This site is dedicated to the discovery of what makes certain significant events, highlights of your life. What is it about events that you recall that makes them so significant? These events may be positive or negative. Memories of an old romantic relationship may bring up warmth, smiles and sensual associations? A veteran of Vietnam may flinch at the sound of a backfire or a slammed door. These memories are loaded with emotional associations that make them significant and memorable.
Down deep we aren’t wired differently from other mammals. We are not talking rational associations here. It’s way deeper than that. We have these flinch reactions associated with certain events. It’s not much different from a dog that barks, growls and raises his hackles when one person walks up and wags his tail when another walks up. There is something about this event that is associated with pain or pleasure. Events occurred in the past and they were or weren’t fun. The association, at the time, was so strong that we became semi-hardwired to avoid or be attracted to similar events in the future. We don’t have to currently experience the identical event, just anything associated with the event will bring up the attached emotions. These emotions, once present, greatly affect how we deal with a current situation.
These flinch reactions can significantly affect our ability to live productive lives. Uncovering and resolving these “flinches” can be liberating. Some positive flinches can be as damaging as negative ones. Inappropriate drink, drugs and sex are good examples. How do you tell what “flinches” you have buried in your past? The key to identifying these associations is awareness. We have to be a little brighter than the previously mentioned dog. It takes developing the awareness to be able to bring these flinches into awareness.
You can tell that it is a flinch reaction because it is fast and it is not rationally associated with the present. It’s subtle. You can become sensitive to the subtlety with practice. This inward awareness, looking in, will facilitate the sensitivity to the flinch emotions. Mindfulness training meditation is excellent for developing this awareness. At first, in retrospect, you might ponder that you chose your action based on a flinch reaction, down the road you will be aware of the flinch before you act and can choose to act more appropriately.
At some point you can see the flinch arising. You see the emotional response building. At that point, with awareness and sensitivity, you can inject some reason into the reaction. You acknowledge the flinch as real and then you add some reason to it. Pretty soon the flinch, when it comes up, will drag this reason with it. It will arise as a mixed bag of emotion and reason. This is major progress. From here on out you will have a choice as to how you are going to act. You can choose your response. You can learn to act out of creativity rather than flinch reaction. The sensitive awareness is what will get you there.
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