You’re not gonna believe me, but the only reason we screw things up is because we want to. Even more, we screw things up because we’re deeply convinced this is what we have to do.
Breathe in, sit down and relax. You’re going to read something very difficult to accept.
The Early Conditioning
From the moment we’re arriving on this planet, we’re surrounded by restrictions. Some of them are dictated by fundamental rules, like “don’t put your hand in the fire, otherwise it will hurt”, or “don’t jump off that cliff, because you’re going to crash and die”. These are survival rules and by breaking them, our life will end abruptly. But other rules are created by outdated structures that are no longer fulfilling their role in our lives.
For instance, we are taught that we gotta “strive to go ahead” in our lives. That success comes after hard work. In some cases, that’s true. But in other situations, success may come through a so called “lucky shot” (I don’t believe in luck, nor in bad luck). Every once in a while, we just get everything we want. Just like that.
But here’s the funny part: every time we’re into that kind of situation, an inner conflict arises. We know that we have to “strive” to get what we want. Yet, what we want is already in our hands, easy as pie. What to do, what to do? Move on with what we got and forget about the rule? Or step back, look at what we got and decide “it’s not real because it didn’t come through hard work”?
Most of the time, alas, we’re choosing the second option. We’re so wired into our early conditioning patterns that we find it incredibly difficult to adapt to unexpected, pleasant situations. Even when everything is so obvious, when every piece of reality is telling us “just get me, I’m for real”, we’re still backing up, putting the veil of “unreal and treacherous” on it and start to… Exactly, start to strive!
Because that’s we’ve been taught to do in order to achieve success!
Early conditioning is screwing us up constantly. Unconsciously, we’re applying old patterns to current realities, and we filter our life through dirty lenses, ignoring that what was once true, today may be obsolete. And it’s not only about “working hard to be successful” approach, it just happens this is one of the most popular ones.
Here are a few other patterns that we’re still carrying on with us, burdening our decisions with unnecessary fog.
1 We have to do stuff in order to be loved
The premise: we cannot be loved just like that, we have to deserve it.
The result: Love is something that you fight for. It’s something that you conquer. Ultimately, love is something outside of you. You’re born without it and you have to do whatever it takes to get it. A bunch of bullshit, of course.
Somewhere in our early childhood, our parents (or anyone else around us, for what matters) may acted upon us in such a way that we got rewarded after we did something for them. And we learned that if we want to receive love, we have to do stuff. Voila: an early conditioning has been formed.
2 We just have to do our homework and everything will be fine
The premise: do your job and nothing bad will happen to you.
The result: we’re puzzled when we get fired, when we get dumped, when a brick falls off in our heads. Because you know what, these things happens. And they happen regardless of your homework. We’re not in control of the world. We can only control what we think about the world.
Somewhere at the beginning of our life, somebody taught us the protection pattern: if you do this, I will take care of you. It may have been worked for a few years, while we were kids, keeping us safe and cozy, but as grown ups we cannot expect to act like this. We cannot hope that just because we’re doing our job, everything will be fine.
What we really need to do is to keep doing our jobs simply because we like to do our job. And, if something bad happens, just cope with it and move on.
3 Don’t talk to strangers
The premise: everyone else apart me is an enemy, don’t engage in conversations with other people because they may hurt you.
The result: we find it incredibly difficult to relate on a personal level in our lives. We cannot share. We cannot trust. We cannot open our souls without the basic fear that the other one is the “enemy”.
Again, an overprotective approach which completely damaged our inter-relational system. It may have been worked in another context, when we lacked the necessary tools to discern if the other one really is the “enemy” but now, as grown ups, we don’t need this anymore. Yet, from the bottom of our unconscious minds we’re still using this approach almost every time we engage with someone new.
And I can go on like this forever. We all have in our internal system outdated rules that we still apply, by fear of doing an on the spot analysis. And, with that in mind, let’s continue to find out why are we still screwing up things. Even more, why do we find this not only acceptable, but even necessary.
Redemption And Sins – The Hidden Story Of Happiness And Screwing Up
Pretty much every religion on Earth taught us that our normal state is the state of the sinner. That we are here by mistake and we should constantly strive to “find redemption”. To return to some careless state of a sinless life.
But here’s the catch: we cannot exercise our “redemption” techniques, unless we’re sinners. So, every time we feel a little bit redeemed, instead of keeping that feeling for as long as we can, we rush back in the hole again. Because that’s where we belong, and that’s where we should live our lives. In sin and misery. How else could we exercise our redemption techniques, if not by keep being sinners?
That’s exactly why we screw things up too. Because we’re taught we’re unfit, not good enough, unable to cope with this world, weak, helpless and defeated. We’re taught that we need supervision, rules, more powerful people in charge over us. We’re taught that we don’t know what is good for us.
And that’s why we find screwing up not only acceptable, but necessary. By screwing up, we’re enforcing the very system that created us. We’re telling back: yes, I’m weak, helpless and unable to cope with this world. And I need somebody in charge over me.
But, ultimately, we screw things up because nobody taught us how to be happy. They all taught us how to survive. And, if you can read this, they did a wonderful job: you’re alive in this very moment. But that’s where their part is over. That’s where “they” (whoever “they” may be) have to be silenced.
Because your happiness is your part. Nobody can play it for you.