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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

No One Is An Island, Yet We All Are Islands

In my half-awake moments this morning I saw a parade of the Presidents during my lifetime. My life began with FDR, before we joined WWII. At my count, 12 men were in this parade. There are many written words about what happened and didn't happen during these 80 years. We have some shared history that we can point to. But then, most of what transpired did so in the privacy of our own minds.

Our private thoughts constitute a one of a kind world. No one knows all of our experiences, how we interpreted them, how they changed us, our musings, our deepest hopes and fears, our doubts, our certainties, our secrets. We are each an island, a unique island, with the waters of our shared history washing our shores. Each island takes in these waters in different ways though, with different understanding.

It is a strange feeling to realize no one really knows us fully. No one else has access to the bizillion thoughts and experiences of a lifetime. In fact, neither do we, for we have forgotten most if it. We couldn't function if every second of our lives were front and foremost.

We have memory clusters that can get triggered - groups of decisions, of painful times, of useful and practical information, of failures, of successes, etc. Some are neutral, just information such as, don't touch that hot oven. Some are highly charged. It is these highly charged clusters that need healing.

Say you shout X at me. All X type memories pull us back to that spot in our subconscious where X memories and reactions are stored. We react automatically, as if all these X's were happening all at once. Our reaction is over the top. There is a rubber band effect, pulling us backward. 

Once we realize this, we have choices. We can defend our reaction, thereby reinforcing the automatic reaction and making the rubber band stronger. Or we can notice we are reacting out of proportion from some deep place in our island. Then we can begin to heal. We can do affirmations, we can meditate and journal, we can talk about it to a confidant, etc. The thing is, we can make our island healthier and kinder. We can move towards freedom from automatic clusters. This means psychological healing and movement toward spiritual awakening. As long as we have rubber bands pulling us into robot like automatic responses, we have work to do.

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