One of the questions I have been asking myself recently is; are we seeing reality based on how it is today or are we interpreting and creating it based on what happened in our past
The first response to this question could be; Of course we are seeing reality for how it is today, what else is there.
This sounds like a reasonable and even a logical conclusion, to think that we are just experiencing life as it is and there is only one meaning when it comes to the situations and experiences in our life. But what if there is not an absolute meaning and the only meaning we usually see is based on our own projections and interpretations’ of what happens.
Where Do They Come From?
So the next question that might come to mind is; where do these projections and interpretations, which we have, come from? And what stops one from being fully present and to be able to see reality for what it is today?
My current understanding is that they originate in our younger years. This is through the projections, interpretations and ideas that the people around us have about us during these formative years.
As we come to accept and embody how the people around us respond and behave, we start to create a dysfunctional view of not only ourselves, but also of the world.
What I mean by this is that instead of seeing situations in our life as unique and different from the last, we can end up seeing each one as if it were the same.
Our Inner Child
Although our body has changed and many years have passed since we were children, the child we once were still lives within us.
What this means is that all of the experiences we had as children that caused us pain and conflict will continue to play out in our life, until this inner child is acknowledged and healed.
The inner child is not something we can deny or separate ourselves from and influences every part of our life.
This is because it is constantly trying to make up for all of the needs that were not fulfilled when we were a child and unless we can begin to observe our inner child, we will react and perceive the world through the eyes of our inner child.
Emotional Age And Chronological Age
So if we are still unconsciously identifying with our inner child and therefore playing out these old patterns and behaviours, it is not to much of a surprise that we can find ourselves acting in ways that are reactive and unconscious. Ways that don’t reflect how we want to behave or that truly reflect who we are and that attract us into situations that mirror our childhood.
Our body will continue to grow, but our inner child is still craving and searching for all the needs that were not sufficiently met. And a consequence of this is that our emotional intelligence could be far removed from how old we are and our biological age.
With these experiences being the first point of reference for us as a child, this creates an association of familiarity and as a result safety for our ego mind. As I currently see it, there is two parts to this process.
One is that these ways of acting and perceiving the world might have been functional for us as a child and yet as we grow and develop as individuals, this might no longer the case. The other is that although it was dysfunctional for us even as a child, it is our inner child’s only point of reference and therefore it holds onto the memory and reference point as a way to protect itself.
However, through the process of observing our inner child and as a result merging with it, in the place of fighting it, we will see that there is always another way for us to act, and to see the world. To be able to see through the eyes of who we are today and not through the eyes of what was safe for us many years ago
A big part of how our ego mind works is through its function of holding onto what it perceives as safe. From my experience I would say our ego mind is largely conditioned by our childhood. So even though consciously we can have the desire or intention to let go and to act in ways that reflect our true nature, our ego mind would rather die than let go.
What I have just said might sound a bit exaggerated. But with our ego being the most primitive and oldest part of the brain, it hasn’t got the ability to question. This is the part of us that functions in very basic ways. The fight, flight or freeze response, arises from here.
This comes back to the nature of the ego, with change meaning death. This is why the more we fight our mind the more frustration and anger we will accumulate.
Being The Observers
This brings to our attention the importance of being a conscious human being, to evolve from our primitive natures and to operate in the world as a whole human being. That lives not only from our body, but also from our hearts. To observe ourselves and to question why we do what we do.
To fight or to resist our mind will only assist in strengthening our ego mind. As the saying goes ‘what we resist persists’. Becoming the observers of our mind means to step out from the mind, removing the resistance and the fighting. To move away from the black or white or all or nothing dual nature of the mind.
This of course is a process and like anything else in our life, involves commitment and perseverance. It is not always pleasant facing those deep parts of ourselves that we have long denied and neglected. However, I believe that what we gain from it or should I say reveal from it, is far greater than anything we will have to face.
If you feel this has been of value to you please leave a comment or get in touch with me. I appreciate your comments and views.
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.