Where is freedom born and bred, in the heart or in the head?
Many people today are responding to life through their emotions. Something will happen, they will have an emotion, and off they go responding to the emotion because they feel like they are powerless and life just happens to them. For instance, a woman recently tweeted: “I saw a child wearing a ‘Trump 2020’ mask at school today and I wanted to literally burn him alive.”
There was an activating event or action (A), in this case it was that she saw a child wearing a specific mask, and then there was a consequence (C) where she wanted to burn him alive because of a negative emotion she was feeling.
When you read that tweet you may have seen that tweet as an (A) activating event or action that took place, and had a (C) consequence of a negative emotion yourself. The reason for the negative emotional response is because of the (B) belief that the person has about the (A) activating event/action.
The belief could be that this woman was ready to kill someone she doesn’t even know because of her prejudices and so there is a fear she could actually act on those emotions one day and hurt an innocent. She could have had a belief that that child was a racist because of her prejudices and so there’s a fear that one day that child could hurt an innocent.
In both cases the fear is the same. We all want people to be free from being harmed, and sometimes we fear that other innocent people will get hurt. When you feel like you need to save someone from being hurt you enter into the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) as a “savior” of that “victim”.
There is nothing wrong with helping someone out who has asked for help, however, many people take it upon themselves to label people as victims (when they don’t feel like victims and end up feeling smothered), and/or create victims where they do not exist. For instance, if the woman was upset because she felt like that child would grow up to be a persecutor one day, her victim, whom she wanted to save (by killing the child first), didn’t even exist yet.
You Choose to Be a Slave When You Are Led By Emotions
Freedom is born and bred in your head. But when you are led by your emotions rather than your beliefs you are a slave to them. You could be having the best day of your life, but then someone does something, like a child wearing a specific mask message walks by, and, if you have a negative belief about what that means, you are no longer happy. The woman was a far cry from being happy when she was contemplating murder. We all know if she went through with her desires she would have been arrested and jailed, which is far from being free. But that is just an extreme example. When people have their day “ruined” by someone doing something or not doing something they feel “triggered” and when you feel “triggered” by that activating event, your emotions are controlling you rather than you controlling your emotions.
There are some who laugh off the idea of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” (TDS) but a woman contemplating murder of a child solely because of seeing the word “Trump” on his mask would seem to suggest she is deeply triggered and would fall into that category. But what can be done about it?
Every single person will have to work with their beliefs individually. But a person who gets triggered might really benefit from understanding that if someone triggers him or her into a rage, it means he or she has decided to be a slave to person. In the case of TDS, whenever Trump’s name comes up a person’s really great day could turn into a horrible day in an instant. It means that person has given Trump the power to give him or her a horrible day. It’s willful slavery.
Whenever you have a negative emotion because you were triggered by someone or something that happened, you can now realize that you allowed that to happen, willingly. If you changed your beliefs, you could be totally unbothered by what they do or don’t do. That’s what Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is all about. It’s what I study and teach.
Changing your beliefs leads to freedom
You may wonder how easy it is to cause a positive or negative emotion based on your beliefs. If you were driving and someone quickly cut you off (A: Activating Event), you could feel either positive or negative emotions (C: Emotional Consequence) based on your (B) belief. If you believed that only assholes cut people off, you would have a negative emotion. However, if you believed that only people who are in a hurry risk their lives to cut people off, then you might wonder what hurry the person is in (maybe they have to get to the hospital), and maybe wish them luck on their journey.
Can you imagine never being upset by people cutting you off again? You have the power to question your beliefs and change them into beliefs that serve you better.
If you were someone upset with the woman who tweeted, can you consider that she was acting out of love (for the victim she thinks will exist) and have sympathy for how triggered she must get in her daily life to ever say such a thing? Only hurt people hurt people. She’s got to be deeply hurt to consider hurting someone else. She is also deeply engrained in the Dreaded Drama Triangle right now and led by emotions. People who are led by emotions are slaves to that which they fight against. This is why there is only freedom when you leave the Drama Triangle of blaming others and choose personal responsibility over scapegoating. Also remember to stop seeing other people as potential victims because everyone has ultimate power over what they attract, and even if you think someone attracted something “bad” into their life, it doesn’t mean they considered it “bad.” We all have the ability to look at everything in our life as something that was “working out for us.”
A lot of people are stuck in the Dreaded Drama Triangle blaming other people or governments, or viruses or vaccines for what ails them or humanity in general. Rather than scapegoating the blame onto someone or something else, just take personal responsibility for what you have control over. Our thoughts and beliefs are what we continually see in this world. The law of attraction proves this, but for those who are more scientific, Dr. Joe Dispenza talks about how our brains work, and as we think about something, our brain continues on that path. “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” If you start thinking about butterflies, you will start to see more butterflies. If you think, “The government is out to get me,” then you start to pick up “evidence” to “prove” you’re right. We look to prove we are right, rather than prove we are wrong. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is about questioning our beliefs and wondering if we are wrong, and starting to come up with new beliefs that will better serve us. As we come up with new beliefs, we can change our reality. Rather than expecting the worst from a situation or person, start to imagine better, and then see how your world changes.
But to imagine better, you have to take personal responsibility for your emotions. If you are triggered, it means you have a belief that other people do not have, because no one responds to the same situation the same way. It wasn’t the trigger that was at fault (scapegoating), it was your belief about the trigger that was at fault. Some people see a butterfly fly by them and get excited and happy, personally, I freak out because I don’t want bugs near me. It’s not the butterflies fault that I got triggered. So I take personal responsibility for my issues.
It was not Trump’s fault that people get triggered when they hear or say his name. It’s their beliefs about him, and life in general, that cause their negative reaction. Change the beliefs and the reaction changes. It won’t switch from anger to love in an instant, but it can switch from anger to indifference when you understand the law of attraction. You have the absolute power to create your reality. No one can take that power away from you. People only feel powerless when they, incorrectly, feel like someone else has more power over their life than they have. Be the change you wish to see in the world, and your world will change with you.
“The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. “Viktor E. Frankl, Holocaust Survivor, Man’s Search For Meaning