Conditioned Response

Conditioned Response

I started dusting a little while ago because I suddenly felt guided to.

As I began moving the decorations on the entertainment center in the living room to dust, one of my cats came bolting out of her favorite adjacent room and ran upstairs.

Why?

Conditioned Response.

She’s not afraid of my dusting. What she is afraid of is the vacuum. Historically, when I dust, the vacuum is soon to follow.

Now I’ve been low on energy for quite a while, and was only planning on dusting as that’s all I had the energy for today. I wasn’t going to vacuum. But, this creature whom I can’t communicate with in words to tell her that, has learned about the environments she lives in and how to predict them by observing them. Humans have words, but we don’t always think to use them to convey to people that we aren’t going to cause them the same harm that someone or something in their past did. And even if we did use them, it may not do any good as people often get triggered.

Familiar things start happening, a person’s conditioned response sets in, and fight or flight takes over.

At this point, even if we use our human words or emotions of love to reassure the person that we can be trusted and that the hurtful events of their past aren’t about to play out again- the triggered person is no longer open to this info. They are in protective mode.

The only thing they want to do at this point is run upstairs to avoid the vacuum, and in the heightened state they are in, they may also give us a piece of their mind on their way up there.

As humans, we have the power to dispel triggers and projections by doing the inner work necessary to help us separate one situation from another. We can discover through careful examination that though the details of the situation may seem strikingly similar to those in the situations where we were hurt previously, we need to take a deeper look into the intentions or emotional state of the person or thing that originally caused us harm. This is where we will find our answers.

We need to ask ourselves˗ are the motivations, true intentions, and overall emotional state of the current person the same as the person who harmed us in the past? It may take some digging and raw honesty, especially if we are still in the triggered state, to find the real answer. If we have done the work and know for certain that the answer is yes after fully processing and separating the initial incidents from this one˗ we may need to do something different or have every reason to want to protect ourselves.

But what happens if when we look as deep as we can go, we realize that the intentions of the current person and situation are not to harm us, and that in fact they won’t harm us (based on our previous history of interactions with that person), but rather that we are blocking intimacy with them because of the giant fearball we have placed between ourselves and any trust we have of them.

We got our cat as a stray. She was friendly but skittish, and we were certain that she had been someone’s indoor pet but had been traumatized in some way before she was probably thrown out or just let go. Because of this, she was distrustful of humans, through at the same time she craved our affection and love. Maybe a vacuum had hurt her in the past, and maybe the person operating it had intended to harm her (most likely as a result of their own inner demons that they couldn’t calm).

If she wants to fully let down her guard and enjoy her life with us, she will need to learn that we do not intend to harm her, and that we will not use an object (especially the one she has been conditioned to be afraid of) to harm her.

She must learn to separate the motives and intentions of the person in the past from the actions, motives, and intentions she has come to expect from us for the last few years in her present.
My question in all of this is here:

Is there somewhere in your life where you are so traumatized by the feelings and objects that were directed your way in a negative energy in the past, that you are not able to trust those who are not trying to hurt you in the present˗ though the details of the situation or object may seem the same?

Maybe it’s time to take a deeper look.

Shame- Which Kinds are Productive and Which Kinds are Unproductive-And How to Tell the Difference

Shame- Which Kinds are Productive and Which Kinds are Unproductive-And How to Tell the Difference

 

This blog post speaks to both women and men, but I do wish to point out the fact that this topic is especially relevant to women as a whole, given our generational upbringing.  Therefore, if both genders would please excuse that hypothesis in the first paragraph only, there is some deep wisdom on the topic here that can be gained by all of us.

Women as a whole carry a disproportionate amount of shame.  So much of it isn’t even ours to carry, but because we are conditioned to just do what needs to be done, and meet other’s needs, we take it on in order to ease another’s burden.  As time goes on, we learn to take it on in all sorts of unproductive ways, opening the door and letting it in over and over again.  We become accustomed to just leaving the door wide open to welcome shame, without ever stopping to ask ourselves if it is even  ours, if we need to let it in, or if it is a desired constant houseguest.

How many of us carry shame from our families of origin, both others’ true shame, and also for things no one actually needed to feel shame for?  It might be shame that was actually another member of the family’s to carry.  But no matter, we picked it up and threw it on our backs out of purpose, or maybe even blame, because another family member couldn’t take responsibility for their own actions.  On the other side of the coin, perhaps the shame stemmed from failure to succeed in one way or another; unproductive shame that was not anyone’s to rightfully carry, but continued to be passed on throughout the generations.

Shame is useful when it makes us think twice before doing unkind or unethical things.  It is also useful when it causes someone who made a mistake to take responsibility, make amends, and change their behavior.  Because our society is not set up to handle atonement and reconciliation in ways that aren’t doused in excessive shame, however, productive shame is many times too large for a person to be able to take on.  But when someone refuses to take responsibility for their behavior because either the shame or threat of shame is too great, often times we pick some of it up to ease their burden and lighten their load.

Although this may seem noble, where then does this shame go?  This unproductive shame is stored in our individual unconscious, and sometimes then the collective unconscious, and keeps us from being our full, shiny, capable selves.  It also takes away an opportunity for the person whose shame it is to take responsibility for their actions and heal themselves and anyone they may have hurt. Perhaps a better idea would be to create a healthier system where atonement and reconciliation are handled in ways that aren’t doused in excessive shame (but more on that in a later discussion).

Shame that isn’t ours to carry holds us back from bringing our true gifts into the world, as we are afraid of what we will look like if we fail.  In addition to shame that isn’t ours to carry, shame from failure to achieve a goal is also a form of unproductive shame.  It doesn’t serve a useful purpose, and we don’t have to say yes to it.  Just like shame for being different than others, having a physical or mental challenge, or any other form of not seeming to be ‘right’ by certain societal standards, shame from failure is not real shame, and only robs ourselves and society of the unique gifts we are here to offer.

Failure is not a productive reason to feel shame.  Failure means we stepped outside our comfort zone and tried to bring into form something we were lead by our soul to follow.  Failure means we’re on the right track. Failure means we tried.  And many times failure is caused by things that were completely outside of our control.  The only true failure in this example is to not rise up again and continue to follow the path we know is true, even when it deals us challenges.  These ‘failures,’ just like any other ways we may not seem to be acceptable by society, are not reasons to feel shame, they are merely opportunities to strengthen our relationship with ourselves by choosing whether or not we’re going to allow them to add more shame to the disproportionate amount we are already carrying, and whether or not we are going to let them define our worth.

Our worth can only be taken from us if we choose to deem ourselves unworthy.  It is always our choice.

If someone overpowered you in the past because of their lack of self-worth, do not let that diminish yours.  They were trying to steal from you what could never truly work for them.  It’s like someone other than the chosen person trying to steal and use the sword in the stone in order to fill themselves with worth and power.  It will never work.  Power and worth that are not cultivated on the inside and from the deep knowing that we are not separate from all that is, will never last.  It will never satiate the hunger someone’s soul feels from not being secure in their own worth, for not saying ‘yes’ to themselves.

So it seems to me that we have three choices when it comes to being faced with the tendency to take on shame for unproductive reasons:  we can diminish ourselves, shrink down and hide, and deem ourselves less worthy; we can try to get it off of us by acting out against someone or something else and attempting to transfer it to them; or we can just say, “No thank you.” when presented with the choice to take it in or not.

Unproductive shame hurts all of us, and we don’t have to continue to say yes to it.

#youareworthy  #stopthemadness  #riseup  #truepower  #beyoutiful

 

 

How to Acknowledge What Is, While Also Focusing on How You Would Like it to Be.

How to Acknowledge What Is, While Also Focusing on How You Would Like it to Be.

 

It is necessary to acknowledge and deal with on some level, everything that crosses our path in order to move forward toward more of what we wish to experience.  Although we must have acceptance of every situation or thing that exists in our current reality, we get to decide how much of our focus it gets, and how it will shape our lives.  By determining where we want to live in our minds and hearts, just as we decide where we’d like to live in the physical world, we can then respond to the issue from a more neutral state, rather than letting it toss us around by allowing it to gain power over us.  We can create more of what we would like to experience, rather than what we would not.

We choose the reality we create.  If things are showing up that we do not wish to experience, we must accept that for some reason that is where we are right now, either personally or globally.  Once we have accepted this, then we can choose to look for the gifts and teachings we have gained from having been there.  All the while, we can keep our focus on our dreams and desires until our outer reality changes to catch up with the new reality we have planted and watered with our attention and focus.

It is true that sometimes we need to change our environment in order to grow. But sometimes, we need to grow in order to be able to change our environment.

The fastest path from here to where we’d like to be, is to accept reality as it is, in its entirety- but to place our attention on where we wish to live, in our hearts, bodies, and on our earthly domain.