Cathy DeBuono, licensed psychotherapist, empath, radio personality and actress you may know from “A Perfect Ending,” “We Have to Stop Now” and “And Then Came Lola” is here to help you sort out your deepest thoughts.
If making big changes in ourselves were easy, I mean evolutionary types of changes, we’d all be a perfect race by now. We talked about that in part 1. It behooves us as sentient beings to proceed on this front with real awareness that we will more than likely find ourselves confronted by and battling the anxiety of traversing that terrain.
In part 1, we learned that as the ego meets this new terrain and as it resists its habitual, automatic patterns of decision making, it will encounter a powerless state, more than likely experienced as confusion. This is the space in time that I refer to as the gap.
The gap is usually a state of severe discomfort, but I’d like to shift that perspective so we may make more room to receive it for exactly what it is, a tremendous opportunity for expansion.
When it comes to effecting change in our lives via self transformation, how far we go is entirely up to us and directly involves something called our free will. When our ego encounters the confusion (and often profound discomfort) of the gap, in order to choose growth and change, we will need to necessarily rely upon free will to suspend the ego’s habitual responses and to navigate the gap, instead, away from fear and toward the direction of our core potential where all other infinite possibilities are found.
When we experience the confusion that alerts us to the arrival in a gap, we know that our ego has just encountered a barrier to our core potential, within its own structure. Instead of automatically continuing on as before, it is here that we either engage in the opportunity to apply our free will or we engage in our previously practiced ego tactics thereby changing nothing.
So what is the “how” of applying our free will in service of accessing our core potential? The answers lies in mindful exploration of the actual cognitive components that form the infra-structure of our own ego. It is the automatic functioning of these components that we encounter when our previous and automatic responses to the world and people around us are doing their thing.
These components arise largely (if not fully) from the soil of other cognitive constructs that psychologists often refer to as our belief systems, the term means exactly as it sounds. These cognitive constructs are the ideology and thought patterns we hold that motivate us to make certain choices and engage in certain behavior. A very large percentage of these things become our second nature or our automatic way of seeing the world and ourselves in relation to it. In order to evolve on a personal level, the current functionality of our belief systems must be challenged and thoroughly examined by our own conscious process.
Taking a real look for ourselves at the characteristics of our currently active belief systems and the bases for their initial construction allows us the option of adding consciousness to their reconstruction. Only upon contemplation of these perspectives can we begin to deconstruct them in order to consciously reconstruct them. You can only traverse new ground by building new roads.
When considering taking on the challenge of personal evolution, remember the more practiced the cognitive construct in question has been for us, the more patience and application of consciousness to this process you can expect to be required in order to transform it. Hence, the absolute necessity of free will. Without its constant application our unconscious, automatic cognitive constructs will only continue to assert themselves and manifest in the thoughts and subsequent choices that currently define our personal limits.
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