This is the 100th post. -raises my glass to yours-
And I’m writing it while my friend’s dog, Roxy, is asleep on my feet.
Redefinition is the process by which we can change the definitions and perceptions of everything in who we are and in our lives. As much of the process revolves around the changes, I wanted to take a step back and talk about the reflection which precedes this change.
How will you know what to change without looking at your current life?
Reflecting on Feelings
I’ve begun to notice my reactions to people’s comments; particularly any negative feelings when given a compliment or any out of proportion emotional response around criticism.
Two phrases have been nagging at my half-conscious mind late at night, and I’ve been untying the conditioning behind each. This me, performing the alchemy on my own thought processes in order redefine my experience:
The first phrase was “that was nice of you”, which filled me with fear. I actively withdrew; trying to shrug it off as no big deal. The second phrase was “You mustn’t let that happen”. I felt a sudden rush to act; almost empowered that someone seemed to think I COULD stop it happening.
The first comment brought empowerment. The compliment caused me a lot of discomfort and sadness. Is that how you would have perceived them?
Dissecting the Issues
Looking further into the loaded meanings behind each of these seemingly insignificant phrases – I discovered a hidden treasure of conditioned fear, anxiety and pressure. I found such a heavy responsibility behind phrases which seemed so stupid to be triggering such strong emotions in me.
These are the uncovered findings of my fossil hunt:
“That was kind of you”
- I now have been labelled as kind.
- Thus I now have pressure to fulfil that label
- I feel anger at them judging me as one way or other
- Why is that label imposed on me by someone who doesn’t know me
- They say it as though it’s abnormal to be kind in that way or that situation – am I so abnormal? Must you point it out? Especially on a public bus?
I’m sure the person who spoke didn’t mean it like that; they meant “That was a nice thing you did.” However, I can also see why I’m scared of it.
Similarly, I found my emotions didn’t match the meaning in “You mustn’t let that happen”.
- I have the power to stop this
- You’re relying on me to do this
- There is a duty and responsibility to ensure this does not happen
- I’m seen as responsible, as talented enough to do this – you’re saying I can do it
There’s a lot of empowerment in that phrase, although her tone suggested more of a “You’ve let that nearly happen, that’s wrong, stop it, now!”…
In finding the positive; this is an act of redefinition I automatically do now. I’ve turned a criticism of my current behaviour into a motivating forward step. However, it has had that negative side of mis-interpreting positive comments.
The Space to Question
Humans are very complex and our thought processes are essentially webs connecting everything we know to select bits of other knowledge. The balance will never be met, but each attempt to make my experience positive will train my mind to feel comfortable with whatever people say.
Do you ever feel like you over-react to “silly things” or “little things that shouldn’t matter”?
Could you find any hidden meanings which would “substantiate” your responses?
Do you have emotions that don’t always match what people might expect?
How do you deal with those incidents? What do you say to explain them?
– Rose –