By C. W. Stratton
Our lives, right from the beginning, have been shaped and formed with great assistance from outside stimuli. This stimuli may be parents, family members, friends, school or the neighborhood in which you grew up.. As a result, a number of beliefs and behaviors were developed. These beliefs and behaviors we adopted dictated the direction our lives would take. Along the journey, we may have encountered struggles and a number of setbacks in the process. Despite this, we continued to push along. However, as we continued to do so, we ran into additional struggles and setbacks. These were similar to the previous ones. At the time we didn’t acknowledge or make any kind of identification with it at all. We tend to process the event, or events, one at a time and neglect to reflect on the possible correlation of the events or struggles. The correlation I’m speaking of isn’t about each struggle or setback being connected to each other. The correlation or common factor is “YOU”. When faced with certain situations in life the only points of reference we have to deal with these situations are the messages we’ve received from the outside stimuli that has influenced us so much.
As we move through our journey and become exposed to additional stimuli we become conflicted internally because we now hear new messages. However, we maintain the commitment to abide by the old messages because they are familiar. The new stimuli or individuals are relaying other options in handling struggles or setbacks, but we have such a difficult time letting go of the bond we’ve formed over the years that we have from the old stimuli and messages. Plus, we don’t want those association that helped form the beliefs and behaviors to view us any other way. If I were perceived as the reactive or tough guy, I need to maintain that identity. As least that’s what we maintain in our minds. This brings more life to the ego or internal conflict we have been battling along the way. The conflict is associated with the learned behaviors which eventually formed our personalities. We used the old stimuli as a protective of defense mechanism. As a result it formed the personality we display outwardly; this is what everyone sees. The personality is not who we are, it what we choose to show others The inner-self is the very thing that we protected all these years. The personality and the inner-self is what’s actually in conflict.
Once we can come to this realization and begin utilizing courage to be ourselves, the conflict subsides and there’s a great chances peace will be found in the process. Living up to the expectations of others at the expense of our own selves is very self-defeating. Letting go of the personality that was formed by others and beginning the process of exposing our true-selves is critical to the process of growth, development and transformation. We must first rescue ourselves from the “whirlpool of deception” that we’ve created for ourselves. Just because our associates like certain things, engage in certain behaviors or speak a certain way doesn’t mean we have to follow. Personally, I prefer to walk alone than with the crowd going in the wrong direction. Freedom from certain beliefs that have hindered the growth process in imperative to experiencing life as it should experiences. Without self-inflicted limits.