My last post was on the heavier side wherein I talked about a lot of general beating-self-upness, which aptly brings me to something I’ve been thinking about for a while:
Why do we do it?
I read a quote recently somewhere which went something along the lines of this:
Girl: “Mum, I saw a girl today and she looked beautiful, but the first thing I thought was: Why is she trying so hard? But then I instantly thought: no, she’s owning it and looks amazing. Why do I think this way?”
Mother: “The first thought is who you’ve been conditioned to be. The second is who you really are.”
And that struck me like a fresh slap to tha face.
Conditioning is a term which is crucial to be aware of. I think it can make a huge difference in conscious thinking, which leads to more self-awareness and ultimately, more compassion for oneself and other beings. That boils down to simply being a better person; treating others and yourself with respect to make life as bearable as possible for one another. How lovely!
Conditioning is defined as: ‘The process of training or accustoming a person or animal to behave in a certain way or to accept certain circumstances, i.e.: ‘social conditioning’’.
Stripped even further down: what we are raised to believe is true. IMO, far more nurture over nature.
But the good thing is, whether we have been conditioned to believe or think bad things as a knee-jerk response, we can change that. Our brains are but metaphorical lumps of play-doh.
I absolutely find my brain judging people before I even know it, sometimes thinking awful things when I’m having a bad day – which is of course just a classic projection of my own insecurities.
But if I can be conscious of that and turn that thought around every time it happens, I know that that kind of negative and ultimately self-deprecating thought process will slowly start to be replaced with positively conditioned thoughts. And don’t we all just love a full circle. It’s also an absolute banger by George Fitzgerald. As I was saying…
I believe that it takes two active components to stop this negative thought pattern:
Being aware of your negatively conditioned beliefs or thoughts is one thing, but if you’re only acknowledging they’re there, that’s only going to ingrain them further. We have to actively make the decision to greet them and respectively tell them to fuck off, with an optional sarcastic smiling emoji. 🙂
Training the brain can be a sticky job, but it’s a matter of repetition until it’s a habit, like most things. There is no point beating ourselves up over the way we have learned to be due to our external environments/influences, so long as we are willing to correct it and therefore grow. Mind over mind, if you will. Brainception. All of the things.
So next time you find yourself thinking something rather dreadful or simply a bit mean, just give yourself some space to think: “Is this really who I am?” and distance yourself from those toxic judgements, no matter how big or small. Over time this will ultimately make space for more positivity in your life, which we could all use.