it, while not realizing that it represents everything picked up from collective consciousness - the one that tells us when it's appropriate to feel pissed-off, bored, happy, and otherwise emotionally engaged.
Of course, we can reprogram our mind with those beliefs and algorithms that are intuitively and spiritually more to our taste - but since most of the folks are not doing it, I am opting for "consciousness" while talking about that sensible part of our mental set-up.
No Prescription of What Is Appropriate to Feel
Thus, instead of figuratively saying: "That jerk made my day", why not start instilling a new algorithm into the dynamics of your reactiveness which would sound like : "I love myself enough not to keep all these emotional push-buttons".
Indeed, we have to remove those emotional non-sequiturs that we picked up from society, and which are unconsciously picking our emotions for us. Don't we have our own brains to sort everything out as either significant or nonsensical?
As someone says or does things that don't look right, who is really dictating to us how to emotionally process it? Do we need someone's approval to feel amused over the idiocies of the world - instead of joining the herd? It's only when we take a stand that emotions "naturally happen to us" - that we feel helpless about them.
It all starts changing when we detach ourselves from the outside stimuli and make them a subject to our intentional interpretation. What always works for me is that already mentioned satisfying feeling of being beyond events, of riding on the crest of all my raw perceptions of reality.
Yes, it makes me feel functionally effective in life, and anyone else can get to this same highly rewarding self-guidance. We are not at the mercy of events and circumstances and others' stupidities - at least once that we decide not to be anymore. It may help to remember that ancient Chinese proverb :
"We can't prevent birds from flying over our heads, but we can prevent them from making nests in our hair".
Emotionally Pro-Active Instead of Re-Active
Of course, I am not claiming any personal "perfection" here; and, mostly due to my non-conforming nature I have had my share of those situations that made me unprepared and caused me to "fall flat on my face". However, as the late boxing champ Muhammad Ali used to say: "It doesn't matter how many times you fall - but how many times you get up".
It shouldn't be any news to any of us that mind is that sh...t-disturber while heart and body always lean towards balance, health, happiness, and harmony. That's why I like talking about spirituality in terms of those heart-felt truisms of life - with wisdom coming after as their intellectual echo.
What we are daily chewing in our minds is a pathetic figurative chewing-gum that has lost a taste long time ago, and just threatens to dislocate our equally figurative mental jaws. A fresh look at life and our role in it should be in order. We should not resign from our spiritual attempts to be more than we were yesterday.
Even this new way of liberating ourselves from irritants of life could make a giant step in that direction - not a baby step as we are modestly anticipating. We can greatly surprise ourselves how effective we can be when it comes to our being emotionally pro-active instead of re-active.
Unwinding - by Replacing the Overactive Mindset
If we don't mind laughing at ourselves - and that could even be quite therapeutic - let's see how comical is the way we are handling our life. First we mess things up with our mind, and then we agonize with that same mind over it - ending up by trying to use that same mind to get ourselves out of that mess.
Old Alby-the-genius told us nicely that "we can't fix a problem by using the same mind that created it". Whenever I can, I avoid using any fancy words, but I guess the word is "transcend", and in plain English it would mean outgrow the mindset that is so familiar to us - and start being more effective than that mindset can possibly offer with its limitations.
Limitations, again, are in the realm of emotional maturity, in replacing a spontaneous reactiveness with a more refined emotional sensibility. I have not been using the term "unwinding" from the title of the article, but everything said so far has that as the topic, and I hope it's obvious.
As we seriously contemplate a more rewarding inner change, we just can't overlook how emotionally wound up we are by those artificial reactiveness to life - the one that we learned to imitate from others. Whether you are into politics, sport, religion, or any other field of interest that has an emotional charge involved, you may not be acting in the best interest of your emotional stability, and ultimately your happiness, peace of mind, and general health.
So, it may be prudent to give an overdue objective review to your emotional investments which are making you so wound-up and trigger-happy to produce emotions which are anything but life-promoting.
You can do it, you can change it - as soon as you realize that anything less is not worthy of you and your peace of mind.