SOS BOOK - Chapter 1.23 How to break free!
We are NOT that outer facade or ‘mask’ we wear. We are not just our social conditioning! We don’t need to remain wounded & skewed by past traumas. WE CAN BREAK FREE OF ALL THAT MIND CONTROL! We have the right to choose happiness! We have the right to be permanently happy!
Each of us is a unique and precious individual. We each have deep inner needs and a unique life purpose. Only by discovering this special purpose and exploring our potential will we find contentment & fulfillment. ONLY THIS PATH OF SELF DISCOVERY PROVIDES THE INNER PEACE WE REALLY SEEK.
It’s now time to recognize & fully realize what has really happened to us - to understand our past influences! IT’S TIME TO HEAL OURSELVES AND MOVE FORWARD. We needn’t be too upset or angry about our past conditioning or experiences. Instead, we can use the ‘energy’ of this realization for a more constructive purpose: to power our positive change.
It is very important to UNDERSTAND WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO US. What in our upbringing has caused us to behave the way we now do? THIS WAS CAUSED BY SOME PERCEIVED STRESS (OR TRAUMA) PLUS OUR SOCIAL CONDITIONING.
We took on dysfunctional behaviors and life strategies as an adaptive or coping mechanism to these early influences. If a certain life event or ongoing situation in our childhood was perceived as traumatic, we adapted to that with some new behavior or altered perception.
As a child, THE ADAPTIVE STRATEGIES WE CHOSE WERE EXTREMELY LIMITED due to our limited insight and experience.
These childhood strategies are very unlikely to be optimal for our adults lives. If we unknowingly continue these strategies as an adult, our dysfunction will continue! SO, WE NEED TO DETECT & REPLACE THESE FAULTY BEHAVIOUR PATTERNS. These might be deeply embedded and not at first apparent to us. It’s also important to understand that much of our usual behavior has been socially conditioned. We should then try to lessen the effect of all that’s not beneficial.
We can aid this process by BEING MORE AWARE & QUESTIONING our perceptions, thoughts, emotional reactions and decisions. We should also practice USING INTUITIVE INNER-GUIDANCE to help in this discernment.
IT IS POSSIBLE TO BREAK FREE FROM OUR PAST!
Remember that our life traumas & conditioning may have started before our first recollections. WE MAY HAVE NO MEMORY OF SOME PAST TRAUMA.
All we might notice is some unexplained discomfort, anxiety or inappropriate behavior in certain situations.
The best indicator of past trauma or conditioning is a sub-optimal pattern of behavior that we persist with.
To identify these unhelpful hidden patterns, we should maintain a high level of awareness in all we think and do. The continuing influence of prior trauma or conditioning may not immediately be apparent in our life.
Because addressing past trauma can be very painful, people may vigorously deny, repress or downplay their significance. Facing up to the true situation can often be simply too threatening. They might argue their upbringing was typical, beneficial or even idyllic when if fact they have deeply suppressed certain events. As those deeply buried emotions rise up, they will need to be dealt with with compassion and forgiveness.
There is often a similar pattern of denial when recognising and overcoming our prior social conditioning. We ignore and justify our unhealthy behaviour because we feel there is too much to lose should we choose to act differently. By distancing ourselves from the norms and expectations of our society, we risk criticism and rejection from our friends. We risk losing our status in the community. We fear the resultant scorn or shame! Who else will give us the acceptance and support we so need, if we don’t show our ‘usual face’ to the world? Any alternative way of living can seem too painful to contemplate.
When most people briefly realize the truth of the situation, they subconsciously decide not to proceed. It might seem too risky to pursue! They go back to living the same old conditioned ways, the usual or ‘acceptable’ ways.
BUT DEEP WITHIN WE KNOW WHAT WE MUST DO.
We know the truth in ‘our heart’ or in ‘our whole being’: WE INTUITIVELY KNOW THERE IS A BETTER WAY OF LIVING.
Sometimes we just can’t quite face the consequences and risk involved. It can also become too painful to have this realization linger for too long in our conscious mind. So, we suppress it! We deny it! Sometimes we rationalize & intellectualize the whole process. We drive the emotional component deep down. We hide it well away. The alternative – changing – seems too threatening.
WE ALSO AVOID CHANGING BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW ANY OTHER WAY.
We aren't aware of the alternatives, because there are usually no appropriate role models in our group. They have usually all left! There are positive role models elsewhere in other groups, and so much information available from books and courses. But we are reluctant to look too far afield to people in other groups and resources outside our norm. This really reduces our awareness of solutions and limits our ability to change and grow.
We will soon explain how to start this gradual process of changing: THE PROCESS OF PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION. But beforehand, consider re-reading this important chapter, or those parts that invite your attention. You can also review the list of key lessons which is available in the Appendix.
If you feel drawn to certain topics or themes in this chapter, it might be beneficial to review these. You are tuning into your inner guidance! Maybe review the subchapter titles again and see what ‘invites you’ or ‘speaks to you’. Often, we can extract more meaning from the same material on the second or even third reading. Our mind is constantly evolving and re-tuning with each new input. This is particularly relevant with this kind of new and challenging information. When you feel you are ready, please start on Chapter 2.