August 5th, 2021 Self Awareness - A Gift to Develop
Just this past weekend, we were invited short notice to go out to visit with my spouse's family. My immediate reaction was a grumpy attitude and not wanting to go. Did I have other plans? Was I over-worked and in need of complete silence and rest? Absolutely not to both of those questions. But my reaction was obvious. And because I pay attention to such things, I recognized that it was a REACTION. Any time emotions pop up quickly and without obvious reason, we are emotionally reacting to a situation, from a subconscious place, and out of our emotional baggage.
Instead of clinging to my reaction and justifying my bad attitude, I decided to take a look at what I was feeling, and where I was feeling it from. What I found when I went looking, was a very old program, from a very hurt, damaged version of myself. For years, when I was a teenager, and in my twenties, I hated going to family functions. I saw nothing but dysfunction within my family. And the truth was, I was highly dysfunctional myself. I was still hurting deeply from a poor relationship with my father, and hurtful things that had occurred when I was a teenager. Every time I went to see him, for at least two weeks following a visit, I would bawl my eyes out and rehash all of my hurt, my anger, my disappointment. All of that has since been healed, and I always enjoy time spent with my family, but a program is still running in the background, from a very subconscious place. Years of emotional hurt created a program that runs regardless of reality. My immediate response to 'a family visit' was one of unhappiness, grumpiness, and a desire to do anything but visit with family. As soon as I recognized the program, identified where it was coming from, my demeanor shifted, along with my mood and attitude. I went from sulking in the car on the way to visit, to smiling and laughing. Truth is, I had an awesome day and enjoyed myself with family, very much!
So how do we do this? How do we become self aware enough to catch these things? It takes practice. It takes stillness. I chalk a lot of my awareness up to Reiki, meditation and being still. The more we do meditative practices, the more aware we become. When we get still, we start to notice the little things. The nagging things.That stillness also creates room for observation in our regular, every day life. In addition to meditative practices, it takes a willingness to observe the self honestly, instead of always justifying the self - it requires some humility. Myself, I like to take my humility with a heaping spoonful of self compassion - so that it doesn't feel like self judgement in any way, instead it feels like an act of self love, and self care. In the example above, how I became aware of the program running in the background, was by noticing that I was reacting emotionally to a fairly mundane situation - an invite to spend the day with family.
If you'd like to start catching your programs in action, pay attention EVERY time you aren't happy, and are feeling sad, or grumpy, or annoyed, or anxious, or scared etc. And then take the time to review your life, and any earlier life situations that resemble what you are doing at the time you are not happy. This past weekend, all I did was look at what was happening - an invite to go spend the day with family. Then I asked myself, "When have I had emotional trauma or emotional damage from visits with family?" And I didn't have to look far. I have years full of memories of spending weeks in tears after a visit with family.
Why would I take the time to do this work? Because my goal is peace. And I felt peace when I discovered the program running in the background - I was able to immediately shift my mood. Now, every time I get invited to spend time with family, I have a conscious awareness of the program, before it even starts running in the background. I can check myself, before I wreck myself.
By, Tracey Rogers
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