Breaking The Tradition of Learned Responses
Over time, we’ve observed various responses to many situations. Whether it was an angry outburst, crying, the quiet treatment, or throwing something, we internalized many emotions because we thought these emotions were “the right way to act.” Many of us are angry, fearful, resentment, and we don’t know why. Sometimes, when others inquire why we respond a certain way, we answer with the phrase, “that’s just the way I am.”
At some point in our lives, we may have heard those closest to us say things like 1. Children should be seen and not heard. 2. You should never let someone see you sweat. 3. Only weak people cry. 4. Don’t say too much. People may think you are weird. Okay. Maybe you haven’t heard the last one.
As you know, achieving self-awareness and overall wellness is not about blaming others but getting to the cause of why we do the things we do. The more we know about ourselves, the more we face our emotional triggers, choose the response that aligns with us, and transcend our experiences. We also start a brand new cycle of emotional responses. If you have children, around children, or remember being a child, then you know children record everything you do and say.
Much of the faulty programming we internalized as a child (and adult)is playing out right now and affecting our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. When we are not expressing our truths (what we know is right), unhealthy emotions (anger, guilt, resentment, shame, and others) build inside us.
What are emotions anyway?
According to Merriam-Webster, emotions are:
“1a: a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body
b: a state of feeling
c: the affective aspect of consciousness: FEELING
b. obsolete: DISTURBANCE.”
Go back and read the last statement in 1a. Our emotions affect how our body works. But the great thing about a healthy brain is that we can reprogram our brain and our body. As you know, when we change our responses, we change our actions.
To replace the programming mentioned in the second paragraph, we can say things like 1 how someone feels matters. People have the right to express themselves without others opposing them. 2. Sweat is a natural body response, and there are things I can do to prevent excessive sweating. Maybe my sweating will help people express themselves without obsessing about how they look. 3. People express their emotions differently, and that’s okay. 4. I only hurt myself if I hold my truth inside of me.
Does your image matter more than your truth?
Often, we steer away from emotions and feelings that contradict our image. If we present ourselves as smart and always have it together, we shove emotions showing our insecurity and vulnerability when trying new things. If others praise us for our looks, we will often do whatever we can to change our looks, steering down the road of self-loathing instead of seeing the beauty in growing older. Ultimately, we are saying, even though I feel this way, I can’t feel this way.
We cannot undo the past, but how do we break the cycle of inexpression to self-expression? How do we say it’s okay to feel what you are feeling?
The key thing to remember is our body is a wonderful machine, and its job is to alert us when we have an issue. The other thing about the body is the more we ignore something that consistently happens, the more the program is reinforced in our body. Hence, anger turns into an angry person. Of course, there is more to an angry state. But, the point is what originally seemed abnormal is now somewhat normal. The same principle applies to high/low blood sugars. The more you ignore high/low blood sugars, the less your body alerts you that your blood sugars are high/low until your body shuts down because it cannot properly function.
Can I change how I respond to situations? Yes!
So, when it comes to our emotions:
- We must realize that our emotions are a natural part of being human. After we accept things, then we have the power to change them.
- We must examine the root of our emotions. Did you pick up the emotion from someone else without checking to see if that’s how you really feel? There is something to seeking and finding (Matthew 7:7). All questions have answers. Even just asking once puts the question in the universe. I know the universe responds because I have received answers in passing conversations, observing animals and thoughts, listening to songs, watching television, and others.
- I encourage you to be open to the answer you receive, even if it is the opposite of what you internalized as a child or from someone close to you. Self-actualization does not mean you are a family tradition traitor. Humans evolve. If technology didn’t evolve, you wouldn’t be reading this post.
- Search within and measure your responses against your truth. Who are you? Who do you want to be? How do you want to respond to certain situations? Every emotion is a choice.
- Act on your truth. Practice your responses to situations. Use a mirror if you have to. Commit to aligning yourself with your newfound truth with as many experiences as possible.
- Please pass on the freedom of expression to the next generation. Instead of telling someone how to act, we encourage them to express themselves. We talk about emotions. The only way cycles are broken if someone realizes they need to be and takes action.
Make this lifetime great! You deserve it!
Thanks for reading my post!
MSN BSN RN, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, ACE Fitness Instructor, CDCES
P.S. I would love for you to join my community of being bent on using our experiences as stepping stones to our divine purpose, healing from the inside out, and achieving and sustaining optimal health. Subscribe to @timikaschambers.com by clicking the link below.