As we go through the various seasons of our lives, our experiences and encounters begin to paint an internal picture. Memories, internal perceptions, associations, thoughts and emotions are formed and if we're not careful of our responses to life's experiences, who we are as individuals can become affected. Our personalities become characterised by our perceptions, and we likewise become individuals who in turn negatively affect the lives of others and the catalogue of life's tragedy's amass.
So how can we stop this cycle and create a more productive conclusion? Indeed how do we become a part of the solution as opposed to a part of the problem? How can we contribute to life as opposed to taking away from it?
The 'mind' and the 'heart' are the two key components that make up our 'soul' or our 'personality'. When people interact with each other they interact essentially utilising these components. We express through our interactions the 'posture' of our mind and our heart; how we 'think' and how we 'feel' about what we think.
Our 'attitude' is the posture of our mind, which is our response to the external stimuli we've encountered. Our 'passion' is the posture of our heart which is the emotional outflow of our mental attitude. Everything we experience positive or negative will either affect our attitude and passion for good or for bad depending on the decisions of the one remaining component within our souls which is our 'will'.
It's been said we cannot choose life's circumstances, but we can choose our response to those circumstances, nowhere is that more true than in our attitude. Our attitude determines what happens inside of us, and although we may appear to be handling things well, if in actuality were not, it is via the posture of our heart, our passions that our internal response will become apparent.
When we talk poetically or theologically of the heart as the emotional centre, it is the same thing we define in psychology as the subconscious mind.
Our subconscious mind forms habits and behaviours from a basic survival instinct, some which are helpful, but many if sustained over a prolonged period can have detrimental side effects upon our lives, e.g. Our subconscious will inform us if were hungry or even if we could do with a little comfort food to satiate our souls, but the prolonged indulgence and inevitable development of this behaviour as a habitual way of life, creates the negative effects of obesity and ill health.
So it takes an educated, informed response to life to enable us to respond maturely and form behaviours and habits that serve us and our fellows as opposed to diminish the quality of our lives and the lives of those we encounter.
The Soul, or personality, our mind and our heart, is characterised predominantly by either one of two opposing forces at work in each of us. The body or the Spirit, the ego or God, and it is our 'will' that chooses which of these will be the predominant factor. A soul characterised predominantly by the impulses of our bodies or chemistry is often described as ego, a soul predominantly characterised by the fruits of the spirit, expresses a wisdom and grace that is able to prosper despite the twists and turns of life and its fluctuating circumstances. So let's look briefly at how everything that happens to us can positively impact our minds and our hearts when we take note of their posture and insure they respond well to the inevitable events that seek to shape who we are.
Everything and the mind
Every time something happens to us our mind logs the events in our memory through the sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings we experience. Assessments are made forming our individual perceptions on the events that make up our lives; from boring to interesting, happy or sad, good and bad, like or dislike.
Living life masterfully is the ability to be honest about who we are and what we like and dislike at a core level, and then living an inspired existence utilising our individual souls tastes and characteristics, through the accompanying gifts and talents we have been given.
The soul derives ultimate fulfilment from being productive, manifesting its unique distinct contribution to the world. But everything that happens to us has the ability to stifle or infuse us, to motivate or to deflate us. If we are on the receiving end of an offence or abuse, the ego will seek to respond with revenge, hostility, back biting, and fire with fire. Depending on our personality, we will either do this internally or externally. Keeping a right attitude is almost impossible unless we learn to draw from spirit. Spirit is who we are, especially if this is the predominant force we choose to identify with, identification with spirit is the first step towards obtaining a soul characterised by spirit. Robert Holden in his many inspired writings refers to this aspect of us as the 'unconditioned self', 'Us' prior to the events that shape us and the experiences that impact upon us. Robert asserts for example that happiness is not something we need go in pursuit of but that is already in existence within us in our unconditioned self. Learning how to draw from the wisdom of our unconditioned self or from our spirit is the key to manifesting the characteristics that make for a soul characterised by higher virtues, qualities that make life a pleasure as opposed to a painful neurotic roller-coaster.
Everything and the heart
When we have set the posture of our mind and adopted an attitude that serves us, the posture of our heart, our souls passion is able to align with our highest values. Living out our highest values brings the soul the satisfaction and peace for which it longs. Again, the heart needs to discover the spirit as its source for everything it needs. The apostle who wrote the lion's share of the New Testament defined the fruit or manifestation of the spirit as Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Tenderness, Self-control, Faithfulness and Goodness. All the attributes that make for a truly holistic existence, exist inside us; our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
At creation when God breathed the Breath of life into humankind, He literally breathed his Spirit into us, which is why we unlike other living creatures have Spirit. We therefore have the ability to manifest Spirit, if we would only 'know who we are'. 'Knowing who we are' enables us to respond differently to life's setbacks and ennobles us to co-create in order to shape the world around us for good. Because of who we are if we allow ego to be the driving factor within us we will create, but what we create will always have inherent flaws and negative side effects. Conversely a soul; a mind and a heart that has directed its will to choose the route of spirit, is able to create things that contribute substantially and anything and everything that occurs to such lives, rather than taking away from them becomes another valuable experience from which wisdom is drawn. And hope is expressed.
Omar Zac Phillips is Co-author of Banyuaigo The Art of Successful Living he writes articles aimed at helping individuals find themselves through their authentic self as spirit so we can live the abundant life we were put on earth to live. He firmly believes that as we commit to the journey of growth and self-development, answers will come and solutions will present themselves. His passion is to attune himself to that flow of answers and solutions as he navigates his own journey. Join him at: [http://www.banyuaigo.com] to find out more.
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