Most of us are influenced by the environment around us, some of us more than others, when that influence become negative we can feel overwhelmed and that can lead to a chemical imbalance in our bodies which we can experience as headache and/or upset stomach etc. We react to this imbalance by feeling disconnected and conflicted. These emotions are then processed cognitively and we might experience thoughts like: “Is there something wrong with me?”, “Is this my fault?” , “Is it just me who doesn’t fit in?”. When we allow thoughts like this to take over we reinforce the chemical imbalance and our internal conflict in our bodies leading to physical and mental symptoms of discomfort. This can become a negative spiral leading to depression.
We can’t always control our environment nor can we shut off our emotional reactions, but what we can do is change the cognitive process, or the way we think, so that instead of reinforcing the chemical imbalance in our bodies and the negative feelings we can stop them in their tracks and neutralize them with positive self-talk and self-soothing techniques.
Being socialized into a culture is in many ways a way to force your personality and innate nature to adjust to your surroundings. A lot of beauty and creativity can be lost in this process. Figuring out who you are as an adult is often about reclaiming that lost beauty and creativity. Maybe that is why so many of us travel to foreign cultures to find ourselves, for in the process of traveling we discover that the “system of thought” we have been socialized into as children is not the only way of life worthwhile.
Being able to adjust to a situation and to people around you is a great quality! In fact, Darwin’s theory of “the survival of the fittest” has been revised to “survival of the most adjustable.” However, don’t adjust so much to situations and people that you lose who you are and eventually end up being dominated by forces taking advantage of your accommodative nature.
Our weaknesses are our strengths and our strengths are our weaknesses. Impatient people are often very efficient, efficiency often also indicates impatience. Lazy people are often very patient, but patient people can be lazy. Sensitive people have a lot of empathy, but people with a lot of empathy sometimes need comfort more than the people they are having empathy for. And so it goes on an on…
And of course this goes for our physical appearance too. Imagine if nobody felt the need to sweat away hours in a gym to obtain the perfect swimwear body. Imagine if we all just came to the beach like we were. Wouldn’t we all breathe a sigh of relief? The truth is, people who actually have the guts to do that, to admit their “imperfection” and just shrug their shoulders at it are often the ones who are perceived as being “perfect”. We love such people because they make us feel good about ourselves, they give us courage to shrug our own shoulders and meet the world as we are.
Don’t try to hide your “flaws”, make them your strengths instead. A weakness is just a strength in disguise. Be like the Lotus flower in the photo, let your “imperfections” become the trademark of your individuality, what makes you uniquely you. 😊😊
Through quiet and attentive observation of the turn of the seasons, the moods of the sea and the life span of a flower, the universal truths will reveal themselves. The same holds true of human nature. By quietly and openmindedly observing the comings and goings of your own emotions and impulses, you will recognize the reflection of all human emotions and impulses within yourself.
When we experience a negative emotion, such as prejudice, we must take a moment and examine that emotion with a magnifying glass. What triggered the initial emotional response? Then we must weigh our perception up against the objective reality. Are we acting upon a past experience or a fear rather than what is right in front of us? Is the negative emotion a defensive response against something we have assessed as being a threat based on past experiences or what we have been told by others?
Examining an emotion in full honesty, calmly, respectfully and openmindedly, in ourselves and in others, is a way of saying: “we are all human beings, experiencing negative emotions is not bad, it’s just a part of life, of being human, but I am not the emotion and I choose not to act upon it.”
Choosing to use our intellect to learn from our emotional responses instead of suppressing them is a more mature way of dealing with negative emotions and it will make us more compassionate and not so quick to judge others.