Monday, 26 October 2015

The subconscious mind .. and more .. Part 1

This really does seem like what the mind is like sometimes!
Photo courtesy of Geralt via
I'm intending to write on the topic(s) of the subconscious mind and internal conflict. It's potentially a heavy subject, so whether I'll finish it is uncertain. If I do manage to publish this post, then I deserve a drink. So, let's start and see how it goes ..

I find it strangely fascinating how the human psyche works, but also puzzling - although I guess we can't question how the Creator designed us. The subconscious mind, or mine at least, can seem like an absolute bugger at times. I am far less qualified than many to talk about the workings of the subconscious mind - and it's a subject that could be written about in great length - but, to me, the subconscious is where all my ingrained thought patterns are that control most of my life, often to my detriment. Our childhood shapes our life to a large extent, and our subconscious stores all our views of the world and ourselves that we picked up in childhood. Hardly anyone escapes childhood without some painful things happening to them, and we pick up a number of fears and thought patterns from our world view that is shaped by our experiences and our hurts that were not properly processed during childhood. Perhaps our inbuilt personality genetics have something of a say in our subconscious thought patterns - I suspect they do - but the experts may say different. 

How many of you want to live a happy, successful, peaceful life, with good friends and a loving family? Probably most of you. We generally have good intentions to be good people - but life doesn't necessarily present these things to us on a plate - we have to go out and work for these things, and also maintain a positive mindset. I am not a scientist, but I think there are scientific findings that prove that the different thought patterns and chemical transmissions in our mind influence the outcome of our lives. Often, we do not receive the things we want because we have internal blocks - one part of us wants something but our subconscious has a message that this thing we supposedly want has some sort of danger or that we do not deserve it. 

We can't control everything that happens to us - any viewpoint that says that we create all of our reality is New Age claptrap in my opinion - but, from personal experience, I think our subconscious mind does have a fair degree of influence on our inner and outer reality. I can definitely look back and say that some of the things I would have liked to happen (or at least thought I wanted) have not happened yet due in part to deep rooted, fear based thought patterns. Despite all my good intentions, there have been things that have held me back. 

There are many good things that we'd like to happen to us - a relationship, a good job, good friends, publishing a book .. these things could all happen if our mind was a clear vessel without any blockages, but subconscious thought patterns such as: fear of rejection, believing we will not get the job we want, that it's too much hassle to go through the process of trying to get a book published .. and whilst I freely admit I would prefer life to be a bit easier, and also I want to clarify that you can't always control whether someone loves you back or offers you a job - if we do our best to thrive in adversity and improve the quality of our thoughts, sooner or later, we will have more chance of achieving the things we want.

In simple terms, the blockages that prevent us from receiving the good things that life has for us, are a result of some sort of fear. The fears we have are unique to each one of us, and we all might have 'triggers' - when a particular situation happens to us that activates the pain body within us, we can react with anger or sadness. My biggest trigger is probably rejection, although I am gradually learning to process rejection in a more sensible manner. We fear that if a particular thing happens to us, that we won't be able to cope with it. 
These fears have ugly brothers and sisters, such as neediness, attachment, possessiveness, guilt and apathy. There is so much possessiveness and neediness when it comes to relationships, and it's certainly hard to let go of attachments - it's all well and good to desire something to happen, but not so good when we act and think as if our lives depend on this thing happening. 
In my own journey of self awareness, I've found a few deeper fears within the surface - that doesn't mean it's easy to deal with them. Sometimes I can really be in two minds about something - for example romantic relationships, where one part of me would like one but another part of me is scared of them. This has produced a lot of internal conflict, and it can really do my head in at times. 

Here is where it's important to be open minded. You may think you want a relationship or a job or your friends to be a particular way - but sometimes, life may have another plans. A great example in my own life has happened recently. I have always struggled to find a group of friends that I really fitted into. I like the idea of communities and maybe half expected that I would find a mini community of spiritually minded, meditation practicing people that I would feel a part of. I did find a great group of 'spiritual' people this year, led by an excellent teacher, and I still go to the meditations and satsangs that she leads, but for various reasons, it was hard to socialise with them much. 
I also started going to the social group on meetup this year, and gradually I started hanging out with them a bit more. At first, I had a bit of a dilemma, because I thought I 'should' be hanging out with my fellow 'New Agers' (grin) - but I gradually came to realise that connections with others does not have to depend on their spiritual status or hobbies or age or background. I now spend a lot of time with this group and they are just great people - and it's been fairly effortless and natural to form friendships with them. So the lesson is - sometimes friendships don't come in the form you might expect, but you'll find it very rewarding when you connect with the right people - and often, they'll have a fairly similar outlook on life to you in some ways. 

Another important thing to bear in mind is that you can't force a friendship, job, relationship or book publishing to happen. You also can't force yourself to change - you have to let things happen at a pace your mind and heart are comfortable with. There have certainly been times when I wished I could have dealt with things a bit more quickly, but, having had some very deep layers of hurt and pain, I'm doing as best I can to accept that I can only truly face things when I am ready. This sometimes means being aware of certain fears but knowing that they will be faced in their own time. It's not always easy. As I've already said, life may have other plans. Maybe the job that you hate may cause you to meet someone who you needed to meet. Maybe the painful relationship happened to teach you something. It's just a trait of human nature that we learn more during the tough times than the good times, and personal growth often tends to happen when we are on our knees and not sure which way to turn. 
I am not necessarily saying that life wants us to experience lots of pain - but life itself knows better than our own minds do, and sometimes things happen that we may not understand - and maybe things don't always happen 'for a reason' - but there is always something that we can learn from the toughest of times. 
You may have heard the phrase 'divine timing' - whilst I'm not entirely comfortable with that phrase, it is important to trust the timing of events that happen in our life. Relationships is probably the most obvious example of this - and possibly the most difficult lesson to learn in my life. Sometimes, we are just not ready for a relationship and sometimes we have internal conflicts to resolve, despite our best intentions.
The same is true when it comes to work .. whilst you can certainly influence an outcome by working hard and working towards what you want, sometimes, circumstances mean that you just have to trust that whatever will happen is for your highest good. I've been through massive uncertainty this year, grateful for the benefits system in the UK but at the same time feeling somewhat guilty that I've had to rely on it. I don't want to go back to the same sort of work I was doing, and there's certainly been a lot of internal conflict when it comes to my work, for the last three years or so. At the moment, I'm working on my beliefs and fears about work, and doing my best to surrender.

This is quite a long post so I will leave it at that for now, and continue where I left off soon. Hope this all makes sense, and please feel free to leave a comment :) 

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