© 2018 Tina DeMatteo

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Conditioning

As our young selves are developing into the person we are going to be as adults, we take on the thoughts and beliefs of those around us—our parents, caregivers, other family members, neighbors, friends, preachers and teachers. We take on their beliefs, as well as their emotional responses and facial expressions, until we learn that we have control of our own beliefs and can change them at any time.


We also watched the responses of our parents or caregivers to different life circumstances. We learned at a young age that those reactions are how we respond to that particular situation. As adults, we find ourselves acting out similar emotional reactions as we saw when we were younger. Emotions are very personal though. We have deep innate beliefs that are different from others, which allow us to feel and react in a certain way.


Conditioning is blended with past experiences and trauma, as well as personal innate feelings and beliefs. There is a deeper level of a feeling that is inherent and a part of a person at a soul level. Part of how one expresses an emotion is learned behavior, but it stems from our individual instinctual beliefs that are unique only to us.


The way one person feels and expresses sadness may be different from how another feels and expresses the emotion. Additionally, the intensity behind an emotion of one person does not make it more realistic than the other—it is just different. This difference requires understanding that we are unique beings. We may find some similarities in our emotions, but we perceive experiences distinctively beyond what science will ever be able to explain.


Our emotional expressions will certainly be a part of our learned past, but they will still be unique to the individual. A person may internalize an emotional moment with being quiet and others may judge his or her behavior as cold or detached, while it is just his or her way of expressing that emotion. It is also important for us to understand that every person has feelings and emotions, even if the expressed emotions stem from feelings of coldness and detachment.


We may have been conditioned, but it is important to reiterate that we can change those beliefs at any moment. We learn from the wounded before us. We are all wounded individuals and should forgive and be grateful for the opportunities to transform our personal pain for our highest learning and growth. We do not have to follow the beliefs of our parents or anyone that had an influence on us. We are individual beings with choices and we should use those choices to be the unique person that we came here to be.