Deal With Your Issues Before They Deal With You
The conscious, subconscious, and unconscious regions of your mind constitute different levels of awareness.
1. The Conscious Mind – Responsible for recalling thoughts, memories, and feelings that you are aware of at any given moment.
2. The Subconscious Mind – Often called the Preconscious, it is the level of thinking just below the surface of your conscious mind. It contains material you aren’t currently thinking about but can easily recall if needed. For example, your mother’s telephone number or the address of a place you used to live. The subconscious mind may be listening but not attending. If you are actively engaged in a task and it’s raining outside, you can hear the rain, but you aren’t attending to the pelting sound of drops hitting your window. If you switch your attention to the rain or if someone mentions it, then the sound moves from the subconscious to the conscious part of your mind.
3. The Unconscious – Sometimes referred to as the subconscious or the non-conscious, it is the part of the mind that acts as a reservoir for all of the thoughts, beliefs, memories, and feelings that you are not aware of. Material in the unconscious drives your behaviors and choices. For instance, if you grew up with an alcoholic father, you may make a declaration to yourself that you “will never marry an addict.” However, with unprocessed memories of your father’s behavior, you may allow them to govern your choices and you may find yourself unconsciously drawn to a partner who has addictive behaviors ie. alcoholism, workaholism, anger, or a number of ways addiction can manifest. In essence, your unconscious choice, in this case, choosing an addict as a partner, puts you in a state of repeating the past, even though you promised yourself you would not. Dealing with our thoughts, feelings and beliefs about the unconscious, unaddressed parts of our lives and how they’ve impacted us can free us to make more conscious and beneficial choices.
Therapy is a great tool that helps us acknowledge and process unconscious material because it forces us to look at issues we’ve forgotten or ignored. Processing unconscious matters also helps us become more whole as people because it leads us to making choices that affirm our identity and core beliefs. This is why it is so important to discover what we truly believe so that we can challenge our false beliefs. For instance, does a person have to marry an addict to deal with the pain an addicted parent brought to their life? Absolutely not! One can confront those issues by finding ways to heal, like therapy, so that their psyche isn’t leading them into dysfunction for the purpose of healing. Basically, this would be an act of dealing with your issues before they deal with you.
Look out for my next blog post to learn how to identify beliefs that hinder you and how to change them through alternate ways of thinking.
Tracy T. Taris
Determine your current level of stress and decide whether it's something you can handle on your own by implementing a few self-care measures or whether you need help.