The power to choose is one of our greatest abilities. Every moment of our lives we are making choices to either accept or reject experience, and this choice has a marked effect on how we perceive the world. Often our first reactions to new things become an automatic program, guiding our behavior as if by instinct. This process can work so smoothly that we can often feel like the victim of our own pre-conditioned reactions, yet there is a way to restore control over one’s life.
The mind is divided into two general regions of activity: consciousness and unconsciousness. The conscious mind has the power to choose, to use the force of will to reestablish new patterns and rhythms in thought. The unconscious mind receives and stores what the conscious mind creates as well as recording all other data from experience. Each time we encounter stimuli a response occurs as a function of impulse and choice, which then settles into the unconscious mind as a fully formed program.
In order to liberate ourselves from deleterious behavioral patterns, such as impulses, we must regain control of the programming mechanism, the conscious mind. But this can be very difficult in our world today because within social settings it has become commonplace to participate in negative programming. We usually complain and vent the most when we are with friends or family. In a way, these interactions reinforce many of the negative programs we are trying to overcome.
When we complain, vent or give voice to our dissatisfaction with experience — whether justified or not — we are programming ourselves to react with fear, dissatisfaction and loathing in the future.
Fear is an emotion generated as a result of a choice of rejection. For example, some people do not like the sight of blood. When they see it, they recoil or physically react by trying to withdraw by closing their eyes, turning away, or even running out of the room. All of these reactions were generated and compounded by a choice to reject the experience, the choice to run away from the truth.
The first time we encounter stimulus a series of impulses and reactions are produced, as a function of how this stimulus corresponds or relates to previously encountered experiences. This impulse leads us towards making the same choice that we made in the past. For example, if you didn’t like the smell of garlic as a child you probably won’t like anything similar to it in the future. And what’s worse is that most of us have lost touch with the choice point, thinking that “we just don’t like garlic,” as if it is somehow wired into our genes.
But through the work of pioneers such as Bruce Lipton, we know that the mind and consciousness controls biology, and not the reverse.
Therefore, at all times, the power to choose is within our grasp, yet the less often we make use of it the more we seem to forget about it. This is a mind trap most of us have fallen into.
If we lose touch with the power of choice we start to think that we have no choice at all, that all our thoughts, ideas, and reactions are just a product of external influences. We start to feel like victims of experience and life instead of co-creators with it.
And from this profoundly disempowered state, we tend to program ourselves with many negative reactions. This is when we complain or vent, a behavior that indicates we have rejected our experience and as such are programming ourselves to feel disempowered and emotionally unstable. This effect has been called a self-fulfilling prophecy, where we undermine our own goals and ideals due to cognitive dissonance and disempowerment. But once we recognize that we’ve slipped into this negative state of consciousness, we now have the power to invoke a positive accepting one.
The brain is the physical record keeper of our metaphysical choices. Synapses in the brain fire creating neural connections as a reflection of our mental processes. These connections form pathways that we experience as impulses and instincts. And if we have lost touch with the power of choice, if we have forgotten that we can reprogram our reactions, then we will literally be the victim of our subconscious programming.
The below article reinforces this phenomenon of subconscious programming by discussing what happens when we complain.
Complaining about what we are dissatisfied with in life is an indication we have chosen to reject our experience at some level. But don’t beat yourself up when you notice this happening.
Often taking notice that we’ve slipped into this state of consciousness can be unsettling, but we must accept the truth about what is happening so we can be empowered to act positively. For example, if we are being verbally abused by someone, this is obviously not something most people choose to experience. And while we can recognize that something must change, we must first take stock of what’s actually happening before reacting. Simply accepting the whole truth about what we are experiencing will completely change our perspective, so that we don’t feel the need to complain, yet we also take steps to defend against harm.
So complaining is an indicator of our state of consciousness and can be used as a tool to help us make a new choice. The key is to create a positive image of acceptance that counterbalances the negative image of rejection. We can’t just say “I want to stop complaining.”
When we notice we are complaining or dissatisfied with life, honor that, and then with all of your consciousness invoke acceptance. Imagine yourself accepting the experience with grace and poise, fill that image with as much energy as possible, and this will reprogram the impulse to reject experience.
In my own observation, I’ve noticed a great deal of reactions that cause me to reject my experience, which in turn makes me feel disempowered. Just simply the feeling of being cold is something I used to detest, but over the past few months I’ve practiced acceptance and now I no longer react so strongly to the cold. I even bathe in cold water intentionally whereas before I used to strongly avoid it.
Our consciousness is a powerful tool for creation and what we create has powerful an effect on us. So take care to be wise with your creations, and be thankful when you notice a negative program so you can consciously spend energy to balance it by creating a positive one.
Listening to someone complain, even if it’s yourself, has never done anyone any good. Some people say that it may act as a catharsis, a way to let go of negative emotions and experiences, and maybe letting it all out once in a while does feel good, but taking a closer look at what complaining actually does to the brain gives us even more cause to strive for a positive frame of mind and cut out the complaining.
“Synapses That Fire Together Wire Together”
The brain is a complex physical organ that somehow works in tandem with consciousness to create the personality of a human being, always learning, always re-creating and re-generating itself. It is both the product of reality and the creator of reality, and science is finally beginning to under stand how the brain actually creates reality.
Author, computer scientist and philosopher, Steven Parton, examined the ways in which negative emotions in the form of complaining, both expressed by the self and experienced from others, affect the brain and body, coming up with a number of keen observations that help us to understand why some people can’t seem to get out of a negative mood.
His theory suggests that negativity and complaining actually physically alters the structure and function of the mind and body.
“Synapses that fire together wire together,” says Parton, which is a concise way of understanding the essence of neuroplasticity, the science of how the brain re-wires itself based on whatever it is repetitively exposed to. Negativity and complaining breeds more of the same, as this theory points out.
Parton explains further:
“The principle is simple: Throughout your brain there is a collection of synapses separated by empty space called the synaptic cleft. Whenever you have a thought, one synapse shoots a chemical across the cleft to another synapse, thus building a bridge over which an electric signal can cross, carrying along its charge the relevant information you’re thinking about.
…Every time this electrical charge is triggered, the synapses grow closer together in order to decrease the distance the electrical charge has to cross…. The brain is rewiring its own circuitry, physically changing itself, to make it easier and more likely that the proper synapses will share the chemical link and thus spark together–in essence, making it easier for the thought to trigger.”
Furthermore, his understanding of this process includes the idea that the electrical connections most utilized by the brain will become shorter, and therefore more frequently chosen for use by the brain. This is how one’s personality is altered.
However, as conscious beings, we have the power to affect this process, simply by being aware of how the universal play of duality is at work in the nascent moments of thoughts. We have the power to choose to generate thoughts from the consciousness of love, over fear, thereby ensuring that the brain and personality are positively altered.
Empathy and the Mob Effect
There is more to this action than just the effect that complaining has on the self. This line of scientific reasoning extends to the dynamics between two-people, giving scientific understanding of how one’s complaining brings other people down.
Mirror-neurons ensure that we learn from our environment, and are the essential bio-chemical element of empathy. The brain relates to what another person is expressing, and the empathic portion of ourselves responds by ‘trying on’ this emotion as an attempt to relate to and understand the externally unfolding drama.
So, when a person enters and drops a huge boatload of gossip, negativity and drama on you, you can be assured that it is affecting you bio-chemically, and is decreasing your chances of actually being happy. Exposure to this kind of emotional outburst actually causes stress, and because stress kills, complaining and negativity may seriously be contributing to your early demise.
Parton refers to this outlook as ‘the science of happiness,’ and the example of the behavior of complaining does make a fitting case study for the connection between the power of thought and the amount of control a person can exert on the creation of our shared, three-dimensional reality.
The overall view of this is even further condensed, rather precisely, by Parton:
“…if you’re always complaining and belittling your own power in reality, you will not think you have the power to change it. And thus it will never change.”
Read more articles from Alex Pietrowski.
About the Author
Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider of storable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.