Being Your Past Again – Don’t Create New Behaviors

“You have a tendency to act emotionally at times like this. Just don’t do anything until you know what you feel. To me there’s nothing going on but maybe there is. If it doesn’t hurt to wait, wait. What is actually occurring will become obvious quickly.”

I was on the phone with my brother having asked him for advice, and that is close to what he said.

I thanked him, hung-up and felt better.

One of the many things I admire about my brother is his ability to not respond emotionally to anything. Des and I have chatted in length about it and he’s very clear that it is a skill he has worked hard at and one that is still working to perfect as there are times when he finds himself beginning to feel stuff that isn’t based on the immediate reality.

It’s based on the past, and in particular, an old way of responding to a stimuli or situation that is similar. Some of these things will trigger reflexive responses that are years old and learned from a single event. As is the case with relatively young people, unfamiliar events may only have happened when we were incapable determining a logical response. Rage, anger and destruction based on fear may have been the conditioned response to stimuli and the unconscious expression of this behavior is what flows our when faced with a situation that seems to match.

This way of being is unworkable and Des knows that I have a tendency to act without much rational thought when faced with these moments.

At the time, I wasn’t sure what to do, which is why I called him. I felt a particular way, but couldn’t find a reason for it. By taking the time to think the thing through, it became very apparent what was going on and I was able to see a past action being triggered. It wasn’t right or wrong, it was just outdated and unworkable. Taking the time to realize what was happening created a clearing and the possibility for logical action.

The up-side is that the new logical behavior will begin to become the new response to that particular stimuli. Which is what you need to happen in order to learn and advance your life. Without creating new behaviors, we’ll continue to be exactly what we were in the past.