You are an amazing creation. You are walking, breathing potential. You are years of experience and wisdom packaged in the most amazing and intelligent information retrieval and delivery system. Yes, I know that sounds techy but that’s exactly the function of your brain, to store, retrieve and deliver information to your body, keeping you alive as well as to your mind, helping you make decisions.
What if the information being retrieved and delivered to your decision-making mind was faulty so that all your decisions ended in self-sabotage, disappointment, disillusionment, and stuckness? What if that information caused feelings of self-doubt, unworthiness and self-loathing?
If your computer had a virus, your first thought would be to get rid of it. Perhaps you would buy a computer virus defender program that would detect and erase the corrupted files and virus code. Then you might set up a firewall to keep newer viruses from getting in and perhaps upgrade your virus defender program to be on the lookout for malware because what good is a corrupted computer that freezes up all the time or presents annoying pop-ups asking you to download this and buy that or click here to claim a prize.
Your brain and a computer are no different. Your brain, like a computer, is an information retrieval and delivery system and when it gets corrupted, you need to clean it. So why is it so difficult to clean ourselves up when we get corrupted? Well, for one, a computer doesn’t have feelings like humans do. A computer doesn’t get attached to an operating system, like Windows 95. When a program no longer works or can keep up with the times, you upgrade.
Alas, we have feelings and we get attached to how things are and have been. We get used to doing things in a certain way or having certain experiences. We can get habituated to even painful experiences because we don’t have any other experience to compare it to.
As the owner of a machine, you can see when it’s no longer working and can decide to upgrade the program or purchase a new one. With outside eyes, you can observe the symptoms associated with a breakdown in the functioning of a machine and can take appropriate action.
It’s not so easy to observe the symptoms associated with a breakdown in our functioning. We can feel something is wrong just like we know we have eyes because we can see but we can’t see our eyes unless we look in a mirror and similarly, you can’t diagnose what is wrong without looking within.
Your programming is your mirror. When I say programming, I mean the beliefs, values, and systems with which you were raised. Mistakenly, many people believe that the past should stay in the past but you can’t escape your past. You can’t escape your programming but you can change it.
If you were raised in a home where domestic violence was prevalent, perhaps now, as an adult, you’re numb to it. It doesn’t feel good but it’s what you know, perhaps it’s all you feel you’re worth. If you were raised in a fatherless home or one where emotional bonds weren’t developed with your caregivers, then, perhaps now, as an adult, you find it difficult to erect boundaries or to extricate yourself from unhealthy relationships because you’re desperate for affection and love.
Every experience we have from childhood to everyday occurrences in adulthood forms behavioral strategies for survival. We are a species born to survive and our brain is the machine whose sole responsibility is to keep us alive but the wiring gets screwed up sometimes, through no fault of our own. So it’s up to us as the creator of our lives to become aware of our programming, our beliefs, values and systems for navigating the world.
With awareness comes understanding, an understanding of what’s working and not working in your life. Awareness is the eyes through which we observe ourselves. Only then can we make decisions in the best interest of our well-being.