When I used to think of change or becoming someone different, I envisioned going to many therapy sessions or diving into self help books in hopes of healing past scars. I imagined that I had scars in my heart and that I needed to go back into those time periods and come to terms with each and every event before I could truly heal and become a better, stronger person. I believed that diving into the past was the only way of becoming a more healthy human in the future. I don't believe this to be true anymore.
As an adult, you seem to take notice more of why your thought process changes. It doesn't seem logical that my Geology class would help shape how I think about my mental health, but that is exactly what has happened. The first day of class Professor Hollis introduced me to the term "Uniformitarianism," which means that we look to the present to solve the mysteries of the past. "Let's take a side trip, real quick!" - as Professor Hollis would say... For instance, in Avila Beach, California there are, what the Geology community call, "Pillow Basalts." Pillow Basalts are made under water and are rocks that form round pillow like rock structures. How this occurs is when lava reaches the ocean, it cools on the outside which causes the rock to harden. Yet, the lava on the inside is still so hot that it pushes out from the side and creates another rock. This continues until all the lava is cooled down into a hard structure. To help me visualize this, I think of the magic black snake fireworks. It keeps extending itself after you think it's done. The only difference is that it creates one long mass and a Pillow Basalt breaks the long lava flow into pieces (rocks).
On the left - Pillow Basalts & On the right - Pillow Basalts being formed
On the left - Black Snake Fireworks & On the right - Black Snake Fireworks in action. Just picture that same movement - snakelike, but every so often it breaking off into a rock like the ones above. Then, from that rock which broke off, lava begins to spill out of it and that piece cools and breaks off and the cycle continues over & over until all the lava has cooled. SO FASCINATING!!!
My point being that because those Pillow Basalts are there in Avila, we know that there was volcanic activity there at one time. We are using the present to see into the past.
And there's your Geology lesson for the day! Geologists look to the present to sort out the past and I believe that we can implement that kind of logic into other areas of life. I have struggled with depression and being a hyper sensitive individual, I am phased by everything. If I were to use my old logic, I would believe that I needed to tap into my past and figure out why I am the way I am. "What was your life like as a child?" would come up and dive into all of my history we would go. What if we implemented Uniformitarianism into our regular lives? What if I look at my traits right now in this moment as a human and I study that instead? At almost 35 years old, I have been over my past and regrets and trying to sort out what could have been done better, etc. I've done that, I've scoured through memories and tried to overcome things that are holding me back. Personally, I am ready for a different approach.
Here's my thought: Why not let the present inform your past and not the other way around? We give so much power to our past. We are tied to events that no longer serve us and continually have our necks aching because we're always looking back. We are logical because we are human, so why not keep our heads straight ahead and focus on who we are now? The reasons we are who we are don't really matter. For instance, if someone kills a person and goes before the judge and tells the judge, "I had a really hard life, you've gotta understand I am not responsible, it is all the events of my life up to this point that made me kill him." The judge does not know if what the defendant is saying is the truth and they cannot weigh out people's entire pasts to inform their verdict. It is about that present crime, this present moment and the choices that defendant made NOW.
This is how it is in life. EVERYONE has something they're carrying - EVERYONE. The amazing thing about life is that you choose what baggage you carry. And there are stages in life - some people just got a new piece of baggage and they have not been through the process of leaving it on the side of the road yet. That's okay. You can't expect to get through everything and be perfect in the way you deal with or handle emotions, but you can control how long something stays with you. You ARE in control.
Recently, I have been completely excited to learn about the brain and the evolution of your brain. Learning that you have the power to re-wire your brain is so amazing! So often we believe that our ties to the past are all emotional, uncontrollable frequencies that are part of our soul. Truth is that the soul, body and brain all work together and at the helm of your power to change is your brain. Like I said before, I thought that therapy and diving into the past is how you become a changed person who is more emotionally healthy and has a better grasp on life, but now I see all it takes is a re-wiring of the brain. Your thoughts become emotions which become actions. So, if you change the way you think about your past, you can then change your emotions which will change your actions - that's a huge breakthrough! Change those negative thoughts in your mind by talking to yourself internally. A thought enters: "If only I would have stayed in school when I was younger..." Tell yourself, "I have the ability to go back to school now. We are all students at any age or stage of life." When you do this consistently over and over again, your brain will change. "I hate the way I look." Talk back to that voice in your mind - "You are beautiful." Over and over again until you feel confident in yourself and your skin. We are all beings of energy. Choose positive energy and watch your life change...
When you connect with the energy you have inside of you, you become a universe. We tend to think that we are a tiny piece of a BIG universe and that we don't matter much, but the scientific truth is that we hold a universe within ourselves and our flow of life completely affects the flow around us. Case and point - a man calls into a company and gets the receptionist. He starts cursing and screaming that one of the technicians in a company vehicle is driving dangerously on the road. The receptionist is not the one driving, nor is she in control of any piece of that situation, but that man just placed blame on her and confronted her with rage and anger. The matter in her body has changed. When she answered the phone, she was pleasant and excited to take on the call, but when she hung up the phone she felt completely different. We have the power to affect our universe.
There is a great debate about feelings and who actually holds the power. Some argue that If someone upsets you, it's your own fault for feeling upset? While others argue that the person is making the other person upset and so they should be blamed. This is a tricky fine line for me. I believe that it all depends on scales of hurtfulness. For instance, if someone says to you, "I absolutely hate Reba McEntire" and you happen to love her - if you take offense to that, it's on you. You're upset and you have to take responsibility for that because that is a person's opinion of someone else in the world and on the scale of hurtfulness it's a 1 or 2 at best. Now on the other side of the coin, if someone says to you, "You always make the wrong decisions." This is where you have every right to be upset and it's on the other person. On the scale of hurtfulness, I'd say it's about an 8 or 9. Reason being is the use of the word always. Words that should be used as little as possible in relationships are: never, always, and constantly. If you want someone to change for the better, there are much more appropriate words to choose. Putting people down in hopes of lifting them up or motivating them is the worst approach. "Everything you try to do to me is already done to you." - The Color Purple. Oprah's short video at the link below is perfectly put. The way we treat people should always display how we want to be treated. Try to imagine yourself on the other end of those words, how would you feel? Should you say it then? THINK.
I got off the subject a little bit there, but there is a full picture I hope to paint. The cycle of the past will continue if you keep going back to the past for answers. I believe that if you start investigating who you are NOW. What your beliefs, morals, ethics are today, you will have a greater understanding of you as a solid unit which embodies your past, present, future. If something in your present life is off or in need of a change, you can create that change within you by re-wiring your brain. Change the way you think and stop traveling back in time - you've already been there. Blaming reasons is a horrible approach. Make the choice your gut tells you to make and then stick by that. If it fails, if you hurt some one's feelings unintentionally (don't hurt people intentionally - just don't) or you lose the race - that means you're living and all you can do is try again, apologize - open and honestly and race again. The past is there to serve you when needed with knowledge and fond memories. But it is okay to let all the other little bits and fragments fade away. If it doesn't serve you, it is no longer needed.
Last year when I was taking Psychology 205 - Intro to the Bible, I became skeptical about God. The stories in the Bible really upset me and made me question why God would allow such horrible things to happen? Again, I am a hyper sensitive person and so some of the images conjured up by the Bible really brought me down. It was all very interesting to me though and I wound up learning a lot about myself and the idea of religion from that class. Now as I take more scientific classes - Psychology and Geology at the same time - I am believing more and more that there is a God. With the study of rocks and the origins of Earth, I have seen that some BIG pieces of the puzzle are still unknown. All this scientific data and yet there are loopholes here and there that suggest higher forces at play. I never imagined that science would help me to believe in God a little more. Usually God and Science are two very separate entities, but for me they go hand in hand. I still have my doubtful days. Like when I start to think that it all seems too complex or intricate for a higher power to be behind it. Still, maybe, just maybe God wants us to have something to do...
The science of the world is so detailed and yet it gives us something to investigate and knowledge to obtain. Perhaps the greatest architect that ever was is in fact, God. To have so much to learn, so much to see and so much to fill our brains with is absolutely astounding. I feel so privileged to be able to stretch my knowledge at this age. When I was younger I didn't see the point nor did I want to waste my time with other subjects when I could be writing or singing. Now I'm older and wiser so I realize the beauty in going outside your comfort zone and filling your mind with ideas and images of the many facets of our existence. All the other subjects actually add something to my writing too. There is a richness of spirit obtained when you dip your toe into uncharted waters and keep walking in till the water becomes warm and comfortable. It's not easy to keep moving into something that seems so cold and foreign to you, but once you've been in for a while and the temperature stabilizes, you don't ever want to get out. The key is to step into as many pools of knowledge as possible.
Life is a mystery, if nothing else and with every great mystery there is an investigation. Let your investigation be a well rounded exploration of all this beautiful planet holds. If you want to become something different, change in the present. The past cannot be undone. Look forward and look into re-wiring your brain so that you can stop the patterns of whatever has been holding you back. A great resource for such growth is "Evolve Your Brain" by Dr. Joe Dispenza as well as "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" which can be supplemented with meditation CDs to help re-train your brain. I'm just beginning on that journey, but already feel a shift in my energy. I don't look back anymore because that's not the direction I'm moving in... We have the power to do ANYTHING... WE ARE THE ONLY ONES STANDING IN OUR WAY...