Just like us, our subconscious too has a penchant for emotional drama. It prefers to involve itself in the drama of everyday life, or at times, it seeks to create drama out of everyday life! Drama excites us and keeps us alive but at the same time it has the potential to turn into a noose around the neck that holds us from resolving our issues in life and successfully moving ahead.
When we get used to experiencing certain emotions in certain ways we like to repeat that whole emotional graph – of the emotional involvement, the peaking of emotion and the subsequent decline of it. For instance, when a housewife approaches her husband about asking him to let her go to her parents’ place (not considering the fact that she can actually inform and discuss instead of seeking permission) and the husband refuses, the wife goes through an emotional experience of feeling frustration, then helplessness, intermittent sobbing, grousing, finally fighting with the husband and then gaining permission. Now as this cycle repeats itself, the subconscious becomes not only habituated to this emotional graph but also comes to prefer it. The entire emotional experience has become that woman’s comfort zone.
So next time the wife makes a similar request of the husband, the subconscious not only expects the refusal but also wants it badly so it can go through the whole emotional drama again. We are not aware of this at a conscious level. Instead of trying to find a simpler and happier solution for the problem, she is geared to fight, cry, grouse, and pull her hair. And the subconscious has the ability to make true any belief put into it. So everything from the tone of voice to the facial expressions and the timing of her approach is aimed towards inviting conflict instead of resolution.
To give another example, a teenage son can become so used to quarrelling with his father, breaking household items, running out of the house, drinking, and complaining to a sympathetic friend, that he will always approach the problem with the intent of going through the entire graph. Likewise, a father used to beating his head and chest over his children’s misdemeanours and shouting at the wife for bad parenting, always invites such situations into his life. He seeks to vent out his frustrations through these emotional exertions. A girl letting her frustrations take over every time she nears her periods, a disgruntled employee complaining over the unfair load of work allotted to him – let’s face it, we love the emotional drama! Don’t we all love to get drowned in the sadness of Kishore Kumar’s melancholic songs?
Even the stoic suffering of a chronic patient, sacrificial demeanour of an overburdened head of family, silent sobs of a lonely dumped girl, need for mental stimulation for intellectuals, philosophies of loners, impulsive violent outbursts, patriotic fervours all have the dangerous potential to turn into loops of emotional drama.
Why does our subconscious love this drama? To put in simple terms; for the subconscious mind the known is pleasurable and the unknown is painful. When we get used to these emotional dramas it becomes the known way of dealing with crisis. So the subconscious prefers to repeat this than to expend resources on being creative and more constructive. A new approach is unknown and hence fearful.
The more we seek the drama, the deeper we go down the rabbit hole. And this rabbit hole is neither metaphorically therapeutic nor liberating in any sense. The hole is an abyss of self pity or self hatred – a dangerous path of escapism and destruction. The deeper we go, stronger the impulse to ‘play’ the drama.
If our conscious need to get out of crisis is real, then we need to identify dramas of our lives and resist successfully the emotional temptation and the nervous impulse to ‘act out’. Then seek better and harmonious solutions to our problems.
Remember, contrary to conventional thought, it is never too late. You just need to be desperate enough for change and you can extricate yourself out of any rabbit holes and spider webs of life! Get desperate now!
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