I tell my kids all the time: “You have zero control over what happens around you. But you 100% control how you respond to it!” I’m not yet sure that they truly ‘get’ this statement. But this is where your power lies. What we perceive as “reality” is a model of the world based upon our life, our experiences of events. We are all familiar enough with the Theory of Relativity to know that this model is seen from “your” viewpoint, based on your beliefs, your perspectives, and your physical limitations. In Neuro-Linguistic Programming terms “your map is not necessarily the territory”. I’m sure you’ve seen the meme where there is a 6 or a 9 and dependent on your perspective you will perceive either the 6 or the 9 and both are right according to your individual perspective.
We base our model of the world heavily on our understanding of the data around us, and we absolutely believe that our version of the world is the only one. But, time after time, certain “pillars”—the foundations of our concrete beliefs—get shifted, change, or are removed. Have you ever been so certain of something only to have additional information surface that shifts what you think or believe? We then have to “re-calibrate” the model of our world. Time, technology and consciousness levels all lend themselves to converting our “reality” to a new level of truth, and that is not necessarily reality either―it may also change based on time, technology and consciousness.
The picture of our world constantly changes as we acquire more information. Our version of the information is generally not the same as another person’s, which explains why we all see the world so differently. Your version of the world is not necessarily correct. My version of the world isn’t necessarily correct either. And because everything is relative, it probably is not correct.
Sadly, not only do we tend to misperceive our reality, we skew that perception towards the negative things that happen to us. According to Rick Hanson (PhD): “Negative stimuli produce more neural activity than . . . positive stimuli. Negatives are also perceived more easily and quickly. For example, people in studies can identify angry faces faster than happy ones. Negative events and experiences get quickly stored in memory—in contrast to positive events and experiences, which usually need to be held in awareness for a dozen or more seconds to transfer from short-term memory buffers to long-term storage.”
There are two reasons why we focus more on the negative aspects of our life, and why these negative aspects are more intensely “burned” into our memory than the positive aspects; the first is self-preservation. In prehistoric times there were many dangers in the environment; if a danger presented itself, we needed to focus quickly and bring about all our fight or flight resources in an obvious response. So, our primitive brain is wired to be on the constant alert for negative (dangerous) signals, to amplify these to make us focus on them, and then respond to the danger. We naturally focus more on the negative as a survival tool.
The second reason is the Law of Intensity. In simple terms, the intensity of any memory is relative to the intensity of the emotion at the time of the event. If Mom bought us an ice cream when we were four years old, this is a good memory but has low intensity; chances are we cannot recall the event. If we had a serious car accident when we were fourteen, this is burned into our memory because it carries the intensity of the fear that was experienced. Terror is an intense emotion and therefore PTSD memories are deeply ingrained into a person’s psyche.
Your memory is weak or strong depending on the emotion at the time of the event. The emotions affected the type and quantity of hormones and neuro-transmitters into your brain. In the same way, when you feel the emotion of having something, your body releases these chemicals. Steve calls it emoticising! The emotion you apply will have the effect of ‘e-motion’, energizing the motion of the thing you want to attract into your life. Another way of looking at it is that ‘e-motion’ is an abbreviation for electromagnetic motion.
So, we might have a semi-scientific explanation for why we focus on the negative more than the positive, and why the negative memories are stronger, but we still have some choice as to how we react to these messages. It is in the exercising of this choice that we move closer to, or further away from, a higher consciousness. If we opt to use our primitive brain responses then we opt for fight or flight. If we opt to use our higher brain responses, then we suppress or repress the emotions and memories and we react from a more rational mindset. If we choose to use our higher brain responses, then we can choose to ignore, delete, modify, accept and forgive. Obviously, these latter choices are operated from a higher functioning individual, a person at a higher “consciousness” than their primitive or emotional brains. You have a ‘choice’ muscle – the ability to choose how to respond to something is an inalienable power – and this choice muscle takes time to develop. Like learning to meditate, ‘choosing’ how you react is an art that takes time and practice to perfect.
Here’s to you exercising your ‘choice’ muscle and creating a permanent state of positivity. Thank you for visiting The Law of Creation and for reading my blog.