All the greatest minds, all the spiritual leaders, and every single human on this planet is on a journey of bettering themselves in the direction they want to go. But sometimes we come up against obstacles that stand in our way.
Lately, my personal struggle has been that of depression. I’ve spoken to medical professionals who have been telling me that a big part of my issue is that I am at a point where I’ve grown tired of the emotional experience; meaning that there’s a part of me that feels like the pain and the hurt have gone on long enough. To me, my experience of depression is far past its expiration date. I’ve sat in it, I’ve worked through it, and I’ve done an assortment of healing methods. I feel like it should be gone by now.
Yet, the emotions are still here. And the interesting thing about emotions is that they are a response to something bigger at play.
Emotions Are Responses
Emotions are not inherent causes. They are actually triggered by something more substantial. Our emotions are triggered because of our belief systems. However, it is usually the emotions that we recognize, that we are aware of, not the underlying cause of the response.
For example, if someone holds a belief that puppies are friendly and loving, then the next time they see a puppy running up to them their emotional reaction, or experience, is going to be one of happiness. They’ll be filled with joy and excitement.
However, if this same person had been attacked by a dog when they were very young and they never resolved the experience, then they are probably storing trauma in their body. So if they were to see a dog running up to them, their emotional response would be entirely different. They would have a belief that dogs are dangerous and respond with an emotional reaction of fear and/or anxiety.
These are two entirely different experiences around the same scenario. The only difference is that held beliefs are different. The beliefs underneath, at the root level, are what are driving the emotional experience, even though it’s the emotions that pull the attention.
The Unconscious Mind
Beliefs are stored in the unconscious mind, and the unconscious mind is what is represented in the body. We know this because of “muscle memory.” Muscle memory is what happens when a specific motor task is embodied through repetition. The action has literally solidified itself into the subconscious and the body is able to carry it out without much thought.
Muscle memory and default reactions are true of the majority of our beliefs. We might be consciously aware of some of them, but most of them are going to lie in the unconscious.
Take the beliefs of not feeling smart enough or good enough. These beliefs are stored deep in the unconscious mind and will become triggered with the right circumstances. For instance, I’ve had a belief from childhood of not feeling manly enough. This has manifested itself in a variety of different ways throughout my life.
I used to feel the need to physically prove myself. I was a scrawny kid growing up and wanted to feel physically strong. I became a personal trainer and learned how to fight and studied mixed martial arts; I found a solution to this insecurity. However, even though I fixed that particular situation, the underlying belief remained the same, so new situations arrived to prove my belief.
Money became the next way I needed to prove myself. I needed to have enough money to feel man enough. This belief, I am not man enough, infiltrated all aspects of my life: physically, financially, sexually, etc. Before I gained the awareness of this belief I had held for decades, it permeated my perception of the world. Just like the analogy of the dog, I viewed each experience from the lens of needing to prove my manhood.
There Is No End
Eventually, as we continue the personal development journey, we uncover more and more of these beliefs. The most valuable asset we have is reflecting on the reality around us. Our emotional experiences are a result of our beliefs, so if we want to grow and develop, we have to become aware of our emotional responses. By asking the question, why am I feeling this? We can slowly discover what is occurring underneath the surface and what is the belief that is causing the anxiety or the fear or the anger, and even the positive emotions like joy.
Learning to understand the beliefs that we hold in our system creates an opportunity to make new choices. These choices allow us to rewrite those belief patterns and decide if our beliefs serve us and support us or limit us and hold us back.
Therefore, since the primary processing unit of our realities is our unconscious mind we must learn how to access what is lying below the surface in order to shift our beliefs and create the life we desire. Through years of self-awareness and the questioning of my emotions and reactions, I’ve discovered that my emotions are the key to manifesting my reality.
How I Manifest My Dreams
The first step to manifesting a life of freedom and creating a desired reality, one must first bring awareness to their emotional reactions. They need to recognize why they’re reacting a certain way, so they can see if the underlying belief aligns with how they want to show up in the world and in their relationships.
Our emotions are the key to discovering our underlying belief systems. Constant awareness allows us the ability to challenge unhealthy beliefs that deter us from a better life, and at the same time, gives us the ability to rewrite our beliefs and create new ones.
As I work through my depression, I get to move forward with the awareness that I’m excavating old trauma and beliefs that aren’t in harmony with how I’ve decided to live my life. It’s a journey and there’s no end to it, but this awareness provides me the answers and the tools to manifest a life that I love.