While we would like to see ourselves as human beings who have control over how we behave, this doesn’t always reflect reality. Because although one has the ability to think before they act, they can also act without thinking.
And this is not ‘bad’ per se; it can enable one to save a lot of time and energy. To always have to think about such things as how to open a door or what do when red lights appear when one is driving, would add so much more confusion and effort into ones daily life.
So in these cases, the benefits of conditioning come to the fore and there are obviously many other examples that could be used. When one has been conditioned to behave in ways that don’t enhance their life, it is inevitably going to create problems.
For one thing, one is going to feel as though they have no control or influence over how they behave. They could feel like a robot and that something or someone else has taken the rains of their life.
They might observe themselves doings things or look back on what they did, and wonder why they did it. Their free will was nowhere to be found and like a dog that has been trained to perform on command, one loses the ability to act consciously and in their best of interests.
A Matter Of Degree
Now, if this is something that impacts one’s life every now and then or only in a few areas, it might not be a cause for concern. One might be able to ignore it, even though it causes them to feel frustrated, amongst other things.
But if this one area greatly impacts one’s life, then it won’t matter if they have a reasonable amount of self control in other areas of their life. To have a whole life that is full of conditioned behaviour that doesn’t enhance one’s life and to have very little, if any, control, is going to create pain.
It won’t just be frustration that one feels; it could also go on to include feelings of being powerless and hopeless. With one believing that their life will never change and that there is nothing they can do.
What this would point out is the fact that one has been conditioned either by others or through themselves or both, to behave in ways that go against their best interests. Part of them wants to behave in one way and other part wants to behave in another way.
So in the age old ‘mind against body’, one is experiencing an internal struggle. And when these are not working together, one can end up experiencing conflict in more ways than one.
However, even though ones conditioned responses are of no benefit now, they are likely to have been at some point in their history. This behaviour would have been what felt safe and just because something felt safe, it doesn’t mean it would enable one to thrive. Another way to describe it would be to say that it allowed one to avoid pain and to even experience pleasure.
Some of ones conditioned responses could go back to their childhood and others will have been formed during their adult years. As a child, the need to survive can be stronger than when they are an adult; as one is more likely to be completely dependent on the people around them.
But, one can be an adult and still feel as though they are a child, so physical age is not always relevant in how emotionally developed someone is or is not.
So by one behaving in certain ways, it allows them to avoid consequences that are either imagined or real. But as they have behaved in these ways for so long, one could be completely oblivious to what they are.
And while this could relate to present day consequences, it could also relate to things that happened many, many years ago and that have very little relevance to one’s present life. But while times have changed, they are still having an impact on one’s life.
The mind doesn’t know the different between what is real and what is imagine; it can project the past onto the present and cause one to feel exactly as they did when something originally took place.
These experiences would have created associations and if one was to act in another way, pain would be felt. And this could be physical, mental or emotional pain, or all three. When something like this happens, and one is allowed to process what happened, they won’t have the need to let this pain define them.
But if this pain is not looked at and the dysfunctional behaviour of another or others continues to occur on a regular basis, then one will have no other choice than to do whatever supports their own survival.
And as well as this emotional pain that was formed, one’s mind would also have formed beliefs. So if one was to act differently, all kinds of scenarios would arise. Even though these are just beliefs; to the mind, they can be seen as the truth.
This means that in order to change how one behaves, it will be important for them to get past their mind by questioning what they believe. Through doing this, they can then deal with the emotional pain that has stayed trapped in their body.
When ones beliefs are questioned and their trapped emotions have been released from their body, ones behaviour will no longer need to be defined by what happened in their past.
The assistance of a therapist or a healer may be required or engaging in some kind of self study might be enough. We are all unique, so what works for one person might not work for another.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.