DECIDE WHETHER THE MIND OR "YOU" WILL RULE
YOU MUST BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR ON THIS FIRST!
"When you fully 'grok' that you are not your mind, you will be able to be the full master."
YOU ABSOLUTEY MUST BE CLEAR, FIRST, WHICH OF THESE "YOU" ARE
You must, absolutely must, see the mind for what it is. It is a childlike mechanism with one key value that it is driven by: to protect us, to have us survive. It does not have the capacity to care for 'YOUR' values - it is just mechanical!!!
But notice that I said "YOUR" values. This means that the YOU that you are is not the mind. It is only a servant to you in protecting you to insure you survive - and it is mechanical, not a high thinker.
You must know who YOU are. You are the higher brain, the one that experiences life and is able to see it. You are not the lower mechanism, anymore than you are your left leg. The mechanisms serve you and you've got to be clear that it is not vice versa! (I suspect that you have not bought into this yet, as your cultural programming, your beliefs, say otherwise. But this is the truth, so stay tuned to understand further and then to make your final decision - as that decision will determine your life!)
YOU (Higher Brain) get to override any time that your Higher Brain is fully in gear, i.e. operational. That is normally when you pause and engage the higher brain, not allowing the choice to be made by the mere child.
STICKS AND STONES VS. DISCOMFORTS
A variation of the childhood saying that conveys a lesson of life:
"Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but chemical signals and discomforts will never hurt me."
But so many people do not realize that they do not have to obey these signals. They don't see that they are only chemical messages, urging one to handle discomforts, but almost never life-threatening (which your Higher Brain can decide, ultimately, and overrule).
And you must see that it is "I" (Higher Brain) who determines what I value more - and it is I who determines to act toward those values! It is not the child. (There is only one "I"!!!)
The child may complain, and kick and scream, but I am in charge.
And there is no mysterious force inside me that has magical power over me. (But many people seem to believe otherwise although it is only a naive, unexamined myth.)
COMPASSION AND APPRECIATION IS APPROPRIATE, BUT NOT OBEDIENCE
I have compassion for the mind. I have immense appreciation for the mind and what it does for me. It does one heck of a job of making sure I am protected against all possible dangers.
But ultimately what is true is that:
1. "Chemicals are just chemicals."
2. "Sensations are just sensations."
3. "Thoughts are just neuronal patterns being fired off." (Normally phrased, such as in Buddhism, as "thoughts are just thoughts". They are just machine-like programs or sequences, essentially wiring.)
THE RIDER AND THE ELEPHANT ANALOGY/METAPHOR
The analogy that is put forth about the mind and the higher brain is that of the rider and the elephant. It is useful in many ways, but it is not quite literaly truel.
Yes, the mind generates a powerful energy (negative, discomfort) to try to motivate us, but it is cannot determine action (except preconscious) - and we are not just along for the ride as determined by the elephant (mind).
THE ULTIMATE TRUTH THAT MUST BE SEEN
Let me drive home this key point:
We cannot deal effectivelywith the management of emotions or emotion itself unless we learn first where to put the mind as compaered to the higher brain and decide which YOU are, or which of them is actually YOU.
YOU ARE NOT "THE CHILD" OR "THE MIND", NOR DO YOU HAVE AN "INNER CHILD"
If you think "I am the child", but you're actually, of course, the adult, you will be misidentifying and you will be playing the persona of a child - and you'll make decisions at the level of a child.
I do not recommend that you let the child rule.
PLACE THE MIND CLEARLY AS...
Place the mind clearly, absolutely clearly, as being the child. And then be clear about these:
1. Child's (mind's) key value: Protect, for the purpose of assuring survival.
And its payoff is in overprotecting, in erring on the side of overprotecting, as the last thing in the world it wants to do is to err on the lax side, and to lose survival. [Actually, it doesn't really have the power to decide that, as it was just built into us through evolution, not volition or choice. Understand how that happened - and why it is strictly mechanistic and not spiritual. Read Evolution - And The Logic Of How Our Minds And Bodies Work.]
2. YOUR Values: To be fully alive, a life of meaning, of experiencing freedom, richness of experience, and creating happiness.
YOUR values, of course, are expressed in terms of a number of specific values.
And you must, first and foremost, as the highest priority, make clear and be clear about what those values are. Because it is YOU (Higher Brain) that is to drive behavior by your values. You are to have values-driven behavior. And you've got to be very clear and very definite and committed about those values, so that you are not passively driven by protecting yourself and run by the child.
Only by clearly laying those values out and committing to them can YOU live the life you want to live
DO: Specify your values using the summaries, forms, and plans in that piece to make up your list. Do it as soon and as fast as you can, even if it is not perfect or completed the first time; then you can add to it later and refine it more as you go, placing it in your Reminders Notebook (or some accessible place for reference and review). This is one area where it will pay you to perfect it, as this will be your guide for your life. GO BACK TO: Reading the piece that most likely you to this piece: Emotion Management - Intro. You need to have a crystal clear understanding of the key basics of emotions, or you'll be subject to common misconceptions that will inhibit your mastery of emotion management.