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Why am I Unhappy? Dealing with Past Conditioning

Updated on July 15, 2016

Why am I Unhappy?

By Tony DeLorger © 2010

When motivated by past crises, our decisions and actions are affected in a negative way. The more negative conditioning we carry around, the more negative circumstances we create, as a result of our thinking and attitudes that those negative experiences have influenced. It’s not always easy to recognise this impact as we often bury these types of experiences as a necessity, for protection and survival.

To address these attitudes and correct our negative thinking, we must understand our conditioning, the amassed experiences that have made up our past. Subconsciously we record and assimilate all our experiences, good and bad, but often have no conscious understanding of them. Anything bad or distasteful tends to be tucked away, far from our consciousness, to cope and survive. For this reason we must shake loose the hidden negatives, address them and rid ourselves of their influence.

Again we must use ‘Cognizant Therapy’ to analyse, understand, forgive and let go of the past. In doing this we are taking back control of our beliefs and decisions to make more informative choices about life, rather than knee-jerk responses driven by negative conditioning.

One simple example of this negative conditioning is an attitude my Grandmother used to impart. Because of the Second World War, she grew up to believe that the Japanese were terrible, cruel and unfeeling people; she basically hated them but had never met a single one. She’d heard all sorts of stories about torture and cruelty to our soldiers and was conditioned to believe that all Japanese were the same and forever trying to take over Australia. When she was young, she of course believed the adult stories and in fact went to her grave believing this. She used to sit there, thirty years after the war and warn everyone about an impending invasion.

We can easily become programmed to believe all sorts of rubbish and through maybe one bad experience judge an entire race, creed or circumstance. Instead of investigating and drawing our own conclusions, we often blindly accept the negative. With personal experiences it is often easier to blame someone or something else or hide them away as self-protection. The problem remains that having not dealt with the event emotionally; it can resurface and have a profound affect on our life.

So how do we discover these dark negative thoughts that cloud our thinking? Meditation and introspection is a way to connect buried and subconscious thoughts to our consciousness.

Meditation to Release Negative Conditioning

So let’s begin as always in your meditation position with deep breathing.

Once relaxed, I want you to imagine a gold disc in front of you. The disc is the size of a dinner plate, hovering about two feet in front of your face. The purpose of this exercise is to hold the gold disc still in front of you. It sounds easy, but it’s not.

Every time the disc moves or you lose it or another thought enters, don’t push anything away, simply re-establish the disc and hold it there. Start this exercise for ten minutes a day, and as you get better at it build up to twenty minutes a day. After a month of practice you will begin to notice some changes.

During the natural course of your day, issues and old experiences will begin to rear their heads. Sometimes the experience can be unsettling with emotions suddenly activated without notice or any obvious trigger. This is purely part of the process, the dislodged negatives surfacing for you to address.

At the end of your day I want you to write down all the emotions and issues brought up. I want you one by one, to account for their existence (where they came from) and understand why they are still with you and unresolved. With objective logic I want you to understand the origin and circumstance of each issue; forgive and then let it go to reside in the past.

As I’ve said before, should the avalanche of emotions become overwhelming, as does happen in some cases, seek professional guidance. There is no shame in it, on the contrary, you are bringing up often painful baggage from your past, and sometimes the healing process needs a guiding hand to help you deal with it completely.

In time, the emotions and issues will slowly subside and your focus on the disc will be stronger. At that point, cease the gold disc and replace it with a simple exercise- Imagine each inhalation is saturated with energy, vitalising every cell in your body. Each exhalation is dispelling all the pent up emotions, fears and negative conditioning that you have accumulated. Feel it pouring out from your body and dissipating.

Do this meditation for twenty minutes a day for at least one month.

The exercise will be both empowering and liberating, gently cleansing your mind and body of all that negativity that’s been holding you back.

Having looked at all the reasons for you being negative and feeling unhappy, virtually blocking a positive path in life, we must now address happiness itself.

Let’s readdress what happiness is. I believe ‘Happiness is a feeling of self-assuredness, confidence in your ability to cope and a positive demeanour that is both the result of practice and an appreciation of what we have, regardless of money, status, success or circumstance.’

The reality is that nothing can make you happy. Happiness is a decision. Sure, certain advantages in life can make it easier, but don’t confuse that with happiness. Happiness is an attitude that comes from within us, and projects out into the world. That positive attitude then affects our world and creates positive outcomes. When we are miserable and negative it’s obvious that we attract all sorts of disasters as a consequence. Being positive and happy has the opposite affect. And that’s what we want, Isn’t it?

In our hectic lives it is so easy to accumulate negativity and by the end of the day, you’re ready to kill someone. But life doesn’t have to be like that. If we positively deal with each issue as it arises and keep everything in perspective, we will never have that build-up of buried dark attitudes. Without them we can respond to the world with a clean slate and without conditioning, keeping our lives in balance and in the direction we wish to progress.


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    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      As I said in the article, happiness is a conscious decision, not a result of anything. When we want something to make us happy, when we get it we simply want more, because it doesn't make you happy. This is not easy to assimilate, but it is the key and requires work and perseverance

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image

      Annie 6 years ago from NewYork

      i wish i knew the key to happiness

      great write

    • profile image

      Tony DeLorger 7 years ago

      Thank you for your kind words.

    • careconservation profile image

      careconservation 7 years ago from Global


      This is refreshingly honest. A lovely read indeed.