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Consider Unicorns -- a different way to act instead of react in life's situations

Updated on December 21, 2012

Consider Unicorns...

Whether unicorns are "real" or not, these mythical creatures have existed in our collective human imagination for thousands of years.

Let's say you were dreaming at night, your body safely asleep in your bed, and you dreamed of a unicorn... Upon waking, what would you do besides blinking your eyes a few more times than necessary and whispering to yourself " An unicorn? What was I thinking?" before getting out of the bed and forgetting the dream in a hurry?

Would you have known that an opportunity had come for you to "think in a different way"?

How many of us operate in auto-pilot in almost all areas of our lives? The way we operate at work, at home, with colleagues, with clients, with families, with friends, with life's upsets. The way we swear in blind rage in the privacy of our cars. The way we handle our tiredness, our lack of time for ourselves before we collapse in bed after another day of "getting by", dismissing the possibility of " a better and different way".

So many of our believes were there before we even gave it conscious permission to be there. Believes that got passed on from our culture, our ethnic groups, our religious authority, our current society, our parents, our childhood, even our past lives...etc. How many of your everyday thinking, your behaviour and your emotional reaction are under the control of your conscious awareness?

Do you really know why you were upset when someone said or did that thing that made you upset?

Sometimes I feel like a field of land mines. Those land mines were buried there so very very long ago in an forgotten war that no one alive really know why they were there and where exactly they were. But someone says something and "boom!" a land mine goes off. Someone gives me a certain look and "boom!" another land mine goes off. Someone cut in front of me in the traffic and "boom! boom! boom!" a series of land mines were upset and the explosion couldn't be stopped.

Do we really know why we were "wired" one way or the other, not unlike a suicide bomber except we can't remember when it was that we got wired and why.

Some of us go to the therapists, some of us don't. But perhaps the when and why, while interesting and educational and perhaps contains important information regarding disarming the emotional land mines, aren't as important as " the willingness to operate in new and conscious ways".

For example, rejection is a personal biggie for me. Whenever I come across rejection in my personal life, it sent me right back to the equivalent of the Stone Age of Emotional Evolution. As to the reasons why, I have a few theories but it never gets clear. But knowing myself and the way I get triggered around issues of rejection, will I still react angrily and unconsciously to the girlfriend who said she needs to be left alone for a while and never called again?

Or can I acknowledge that every individual is a complex mess of wires and triggers and ticking clocks and no one can really know why someone acts or reacts a certain way? Instead of reacting out of old emotional patterns, can I choose to have compassion towards myself and others instead?

Choose Compassion Over Judgmental Reaction

Compassion is like the cooling water that dampen the bomb before it can explode. Know that there's no way of really knowing someone's issues and just let go before you set off that emotional bomb of rage and abuse. And by all means, stay back, so you don't become a casualty in someone else's suicide bombing mission.

But we are talking about unicorns and thinking in new different ways....

Can you catch yourself before you get emotionally triggered, or hopefully immediately after?

Can you have a good laugh at this universal human condition of pain/triggers instead of diving head long into judging and reaction?

Have you ever stop in the middle of your everyday activities and ask yourself "is there a new and better way"?

And why am I asking all those questions?

Would you have believed me if I said I have been touched by a unicorn?

by Violet Flame

unicorn image from
unicorn image from


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    • Violet Flame profile image

      Violet Flame 5 years ago from Auckland, NZ

      Dear vionandfocus,

      Thank you for making that connection between personal trauma and its trigger (land-mine). Sadly I have learned from my own life experience that the sadder, more injured we are, the angrier we become. After a couple of very difficult years I was transformed from a peaceful mild person to someone who erupted into powerful spectacles of anger whenever triggered. I am not yet rid of all the angry land-mines, but I am willing and watchful. The other day, a total stranger was shouting angrily inches away from my face, trembling with so much anger from something relatively insignificant. I just stared at him in dismay. I observed for myself that that must be how I look like when I get triggered. And instead of reacting to him, I simply stared in wonder. It probably wasn't the right thing to do, but I think we were both given a lesson at that time. Instead of reacting to him, I felt sorry for him. But what i really should feel was a great compassion, because he is hurting, exactly like I had been.

    • visionandfocus profile image

      visionandfocus 5 years ago from North York, Canada

      I believe that trauma (however we wish to define it), either in this life or previous lives, can lay down those land-mines that then get triggered by someone's words or behaviour. Some people have had so much trauma which they have not processed adequately that they get triggered very easily. Most of us cannot even recall consciously what that trauma actually was. In my case, energy therapy has helped me process such trauma and allowed me to be less reactive. But you are absolutely right about self-compassion. If only we would be kinder to ourselves (and not beat ourselves up every time we act in a way that distresses us), we would heal a lot more quickly.

      Beautifully said. Lovely hub. Thanks for sharing!

    • Violet Flame profile image

      Violet Flame 7 years ago from Auckland, NZ

      wow, I just re-read this article and boy oh boy did I need the reminder! I think I need a large herd of unicorns nowadays, lol

    • Violet Flame profile image

      Violet Flame 8 years ago from Auckland, NZ

      hey....I just noticed the unicorn in the purple picture has golden hooves!!

    • Violet Flame profile image

      Violet Flame 8 years ago from Auckland, NZ

      Hi emievil, Thank You so much for your wonderful and observant comment! I am glad you like unicorns as I do. They are so intriguing. I couldn't really take credit here for linking the unicorn and the message. In fact, I really think I dreamed of unicorns that morning in my sleep, and first thing in the morning I sat down and the article more or less wrote itself quite effortlessly. It's moments like that when I really consider myself "inspired". Wish it happens more often, lol. The only thing I could take credit for is that I spent a lot of conscious moment soul searching over my own emotional state, and the result made up the content of this hub. Thanks once again xo

    • Violet Flame profile image

      Violet Flame 8 years ago from Auckland, NZ

      Thank You singlmomat52 xo I am so glad you like it! Hubpages is indeed a wonderful place where we could share from our own experiences with others who might just be seeking that very same piece of a puzzle. In that way, it is like a great support net work of wisdom of all shapes and, that kind of makes me feel very excited, lol.

    • Violet Flame profile image

      Violet Flame 8 years ago from Auckland, NZ

      Thank You So Much Immartin for reading and for your wonderful and generous comment.

      I suspect that it will take some repetitive practice to master the 'new way'.

      Funnily enough, someone really triggered me off earlier this evening. I put on a very good rocket show of mad emotional reaction. Hours later, I accidentally came across this article I wrote a while back in a more lucid and slightly more enlightened state (so wonderful yet so transient). Could you imagine my chagrin? There's nothing like being gently chided by one's own younger self. I am so glad it's now included in my hubpages. I'll be sure to click on that unicorn every now and again as to remind myself. ^^

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      Intriguing questions and very difficult to answer as well. I like your hub and I like your unicorn pictures. I always love looking at this mythical creature and you did a great job linking the unicorn to the message of your hub.

    • singlmomat52 profile image

      singlmomat52 8 years ago

      Lots of very good points.

      Great Hub!

      Thanks for sharing!

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      This is a lovely article and I know many individuals who should read it. How very true, we act, others act, we all react without rhyme or reason much of the time other than those emotional triggers you so eloquently describe here. I'll come back later and read this again. Thanks Violet.