Reframing our view of Ourselves and Our World.
Our conscious mind is designed to protect us, keep us safe. It is also where we undertake progressive learning and it stores our memories. It is our reference library where we store our lives. It is designed to help us make decisions quickly, many of them from memory or learnt behaviour, imprinted by repetition, be that through structure learning environments, family, school or work place, church, community and the playground, or our own assessment. Each of the lessons which we learn is designed to teach us what is right and wrong, what keeps us safe. Be it bullying, trouble, hurt, danger, and likewise, where we are rewarded, love, money, gifts, friends and favours. This learning, is shaping and forming our identity. Setting universally applied, fundamental truths.
We learn our values, behaviours and mindsets from these environmental lessons. Feedback, this is true, this is false, this is right, this is wrong, this behaviour is punished and that one is rewarded. When these environments are challenged, removed, changed then these innate, almost automatic understandings, behaviours and responses that we use to govern our lives come under question. Similarly, we need a major incident, often traumatic which sweeps in and changes our lives which then forces us to, or creates the opportunity to start rethinking our fundamental truths.
By fundamental truths I mean those truths which we take for granted, those rules or understanding regarding how we process and understand the world around us and our place in it. These truths, often handed down from generation to generation, we rarely challenge, unless we are forced to. Often we hold these understandings of ourselves, the order of the world, our relationship to the world and ourselves so sacred, that we push back anyone who questions them, does not abide by them or who asks us to question our beliefs, values, understandings and therefore our behaviours. Even if our truths do not fit the situation or the facts, we make it fit, often contradicting ourselves in the process.
A major incident, usually a loss, can offer the opportunity, to consider our fundamental truths. The question is: Are we willing? We are capable, but only if we choose to do the work and the hard yards do we see belief and behavioral changes. It requires honesty, absolute honesty. How often are we really honest with ourselves and about ourselves? How often do we hold ourselves up, bearing all to an internal review of our beliefs, understanding and our perception of our world, even of who we are and how we are?
It is easier if we approach this gradually, if we have or take the luxury, that is. If we have the courage and take that path. If we choose to actively seek to understand who we are and how our mind was put together at the most fundamental basis. Beliefs that we never question. Truths that we believe are absolute without questioning them. One of the beauties of meditation is the ability to take us from a locked mental state to an open mental state, where, if we leave the conscious mind behind, escaping the strict frameworks of truth, belief and identity behind. Then what are we left with. We are left with the freedom of the subconscious mind. Stripped bear, we are faced with the honesty of the situation, without an emotional connection. Emotion, as a value, sits in the conscious mind, emotion as an experience, sits in the subconscious mind. This is reframing.
(In the subconscious mind, there is no judgement of good, bad, evil, ok, it just is an experience. Judgement can only exist, when we have a criteria within which we operate, this is the role of the conscious mind. Fundamental truths are learnt. Therefore, they can change.)
There is a truth, but this is a truth without judgement. There is a view of us, or an understanding of us, which is striped bear of the imposed or imprinted beliefs and understandings of who we are. It is a more time relevant, wholistic repertory of what we have experienced and how we are experiencing our life and asking us if this is what we want. It shows us how we are processing information, creating our own experiences by the way we are living our lives and most importantly showing us, where we have let ourselves down, but remaining fixed in our world view.
We might find that some of our world views and understandings from our teachers is still relevant, valid and important, we choose to keep them. It might also show us where we are outdated in our sense of self and our role in the world because what was true, or we were learnt was true is no longer so. The difference, choice, do we choose to consider and re- evaluate who we want to be, how we want to be and if so, how we move towards that. Who of us, if given the chance to rethink, transform and reframe our new view of ourselves and our relationship to the world around us, would choose to do so. I have and I do. It has given me a much fuller and happier life.