From In The Classroom: Our Classic Conditioning

Life is nothing more than a series of lessons, which means we learn along the way. We learn from birth, all the way up until the day when we pass.
We learn about life. We learn about the basic things and the obvious things. We learn about the birds and the bees.
We learn about love and we are taught what love is supposed to be, what love is supposed to look like, about beauty, how to love beautiful things, and as well; we are taught what beauty is and what beauty isn’t.

We are taught that the grass is green and the sky is blue. Water is wet. The desert is dry. We learn about gravity; what goes up must come down. We learn math, how to add, multiply, and how to subtract and divide. We are also taught about our own personal math; what we need to add, what we need to multiply, what divides us, and what we need to subtract in order for us to live a happy successful life.

Along the way, we pick up the lessons we’ve been taught from social cues, and the social constructs, and the formal ideas and that which have been created by the masses and accepted by our society.
This dictates the flow in the circles of which we become, how we act, what we believe, and how to build our life, which is based upon a blueprint that we are told we are all supposed to follow.

Along the way, we learn more about this blueprint we call life. We learn these lessons from our circles of influence; we learn this from our families. We learn from our friends. We learn the lessons of our heritage and our religion. We learn about our belief.
However, not every lesson is accurate. Not every teacher is qualified either. But either way, we still learn.
We learn what to do and what not to do. We learn that boys do this and that girls do that. We are taught about the word, “Family,” and what this is supposed to mean.

We learn as we age. At least, I hope we do. We learn about our boundaries (or the lack thereof) which does not mean we are right or wrong, per se. This just means this is how we were taught.
This is where our opinions come from. This is also where our logic begins and deductive reasoning, which is based upon what we’ve always considered to be facts. If A begins and B follows, the next is C and then so on.

But what if the lessons we learned are wrong? What if our life does not match the social norm?
Or, what if the easy things to others seem difficult or unnatural to our nature?
Then how do we feel?
How do we feel when our tastes differ from the socially accepted?
Where is the empowerment in this?

Of all things that I have seen which are most painful for people to get around; the highest on this list is when people are pained and uncomfortable to be themselves, simply because the way they are is different from the way we are taught we are supposed to be.

The one thing we all share is the need to be right. We all have the need to fit and feel wanted and accepted. We all want to find our comfortable place Nobody wants to be rejected or cast aside, simply because they think or feel differently.

I have been working hard on a long search to understand depression and anxiety. I want to understand more about people and our nature, both shared, and otherwise.
I want to learn this through experience and not by sitting in a classroom. I want to hear from people who are like me or otherwise different in their own regard.
I want to learn more about the products of our environment and how to change people’s belief systems to help break the mold of destructive patterns.

In fairness, I am not the only one that has taken this idea to heart. There have been experiments, long before the time when I decided to learn more about me and my life.
I wanted to learn more about the power of suggestion and the power of the crowd. I wanted to learn more about the importance of status and the trained opinions we have, which are based on the lessons we’ve learned throughout our life.

Please see this first video:

This is the creation of social norms. But does this make anything normal. The truth is no one wants to be shamed about their ideas or their ways of living. There is a natural fear of not coinciding or fitting with our behaviors.

Now, since we mentioned the word shame, please watch this second video:

Shame is a powerful motivator.

Now, forget about the videos above. Forget about the shaming in an elevator or standing in a doctor’s office at the sound of a bell. Forget about Pavlov’s Dog and our classic conditioning.
The truth is we have all been taught how to live our life, in which case, we rarely question why —instead, we follow because we “Believe” this is how we are supposed to be.

But what if it isn’t?
What if our best path is different from our classic conditioning? This is where strength comes in. This is why people feel as though they are drowning in the whirlpool of their so-called life.
On many occasions, this is why people are unhappy because they are living a life, which has been based on the blueprint of a life they’ve never wanted for themselves.
Depression starts with internal shame. This begins with the misfitting ideas that do not coincide with the social and commercial norm. Therefore, this makes us unlike the social norm, which brings on shame because we do not think or look or feel as the others do.

Life is nothing more than a series of lessons. Moreover, we are taught by the motivation of shame, which makes it difficult for one to choose their unique path, in fear of shame, exile, abandonment and rejection.

This is where awareness comes in.
I remember being a kid during the summer. This was back when someone in the neighborhood had one of those circular above ground pools in their backyard. And we would make a whirlpool by walking alongside the outskirt of the pool in the same direction.
We did this until there was a spinning vortex in the middle of the pool. And we would do this until the swirling current was strong. And when it was strong enough, we would try to walk against the flow, just to feel the force of the spin.

I say this is what it feels like to be different. I say this is what it feels like to not fit into the social norm. This is what it feels like to strain while moving against the social flow.
I say this is what it feels like to always have to struggle and walk against the current.
Only, back when we were kids, this was a fun little experiment; however, this is no experiment when it comes to real life.
Back when we were kids in the pool, we could just walk straight across the middle of the circle and this would cut the flow of the whirlpool.

I wonder if there is a way that is just as easy to cut the tension in a real life situation.

See, I believe there is.
I believe that in order to truly grow; we have to become comfortable to look at the lessons we’ve learned along the way, which have propelled us in a certain direction for such a long time.
I believe that change begins when we begin to question the validity and truth of the lessons we learned; and, I believe true growth begins the day we learn to discard the inaccuracies of we’ve been taught.
In fact, I say real freedom begins that day we become comfortable enough to cast our old lessons aside and create our own blueprint. Freedom begins the day we decided to build our life, according to our own plans, based upon our true self instead of the self we were taught we are supposed to be.

Keep in mind though; something like this takes work. Something like this literally changes our personal math of who we need to add, how we have to multiply, how we’ve been divided, and what we need to subtract in order to come to our one true value, which is us.

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