This article is the first of two parts that intends to offer some ways of reaching a neutral state of mind and emotion. We each seek many ways to increase our conscious awareness and cultivate living from a more spiritual self. We celebrate our growing awareness and epiphanies. This growth rewards us with a richer more fulfilling life.
At the same time, we remain human, experiencing illusions created by our ego, Limbic System, Primitive Brain (PB), or other aliases. A rose by other name still has thorns. While striving for greater spiritual awareness, sometimes just knowing how to extract our self from the traps of our PB restores a kind of neutrality and freedom. This then allows us to make wiser choices.
The consequences of PB thinking lead us into certain traps that just result in loops of thought, emotion and behavior. How do we get out of this dizzying loop? It isn’t necessary to quantum leap from PB to God consciousness. Just getting out of the constriction and into neutral provides the desired objective freedom to use as you choose. Here are some ways to reach neutral.
The big three- Patience, foresight and flexibility Each of these qualities provides us with a way out of our survival mode perspective since these qualities are the opposite of the survival mode traits. Also, since these three qualities travel together as a group, accessing any one of these activates all and brings them into awareness. To alter an approach to an uncomfortable situation, first notice the PB traits of impulsiveness, short-sightedness and rigidity. Sense the subtle energy of each of these three traits within your self. Now, try out each of the big three and notice what you experience and how you feel and choose differently.
Finding the point of diminishing return for these three qualities- patience is purposeful waiting, not passivity. Flexibility is change with a goal in mind, not necessarily abandoning the goal. Foresight is awareness of potential consequences of choices, not overwhelm with possibilities. Use your goal as the template to evaluate possible outcomes, not just looking at the infinite possibilities by themselves.
The freedom of ambiguity- The ability to tolerate the unknown by suspending fear and beliefs provides you with access to faith, hope, love and charity. This tolerating ambiguity or the unknown is also a portal of entry into the One Truth (your Divine Essence of Love), which then assists you in tolerating. The big 3 also come into play as patience provides the ability to pause without prejudice. The pause allows foresight and flexibility, also known as informed choice.
The beauty of clarity- We may not always like what clarity brings at first but notice how clarity does bring simplicity. It allows you to use your abilities and skills to better direct your self to satisfaction (satisfaction = satisfying action). With clarity now you know and now know what to choose more easily. Notice how clarity and ambiguity work together even though they first appear to be opposites. If you can tolerate ambiguity you get rewarded with clarity.
Needful perceptions- If we need circumstances to be or go a certain way, this need interferes with taking stock of how things really are. Here we notice the two-sided coin cousins, ambiguity and clarity. What is making this personal need so strong and what are we not noticing at a higher, deeper level that can assist with this need from the inside, not the outside? It is all too easy for us to react from what we expect or anticipate rather than be in the present.
This need generated by our primitive brain uses its qualities, or deficits, to interfere with the otherwise natural flow of the universal energy. What do we notice and, more importantly, do not notice when we perceive from a place of need? Need leads to attachment to outcome and this prevents our greatest good from being served. We may be tempted by our primitive brain’s perspective to say “damn it” but what the primitive brain does to the Divine Flow is dam it.
False negatives- This process deals with what might be called our critical self. We each have one of these. Sometimes it may feel like more than one! Maybe you’ve heard of the term false negatives and false positives. When lab tests are performed the results are sometimes inaccurate. If the results indicate the presence of something significant but the results are not correct, this is a false positive. The opposite case where the results indicate the absence of something significant but it’s not correct is a false negative. All right, enough lab schooling.
When applying these concepts to beliefs about self, when we need to believe something about our self that is over-inflated, it might be called a false positive. You know the person who shows a big ego, this is a false positive in terms of their over-inflated beliefs about self. And it’s ironic because this over-inflated view of self is strictly about the “successful” compensations they made in response to not feeling love-worthy!
The false negative refers to the accumulated negative beliefs about self. Why call them negative? Because they negate self-worth. Each of these limiting and harmful beliefs about self stems from past emotional trauma and the part of our brain activated in response. This part knows how to get us out of harm’s way but has no clue about what led to the traumatic event and what it means.
PB responses just move further and further away from the truth. There is one Source that will correct this multi-layered negative process, the Truth. Moving back into Divine Truth is simply a one step process. In the case of the One Truth, there is no use in arguing with these false negatives. The part of our brain that produced these limiting, harmful beliefs is immune to reasoning in any way other than fear-based. This part of our brain will not get it and will not give it up no matter how good the argument. Just go to the Truth and you will know, allowing what you want excludes what you do not want!
For day to day management of this self-critical brain consider these two strategies. In response to a self-critical remark, follow this with three to five things you have done well. This shift of focus shifts the part of our brain in use. It may take a few repetitions to make the shift.
The other strategy is that when self-criticism is offered it must be followed with at least one idea for a constructive solution. This also shifts the part of our brain in use. Well, OK, a third strategy. Notice how the criticism is about self and not the choice? The criticism is off the mark from the start. Make any criticism just about the external, not the internal.
John Burton, EdD holds a Doctorate in Human development Counseling and a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. He is licensed as a Professional Counselor in SC and certified in Clinical Hypnotherapy, NLP Master and Reiki Master. He has three books published and a forthcoming book, The Sacred Sequence; Remembering the One Truth. He provides counseling and workshops in Greenville, SC. www.drjohnjburton.com