We do have a need to give love as well as receive it.
Honest Consciousness: Aligning your Thoughts and Feelings with Authenticity by Amelia Wood
in Guest Articles
A dear friend once told me that true and honest authenticity is one of the rarest qualities people possess. I remember being rather taken aback by her bold assertion. What did she mean? Were all the people around me being fake and insincere in their day-to-day lives? Was my mother’s seemingly endless love not truly all that endless? Was my grandmother’s devout belief in God not as deep as it seemed? Was my writing teacher’s pride in my work’s improvement not real? Was my devotion to spirituality really just an act? I had enough trouble figuring out if I was being authentic all the time, so how would I know if those around me were as well?
There is no way to discover if those around us are being real all the time, unfortunately. Yes, as much as we’d like to be able to possess the ability to separate the authentic from the inauthentic, there is no such ability at our disposal. However, there is a way to align your own actions and thoughts with authenticity. Of course it’s not always easy to understand how we feel about anything and everything that takes place in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to be conscious in all our thoughts and actions.
I recently employed the ABC Method in my efforts to align my thoughts and feelings with action. I had been having a tough time at work with a fellow coworker who was constantly making inappropriate remarks towards me and other coworkers. I wanted to artfully articulate how upset I was with her behavior, and by following the ABC Method, I was able to do so. Not only has this tool become useful in my relationships with others, it has become helpful in my relationship with my consciousness. In being able to detect my own authenticity, I’ve become more centered in my consciousness and awareness in the world, which has strengthened my spirituality and relationships with others. For those who desire to employ the ABC Method in their own lives, I’ve given a short explanation of the method below.
A (The Activating Event)
As we go through life, there are going to be a number of uncontrollable circumstances we must encounter, such as deaths, births, failed marriages, lost friendships, betrayals, etc. Activating events are things that we must inevitably deal with, and our emotional response to these events is what determines our authenticity. Activating events are the one step in the ABC Method that we have no ability to change. As much as we’d like to prevent car crashes, deaths, and sicknesses, we have no choice but to face them when they come our way. We encounter countless activating events in our daily lives, and we must deal with how those activating events make us feel and act, which leads me to B, the belief.
B (The Belief)
The moment we experience an activating event, we already have a belief in place that determines how we will react to that event. Unfortunately, beliefs aren’t something we are usually even aware of in the midst of our reactions, and we can’t change our beliefs once we’ve already reacted. The good news, however, is that over time we can address and analyze our core beliefs. For example, let’s say your friend comes to you and says that she is busy this week and can’t see you. This is your activating event. The belief you may hold could be that a. you’re a boring person and your friend has lost interest in you, or b. you are an interesting person, but your friend is busy this week and therefore cannot see you. Can you see how these two beliefs change how you handle the situation? By aligning your true emotions with your thoughts and beliefs, you’ll be able to identify whether or not you’re releasing an appropriate, honest response.
C (The Consequent Emotion)
All this brings us to our final and most important step: consequent emotion. Whenever we have experienced an action and allowed our beliefs to flow through us, we then must experience an emotional response. Let’s revisit the friend-telling-you-they-are-busy scenario. In the first potential response – feeling that you are a boring person – you’ve already determined that you are going to experience an emotion of sadness and resentment. The only way to change how you feel about these kinds of situations is to address it in the moment or evaluate your core beliefs. Sure, your beliefs are already determined, but that doesn’t mean you can’t nurse them and evolve them to be something more positive and honest. Perhaps you should cultivate the belief that you are interesting, since that is how people form friendships in the first place. Furthermore, if being blown off really bothers you, ask your friend if everything is okay between you guys. By addressing your core beliefs about who you are and how you should react to situations, you will be better able to create healthy, authentic emotional responses.
Enlisting the ABC Method in your life can help you utilize and align your authenticity and consciousness. People are often so determined to seem “normal” that they often overlook the activating events, beliefs, and emotions that happen to them. Perhaps addressing each of these three items will help you in becoming more authentic and conscious about the world around you.
Amelia Wood is a blogger and freelance writer with a passion for helping people find medical billing and coding jobs. She welcomes suggestions and queries at email@example.com.(Bold, italicized text is input from One World class participants. Thank you!)