This week was about acknowledging my reflections in the world.
Apparently the brain is like a computer. You can store memories that are time stamped and have all kinds of useful context information assigned to each memory.
But in addition to this metaphorical RAM, there is also a battery that stores energy. This metaphorical energy is emotion memory. There is no time context or any useful point of reference assigned to stored emotional memories.
That's a bad thing.
If you have ever seen someone overreact it is probably because they experienced a situation
where there were similarities to past experience, and emotional experience. The current situation involved something that 'triggered' the emotional memory which released the intense feelings into the current situation. The result is a 'reaction' that is greater than the situation warranted.
It is always better to choose your 'response' to an emotionally charged situation than automatically 'react'
Here's the solution.
Train your mind to exist in the present, stop thinking in terms of the future or the past.
(In my last blog I talked about how my thoughts tend to dwell on what is coming up or analyzing what has already past, consequently my whole life I have conditioned my thoughts to never be in the present moment).
This gives your mind a point of reference in the present moment.
When something reminds you of a past experience you may take note of it and move on.
If you let the past experience dictate how you feel about the current experience then that is called 'projection'.
That's a bad thing.
Here's an example.
- your dad was a dick, you have strong negative feelings about him in your emotional memory
- your dad is a symbol of authority
- God is a symbol of authority, you place your strong negative feelings on any symbol of authority
- You conclude that God is a dick
Here's an interesting projection.
What does it mean?
What if every time I look at my grandpa I feel like I did the first time I saw Planet of the Apes?
Now whether that is true or not is not the point. You want to arrive at your conclusions based on reality not a defense mechanism such as projection.
This past week I was successfully able to identify several times where someone reminded me of something from my past that was emotional, I recognized my impulse to project those feelings onto the person in front of me, and then I was able to acknowledge (not dismiss) the emotional memory and continue with my interaction.