There are assumptions in the above question, yep. Yet, if you’re reading this post, something about those assumptions intrigued you, so go with it for a minute or two.
My least favorite emotion is shame. Shame that says, “You’re not as good as other people. You don’t measure up to their standards. You’re defective. You should run and hide because you don’t fit in.”
I indulge in shame less and less over the years, but the key word is indulge. Indulge in an emotion like some sort of junk food you can’t stop eating? Kind of. To allow for the word indulge, we have to assume that part of us wants to go there. Could that be true?
Sure. And if you consider the indulgence as an unconscious endeavor, it’s more palatable. Many emotions, if not all, originate unconsciously. The thoughts, memories and external triggers are processed without conscious awareness. They happen on autopilot. You just arrive at the emotional destination like you arrive at your neighborhood grocery store; unaware of complex decisions, calculations, and actions you took at every stop light, lane change and crossroad. You could have been jamming out to your favorite radio station or listening to an audiobook, but you still arrived at your destination without consciously thinking it through. It’s familiar territory. You relied on your unconscious autopilot.
Likewise, arrive at your least favorite emotion probably relies on a similar process of external triggers, thoughts, memory, and judgment that has been seared into your unconscious mind, like an old book of directions. Until you reevaluate, you remain on autopilot.
Until we see these least favorite emotional states as places we move toward, as opposed to places we intend to avoid (but somehow can’t) we’ll never get down to the business or rewriting the directions we’ve been trained to follow. Understanding self-sabotage is a good place to start.
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