We have been studying the power of the mind and why it is so difficult for us to grow emotionally. And we discovered that it is very important to understand how the brain and mind work because if we do not know how they work, we cannot grow emotionally or have healthy relationships. Today we will study the subconscious mind.
It is proven that the brain is the organ that God gave us so that we can have healthy relationships and are able to connect with other human beings. We have already studied that the mind has two dimensions: the conscious and the subconscious mind.
Your subconscious mind directs you. What does this mean? Neuroscience has proven that 95 percent of all your everyday decisions come from your subconscious mind, not the conscious part of your mind. This means that you are not aware of the decisions you are making, since their origins lie in the subconscious, which is impressive, since the subconscious is linked to all the programming and experiences you have had in your life. It does not matter if they are positive or negative, they are stored in your subconscious mind, in your memory and, through the amygdala of the brain, which regulates emotions, you express yourself, connect, and make decisions linked to the experiences you have had. I illustrate this idea with the story of a patient who tells me: “Pastor, you do not know my life, I will tell you, when I was five years old. my mother taught me how to make pupusas and when they got burned, my mother would beat me in the face with them because she said that I had to learn not to let them burn because we depended on the, to make a living by selling them. At five, I was already working as my mother’s maid. When I did something that she did not like, she would ask my two brothers to carry me over and put me on top of hot sticks on the floor. That was the kind of punishment and abuse that I received from my mother.”
We invited the mother to therapy. The mother tells me, “You do not know the whole story, the father of the girl told me that he loved me with his whole heart, he had sex with me, I got pregnant and after the girl was born, he left me. He went to be with a younger girl. My daughter looked so similar to him, so, every time I saw her, hateful memories would come to me. The memories of that evil man who left me for that younger woman and all I wanted to do was to blame it on her and do to her what I could not do to that evil man who left me.”
That girl was suffering due to the traumatic experience this mother had in the past and all that was there in the subconscious. The decisions she was making regarding her daughter were decisions based on the experience she had with the girl’s father and the girl was not to blame. But, the subconscious, that autopilot system that was directing that mother’s life, led her to put all her hate, all her anger, on that unhappy girl.
The subconscious mind is something extraordinary because everything we have experienced is stored there. And maybe you are thinking, “the subconscious mind is annoying,” but no, God created the human being with a subconscious mind so that we can survive in life. Imagine that everything you have experienced, whether positive or negative, all the traumas and difficult situations, are in the conscious, in your present. You could not survive with all that. God allows all difficult experiences to be in the subconscious and allows it to automate, to regulate, to process all that automatically without us having to be aware of the reactions we are having. For example, learning to drive was difficult for me. I told my father to let me drive, that I knew how to do it, but he told me to consider that it was not an automatic car, to push the clutch and slowly let it out so that the car could move forward. I was just a teenager, I thought I knew everything. I got in the car, started it, pushed the clutch and when I let it go, the car jumped and stayed in the same place. But, little by little, my dad taught me until I learned how to drive. It was not easy at first because I had to let the clutch go in one certain way, to accelerate in a certain way, to stop with the right foot, to keep my eyes looking ahead. But how is it possible that today I can drive and do all those things, and not be aware of everything I am doing? Simply because all learning was registered in the subconscious and it is responsible for how I work and function, and what I have to do effectively because everything is done automatically.
How can we apply this to our life? Perhaps you are a person who cannot control their anger due to difficult experiences you have lived in your past. Maybe you lived an experience of domestic violence and the behavior you learned, which was recorded in your subconscious, where you saw your father hitting, pushing, and mistreating your mother, is the same behavior that you are showing today in your life, in your marriage, with your children. Why? Because it is the learned behavior, the experience that you have had and that is in your subconscious mind repeats the same unhealthy behavior that you learned in your childhood as though you were on autopilot.
Maybe you are a sad, and shy person, and that is a result of some experience you lived. Your subconscious leads you to behave that way and you are not aware that you are doing it. It is simply something you learned in the past.
I encourage you to continue reading our posts as we will continue learning about how the subconscious works and how we can grow in our family relationships, how to improve our relationships with friends, church brothers and how to have emotional intelligence.
God calls you to love your neighbor as yourself. God calls you to learn how to love. It is a commandment.
With us, you will learn how to grow emotionally so that you can reflect the relational image of the God who created you.