Monday, March 15, 2010

Revealed: Why You Think, Feel and Act the Way You Do

The way you think, feel and act today all started in your childhood. You may find that hard to believe. But truth can be empowering.

How we have grown up has a lot to do with how we think, feel and behave today. Simply knowing that is already empowering.
Photo: "The Joys of Childhood and Summertime" by UGArdener

When you got out of your mother's womb, it wasn't just your physical body that got out of there. Deep in the caverns of your brain are electrical impulses coming from an intangible thing called the mind and the soul, the conscious and the subconscious, or what Sigmund Freud would call the id, ego and super-ego.

Whatever you choose to call them, they too were born and were reared up, along with your physical body. You know this, don't you?

Let me elaborate . . .

I don't know if you find this concept easy or difficult to internalize. But a little visualization may help.

You know that only the eighth part of the ice protrudes out of the surface of the water, don't you? The greater part of it is submerged, unseen from the eyes of a sea traveler. This is true whether we're talking about an ice cube, or an iceberg.

Yet there really is only one piece of ice out there. Whatever happens to the submerged part happens to the visible part. It's why when something disturbs the submerged part, you see the visible part shake -- and vice-versa.

Most often we cannot explain what's happening to an iceberg simply by looking at what's visible to the naked eye. We need to take a look at the entire thing. We need to walk on top and dive deep to examine the whole thing.

Get the picture?

Now, imagine that iceberg to be alive. You poke its eyes. All of a sudden you see the whole body of water around you start to engulf you.

Creepy, I know. But I said that just to wake you up in case you fell asleep with the imagery earlier.

Anyhow, something dictates how the mind of a human works. It's called programming -- much like the programs that run the software in computers today.

NOTE: Don't take the allegory further than intended. The big difference is that computers are dumb. It can make decisions only within what the program allows it to make. Humans make decisions outside of one's program, and even choose to reprogram one's self -- more on this in future posts.

Programming starts the moment the mind begins to perceive. At a young age, the human mind is like a computer with its keyboard open for any passer by to type something on.

Gurus are saying that half of your mental programs were formed in your first four years of ife. Another 30% was formed in your next four years of life, such that at the age of 8, you are already 80% programmed.

Another 15% was formed in your next 8 years of life. Fresh out of middle school, you're already carrying 95% of your programs. You will accumulate the remaining 5% in the remainder of your life.

At the age of 16, you move around showing people your conscious self. But there is a greater part of you that others don't see. Yet you know, or at least assume, that these things are true about you --- and they determine how you feel about things and how you act on them.

Then amazingly there are things that others see or experience with you that you don't know, or choose to not to know ... until something happens that wake you up.

Let me tell you a story...

My mentor's mentor had a shocking divorce. His relationship with his wife was perfect, or so he believed. They didn't quarrel about anything at all!

One day the divorce paper came, and he could not believe it. In front of the lawyer, the wife explained that though they never quarrelled, she felt that all these years he did not allow her to love him. That shocked the man even more --- what did she mean?

The wife went on to explain that she felt she wasn't needed. All her acts of love seemed to have always missed the mark. There was no reciprocal warmth from the man.

It took the man years to understand what really happened. Then one day, someone brought him to the recollection of his childhood.

He grew up in an average family setting. He was playing outside while her mother was preparing food in the kitchen. Feeling hungry, he excitedly ran into the house and reached for the jar of cookies.

Her mother disapproved it. He insisted like you expect a stubborn little boy would. Out of frustration and anger, plus stress perhaps, her mother slapped her so hard that he fell flat on the floor.

He stood up, dazed and angry, and shouted to his mother, "I hate you!" and ran out of the house. What a word from an 8-year old kid!

Another thing that happened, he never reached out for that cookie jar ever again.

He wasn't after the cookie. He was after the love of her mother. Yet in that moment, there was rejection, a sharp and painful rejection. I mean imagine an 8-year old kid being slapped so hard by the strong hands of an adult -- his mother, a woman.

From that time on, from a young and tender age, he thought, "It hurts to love, I won't reach for that cookie jar ever again." Then he carried that thought all throughout his adult life, until the divorce happened.

His divorce led him to a trail that ended with this realization. It was painful at first. But it empowered him in the end to know better than an 8-year old.

Having reprogrammed his thinking, he later on remarried. His ex-wife also remarried. But both have become good friends.

He was thankful to his former wife for waking him up about why he thought, felt and acted the way he did ... and for properly loving his present wife the way a man should love a woman.

Isn't truth empowering?

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