We are constantly being triggered. If you don’t understand your triggers you continue to react inappropriately when faced with situations, events, relationships and challenges that are not truly connected to whatever happened to you in the past. The subconscious is ninety percent of your mind. The conscious mind is only ten percent. It would seem that while we are awake, we are always thinking with our conscious mind. In reality, your subconscious mind is usually calling the shots.
Your subconscious always has a positive intention for you. Your subconscious mind actually believes that it’s doing you a favor by taking the traumas and hurts you’ve experienced and burying them. The problem is that they are still there, out of reach but very present in the dynamic of your life. Chances are you’re not aware of how your reactions and feelings toward everyday occurrences are dictated by the 90% of your mind. Once you understand that concept, it’s important to know that’s the default for the subconscious. That’s human wiring.
The subconscious has the positive intention of helping you, even if its methods do not serve you in the end. Your psyche feels overwhelmed by hurtful or traumatic events. It shuts down to protect you from having to feel them consciously.
You have to step in and show your subconscious how to assist you in a truly constructive and life-changing way. Be kind to your subconscious. It means well. Acknowledging this is a core principle of forgiveness, towards yourself and others.
The unconscious stores memories in and out of time by putting them into organized boxes. The memory of events and situations are the stock on the shelves of our minds. There are three different kinds of boxes on those shelves:
- The first boxes are labeled “easily recalled,” an example of which would be what your bedroom looks like, where you were born, etc.
- The next set of boxes is “not so easily recalled.” Can you tell me what your bedroom looked like when you were three, or something your mother said to you when you were six? It is possible to remember that information, but it’s not easily recollected.
- Then there’s the third kind of box called “never, ever to be opened.” Those boxes hold the experiences you had in your life that your unconscious mind felt were so overwhelming for you, it took all the emotion away, hid it, and locked it into your 90% to protect you until you were strong enough, or wise enough, or ready in whatever way, for that box to open.
Those boxes are full of emotion, trauma, and things from different periods in your life where you didn’t have the tools and ability to deal with feelings of hurt and anger. The emotions were drawn into your subconscious, or unconscious mind, and stayed here, controlling everything about you in your present life. That is where phobias, fears and anxieties originate.
When you remember an event and comprehend how it affected you, it might be quite traumatic, but the subconscious 90% is presenting that memory as a path to healing. If one of those “do not ever open” boxes pops, you might very well experience a moment – or more! – of crisis. But here’s the thing: You will come through the other side.
It might seem strange to think that it’s all right to experience trauma by looking at pain and damage from the past, but that’s part of the journey. The subconscious is always there to protect you, but you have to consciously tap into it for the healing.
Repression protects but doesn’t mend, reconcile and rebuild.
Presenting memories is a necessary step. Your 90% is ready to aid you if asked. As scary as it seems to face what’s inside a deeply buried box, if you open it with compassion and mindfulness, you’re furthering your journey towards being loving, helpful and kind – to yourself and others. Your subconscious 90% holds things away from you until you are ready.
When someone has hurt us, we have two choices: leave our subconscious untapped, and continue to misunderstand our thoughts and actions, or we can work through the process of unveiling our mind. There’s no blame or self-incrimination for how long that takes. Start by saying, “I forgive myself for holding on to this for so long.”
Love, Love, Love
Derek O’Neill inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life, offering guidance to influential world leaders, businesses, celebrities, athletes and everyday people alike. Distilled from his life work in psychotherapy, a martial arts career and study with wise yogis and Indian and Tibetan masters, Derek translates ancient wisdom into modern day teachings to address the biggest challenges facing humanity today. For additional insights on working through trauma and healing the pain from your past, download Excellence.
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