In spiritual practice, we observe and control our thoughts within our Ego mind. Many practice meditation, yoga, and mindfulness. The Ego mind can be sneaky, and can operate unconsciously outside of our control. This is particularly true during this unprecedented viral pandemic within our lifetime that is completely outside of our control.
What I have observed within myself is the neurobiology of the brain that unconsciously controls our physical responses within our bodies when we experience fear. Within the past five months, I have felt agitation, anxiety, insomnia, sleep disturbances, lethargy, malaise, fatigue, and roller coaster of emotions. When the Ego mind experiences fear, the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated unconsciously within our bodies when adrenaline, and cortisol stress hormones are released, also known as “Fight or Flight” . The brain’s emotional center, the Amygdala also is activated, and we no longer operate within the Prefrontal Cortex where rational thought, decision making, and moderation of social behavior occurs. For these reasons, I have experienced these recent symptoms.
In addition to these neurobiological responses, the Ego mind also comes into play. The Ego mind deals with fear and trauma through suppression, repression, or expression. Suppression is the conscious pushing down of feelings. Repression is the unconscious pushing down of feelings due to guilt, shame, or fear over these feelings. Expression is the vented, verbalized, stated in body language, group demonstrations, or dumping of negative feelings onto others.
The Ego mind uses denial and projection as part of suppression, repression, and expression. Denial is used to avoid reality because it is outside of our control and too difficult to face. Projection is believing feelings we experience belong to others. The Ego mind then finds justifications to reinforce these projections. Blame is then placed on people, events, things, political and social conditions, etc. I have observed this within myself, that the fear I experience is the fault of the government, politicians, the media, and justify this by pointing to the poor job of our government, and inconsistent media coverage, etc.
In fact, this fear is within me caused by repressed and suppressed fears from earlier in my life, and the current viral pandemic is merely a trigger of this fear within. One way of determining where the fear or negative emotion lies is by observing who is reacting to the situation. For example, if a disagreement arises between two people, observe who is upset, yelling, melting down, and acting out. Whoever is reacting negatively, the fear or other negative emotions lies within them. The disagreement is only a trigger and that individual Ego mind’s justification to release these negative emotions.
This is why spiritual and emotional healing work is so critical during this viral pandemic, and why we must be vigilant in observing our Ego mind and its reactions to what is happening in our world. Healing begins with us, and when we become aware of what is really happening, we can help our world heal its divisions and conflicts. May you find healing and peace within during these difficult times. (Copyright 2020 Discovery in Awakening with All Rights Reserved)