November 4

Do You Hear What I Hear?

November 4, 2011

Stress Management

One night as I was talking in my driveway with a friend from New York City, he said, "What is that sound? I can hardly hear myself think."

I had no idea what he was talking about. "What sound?" I asked.

As he described the noise, I realized that he was talking about the insects—mostly katydids—and tree frogs all around us. When I paid attention, I recognized that the night noises really were loud. Over time I had become accustomed to them and simply tuned them out. But my friend was sufficiently disturbed by the sounds that the night before he'd experienced difficulty falling asleep.

On the other hand, when I stay in New York, I find the night noises of the city—tires on pavement, engines racing, horns honking, sirens blaring—to be disturbing. My friend said he found them soothing, almost hypnotic.

When we're sufficiently accustomed to a particular sensation, we hardly notice it anymore, and so it is with Imitation Love and Getting and Protecting Behaviors. When we've been surrounded by these reactions to emptiness and fear from childhood, they become unremarkable. We may be angry all our lives, for example, and never realize the effects of this feeling on our happiness and relationships. Only when it is clearly pointed out to us do we notice it.

We must elevate our emotional and spiritual senses above the numbing effects of our accustomed experience, so we can truly examine our perspectives, feelings, and behaviors. Only then can we decide which we wish to keep and which we wish to discard as disruptive to our genuine happiness.

PCSD

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