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Internal Conflict - Making Peace With Yourself

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If you have ever found yourself saying "part of me wants to... or thinks (a), but part of me just wants to... or thinks (b)", then you may be experiencing an internal conflict. It's like there is a tug of war going on inside of you, and a part of you is pulling in each direction. Here's how it works:

Your subconscious mind is primarily concerned with the survival of the organism. It wants you to live, and continue living. Your subconscious is very creative, imaginative, and emotionally perceptive.

Perhaps it evolved as our first defense system so that we could avoid being eaten by sabre-tooth tigers, by being burned to death, crushed by falling objects, or falling from heights. The subconscious is always busy, and is always on the lookout for things that might cause us harm.

When we experience something threatening, the subconscious notices how we are feeling physically and emotionally, and then sets off to work using creativity, imagination, and past experience in a flash to come up with a solution - something we can do or say - to rapidly change the situation -  into something more acceptable and comfortable; something that feels more safe.

When the subconscious finds a solution that works - it gets the result of greater ease, comfort, and safety - it doesn't look for a newer or better solution. Going forward, when it feels that problem feeling, it has an answer, and runs with the solution it has - regardless of how appropriate it is.

The trouble is, as human beings, the complexity of threats to our safety have gone beyond sabre-tooth tigers, falling trees, and cliffs.

Complicated relationships, family dysfunction, and every manner of circumstance can arise and create physical and emotional stress/threat. For many of us, this begins at a very young age - less that 5 - or even from the very time of our birth. The experiences we've had at that young age are very limited, as are the options we have to respond. Even so, the subconscious is a powerful resource and does the best it can to help us survive - and usually succeeds; and as I mentioned - when the subconscious succeeds, it doesn't look for another - better - more appropriate - solution. The one that worked the first time is good enough!

For example, if, as a young child you become frightened, uncomfortable, or unhappy in a situation (ie. you feel a threat to your safety; physically or emotionally), the subconscious flies into action to change that situation. Being that you are a young child, your experiences and options are limited. Let's say you might a) flop on the ground and wail or, b) run away and hide from the situation. Let's say you go with choice b).

Having run out of the area of threat and hidden, the feeling shifts - and you feel more safe. Hooray! Your subconscious marks that as a win, and it now has a solution for the problem of that specific feeling! After a few more experiences of being scared and running away, that solution is locked in... it is THE solution to the issue. You are now 4 years old.

As you grow older, you begin to realize that physically running away from things that make you uncomfortable can create problems of another type. You begin to miss out on fun activities, relationships, and opportunities of all kinds - but you continue to run away when you feel that uncomfortable feeling.

Into your teenage years and young adulthood, perhaps you've read some books, or seen a therapist, or you learned to meditate. You've learned that when you get the urge to run away, you can plant your feet and stay put. That insight begins to make a difference as you learn to resist the impulse to run away; but that impulse hasn't gone away.

When you get into an uncomfortable situation, your subconscious recognizes the feeling and continues to say, "I have the solution! Run and hide!".

You consciously know that to do so would have consequences, so you say to yourself "No. I'll stay put."

The subconscious doesn't like this and says, "You've got to RUN and HIDE!"

"No! I'm staying!"

"RUN YOU IDIOT!!!"

In this way, the experience of anxiety is born, and this experience can lead to panic attacks, or even in extreme cases agoraphobia - because if one just stays hidden, one won't have to feel that feeling.

Your subconscious mind is always trying to protect you. The trouble is, sometimes the subconscious is trying to do this with solutions that are decades old, and inappropriate to the current situation. You may even consciously know this - but knowing won't stop it from happening. Your subconscious and conscious minds are on opposite sides of a tug of war, and the results are usually unpleasant.

Through hypnotherapy, I can help you to create a bridge between conscious and subconscious minds - a channel of communication between the worlds. It's like being able to update your internal software.

Imagine being able to share options, experience, and wisdom from your present with this old part of yourself. Your subconscious is totally committed to having you survive and thrive, and through hypnotherapy you have a way to offer options and strategies that are aligned with your present goals and aspirations.

By bringing the subconscious mind on-side with your conscious mind, the conflict is eliminated, and the energy that was being consumed in internal turmoil is freed up to be applied to achieving what you want in your life, rather than avoiding what you don't.

The tug-of-war is over, and it's time to move forward.