Our Deprogramming - How Did We Get Here?
We need to take a really long and hard, and maybe even painful look at ourselves. All those things that we don’t like about ourselves, all those things that we don’t like about our lives, they were all caused by us. We did them. We did them to ourselves. We may not have created those things directly, we may not have asked for them specifically, but at the very least we created the part of our personality that allowed those things into our lives. We created the opportunity for those things to enter our lives and we chose how we would let the outcomes affect us.
We must question everything that we know about ourselves and the world around us. All the things about us, all the things in our lives, are there because of the choices we made. Most of those things were not caused directly by a single choice, but a series of choices, a chain of events, that may go far back. So far back in fact that we can’t even remember what the first choice was that started it all out. But this is where the solution lies. If we can figure out why we made the choices we have made, then we can figure out how to not make those choices again. The further we can trace back in the decision making chain of events, the closer we can get to the reason we made the choices we made. This will take us further into the core of who we really are, and this is how we will stop this cycle of questionable decision making.
This was our programming, for better or worse. Assigning blame for our programming will do no one any good, least of all ourselves. We must first accept this before we can move forward.
How We Got Here - Our Domestication
A very important step in our transformation from the person we were programmed to be to the person we desire to be is to figure out just how did we get here. What were the events and their outcomes during our childhood that helped to mold our value system and store it deep down in our subconscious hidden from our conscious decision making process.
At some point in our life we left childhood behind and charged into adulthood down a path that was already laid out for us whether we realized it or not. Once we were out on our own, free from the control and safety of our parents, we discovered that life was a little more difficult than we were led to believe.
Our path was littered with hurdles and roadblocks, each of which being a detour off the path that was to lead us to the good life and the happiness that it would provide for us. And while these hurdles seemed like obstacles thrown in our way by external forces, upon reflection, we start to realize that they were actually choices and decisions that we made that seemed to make sense to our past self, but now our present self has to deal with the consequences.
The irony is that most of those choices we made probably resulted in a “successful” outcome and not the dreaded failure that we were afraid of. But after some time, after getting what we wanted, we realized that that didn’t lead to the long term result that we anticipated. The problem wasn’t that we were not getting what we wanted, we were getting what we were conditioned to want, but we were not getting what we needed.
“Most human beings have within their own power greater possibility than they have realized for curing themselves of the multitude of mild maladjustments that are so common in our society.”
Failing to Satisfy Our Needs
Every decision we make in life is based on a desired outcome, on something we want. This want is a perceived need. Our primal desire to satisfy this need is what is buried deep in our subconscious. When this subconscious primal desire is triggered, by some internal or external stimulus, its immediate response bubbles up into the conscious part of our mind which is tasked with carrying out the procedures required to satisfy this desire.
It is this conscious part of our mind that we have been developing as soon as we were able to explore our independence from our parents, and later our schools and even our peers. It is our conscious mind that must filter the immediate needs of our subconscious and determine if satisfying that need is really what’s best for us, in the present or in the future.
Remember, the foundation of our conscious mind is built on top of our subconscious mind. They are fused together in ways that we could never hope to untie. Even if we could discover all of the events from our childhood that formed our subconscious, it would be futile to try and correct them. Knowing may be half the battle, but the other half of the battle, the repair phase, is what would take the most effort and cause the most damage. We might be in therapy for the rest of our lives.
Instead of trying to fix the unconscious part of our decision making apparatus, what if we can improve how our conscious mind filters the subconscious’ need satisfying desire. If we can recognize that most of what we want, what we think we need, we really don’t need. Our subconscious has just convinced us otherwise.
While our subconscious is constantly supplying us with desires disguised as needs, compelling us to make decisions that sacrifice our long-term goals for short-term pleasures, it is also responsible for the opposite. It is our subconscious that is sabotaging our conscious efforts to satisfy long-term needs to avoid the short-term pain and discomfort that might accompany them.
We humans are problem solving, need satisfying, machines. That is how we got to the top of the food chain. Our biggest problem may be that we are continually trying to solve problems (i.e. satisfy needs) that are not truly needs and are just diversions sapping the energy required to satisfy the higher needs that will truly enrich our lives.
Disconnecting From Our Past
We must be able to recognize the things in our past that played such a big part in making us who we have become, recognizing what our role in those things was, and what we could have done differently. And if we were completely helpless in any of those situations, and we can take no responsibility for it, then we need to find a way to accept what happened and move forward anyway. We can no longer blame those events, even the ones that we share no responsibility for, for who we will become in the future. While we may not be responsible for those past events, we are responsible for the events in our future and how their consequences will affect us.
We absolutely cannot move forward with our lives, we cannot create our new path, until we not only understand this, but believe this wholeheartedly. For how much we may feel we have been victimized in the past, we must choose to not let those things make us victims in our present and certainly not our future. Victims don’t get to make their own path, they get to follow the path created for them. They are in a continual state of reaction. By allowing ourselves to be victims of our circumstances, we are choosing to get only what is given to us, we are choosing to do what we are allowed to do, and we are choosing to be who we are allowed to be.
We cannot ignore, mask or cover up our past, however painful it may have been, for this past life is what makes us who we are, and like it or not, it is still the foundation of who we will become. We can only look back on our life, examine it, dissect it, analyze it, recognize the mistakes we made, and then utilize that data from our past as a tool to help us chart our new path.
If we look back and analyze our past long enough, we will find plenty of bad stuff for sure, but we will also find plenty of good stuff as well. The challenge really is to first, accept both the good and the bad. Second, identify the bad stuff that we will need to face and reconcile. Third, embrace the good things, for these are the parts of our personality that we will want to keep. This will be the core of our being that will embark on a new journey to becoming the person that we desire to become.
Forgiveness - Others and Ourselves
Even when we did something that we knew was wrong, but we did it anyway, we were lacking the consciousness to not do it. None of this was our fault. It was who we were raised to be, so now would be a good time to start forgiving ourselves for all of those regrettable things that we did in our past. Forgiving ourselves may be a difficult process, but there's something even tougher that we have to do before we can truly go forward.
We have to forgive all of the other people in our past that did the very same stuff to us, and most likely worse, than we did to others. Hanging on to the anger inspired by how we may have been wronged so long ago allows us to blame those events, however deep in our subconscious, for all of our failures and even wrongdoings that we commit today.
Letting go of our past can be liberating, to say the least, giving us the freedom to charge headlong down a new path in life, but we are doing this so we can gain our independence from all of the emotional chains from our past. But by gaining this independence and wiping the slate clean, we can no longer blame those past wrongdoings for any of our future problems.
We must acknowledge that we are now responsible for all of our future actions and both the rewards and consequences that may result from those actions. From this day forward we cannot blame anyone, past, present, or future for our problems in life.
Whatever bad things we did when we were children. Whatever punishment or humiliation we had to suffer through. Whoever we wronged us all those years ago. All of those regrettable things that we may or may not even remember doing or being responsible for. Those were done by someone who didn’t know better. Even when we thought we knew better, the truth is that we didn’t. We were taught to do those things, or we were at least not taught to not do those things.
Since we cannot change the events in our past, we are stuck with their consequences. And until we can admit and accept our role in, and responsibility for, the events that shaped our lives, we will be forever trapped as victims of what awaits us in the future. But we will not be victims. We not only have the power, but we have the responsibility to shape our future the way we see fit. We can choose what is important to us, we can choose what we will allow into our lives, and we can choose who we will allow in.
As humans we are driven to satisfy our needs. It is the one thing that overrides everything else. Our inability to satisfy these needs can result in feelings of frustration, anxiety, and loss of control resulting in a downward spiral of helplessness. But it is these feelings that act as motivation to dig down and find ways to overcome the obstacles to satisfying our true needs. This is a valuable response that has evolved in us for thousands of generations. If the need is real, we will find a way to satisfy it.