The basis for conscious interactions is expressing your authenticity
“The moment you become aware of the ego within you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot co-exist.” – Eckhart Tolle
In our complex world, every interaction we have is an intricate dance between our internal selves and the external world. How we perceive others, their conditioned perspectives, and the labels we apply all play a significant role in shaping these interactions. It’s crucial to recognize the interplay between our internal and external worlds to foster authentic connections. We’ll explore the concept of conscious interactions by delving into both the external and internal aspects that influence them.
External Reality Construct:
Our external world is shaped by conditioned perspectives and labels that have been introduced to us and we accepted them as “fact”. We position ourselves in relations to others as either, superior, equal, or subordinate by judgement filtered through our conditioned perspectives. Others will put us in those categories in relation to their perspectives as well, which often is the source of conflict when the “placements” don’t align. Societal archetypes influence the roles we adopt and play, most often a the behest of those that influence us. The question that arises here is: What motivates these conditioned perspectives? Are they born out of fear, societal norms, or genuine understanding? The distance between the authentic expressions of our true selves and the conditioning is a relatively good measure of the malady disconnectedness we experience.
When we start to reflect on our internal experiences, it’s essential to recognize which aspects of ourselves show up in interactions. Tools from Parts Therapy can be very useful here, where we explore what “part” of ourselves that show up in different situations. For example, I would get triggered when something wasn’t done to my exacting specification, and then I would react to that experience from the perspective of the child who was taught that he wasn’t good enough and needed to compete to be valued and loved. This is the part that showed up when the trigger is activated and I would then assume the part and the expression would be based on the limitations that I held as that child, i.e. the response would have been expected from a 7 year old, but quite unreasonable coming from an adult. We all carry within us wounded parts, often stemming from past traumas. These wounded parts can significantly impact our interactions, leading to behaviours that may not align with our true selves. Authenticity requires us to be aware of these parts and heal them.
Comparing External and Internal Realities:
To have conscious interactions, it’s vital to compare our internal and external worlds. Are they aligning? Do they “come from the same place”? If not, what are the similarities, and where do they diverge? Understanding where our internal and external perspectives come from is the first step in bridging the gap. My daily objective is to become the optimal version of myself, which is the authentic version of myself. The distance between my external experience vis a vis my authenticity is the space of healing I need to traverse to reach that goal. My choice in any experience is how I think, express and act in response to that experience. I cannot control how other show up in interactions with me, but I can choose how I respond to the experience. I always try to use the “Four Agreements” when comparing the external and internal experiences; never assume anything about anybody, don’t take anything personally, always express myself impeccably and always to my best. These agreements allow me to allow anybody to show up how they choose to without me mirroring their expressions. They also allow me to show up with as much authenticity as I can muster in the particular situation.
It is important to recognize that conscious interactions does not equate to letting anybody trample all over us. In every experience we have three options:
- leave the experience.
- change our perception of the experience.
- change the perception of others in the experience.
However, while we keep ourselves in the experience, we constantly measure our external and internal experiences against each other.
Comparing how we show up compared to our authenticity:
To truly navigate conscious interactions, we must measure how we show up against authenticity. Authenticity is marked by qualities like compassion, empathy, passion, and resonance with others. By healing and reintegrating the wounded parts we put ourselves on a path to realise our core authenticity. When we release preconceived notions and allow ourselves to observe and process our thoughts and feelings from that authenticity we reveal our inner connectedness and compassion.
Conscious interactions are about finding harmony between your internal and external worlds. It’s recognizing that the labels and roles society imposes on us might not define our true essences. Instead, we have the power to redefine who we are in each interaction. When we align our internal and external realities, we become more authentic in our interactions. We don’t achieve the equilibrium by sacrificing our integrity and boundaries, but to accept that which we can’t control as belonging to someone else and that we have a choice in our perspective and what action we take. When we understand the possible sources of why others are the way they are we can understand their journeys and connect with their true essence and have compassion for their suffering and challenges, without the need for ourselves to feel threatened.
Consider a scenario where we’re meeting someone for the first time. The external world might label them as a stranger, but our internal world can choose to approach them with an open heart and mind, free from preconceived notions. This alignment between our internal essence and external perception can lead to a more genuine connection.
On the contrary, if our internal world is clouded by past wounds or societal conditioning, we may project biases onto this stranger, hindering the potential for a meaningful interaction. To overcome this, we must engage in introspection, identify these inner obstacles, and work towards healing and reintegrating those parts of ourselves.
Conscious interactions require us to be acutely aware of both our internal and external realities. By bridging the gap between these worlds, we can foster more authentic connections with others. This process involves recognizing the conditioned perspectives that shape our external interactions, understanding our internal dynamics, and constantly striving to align our true selves with the way we show up in the world. Ultimately, conscious interactions lead to more profound empathy, compassion, and resonance in our relationships, creating a more harmonious and authentic existence.