Stimulus vs. Cause (KD 12)

One of the most use­ful key dif­fe­ren­tia­ti­ons, in my cur­rent expe­ri­ence, focu­ses on what we con­si­der to be the cau­se of our fee­lings.

As with all key dif­fe­ren­tia­ti­ons here too I ask mys­elf :

Where is the focus in each side of this dif­fe­ren­tia­ti­on?

CAUSE
You cau­se my fee­lings by your beha­vi­or. or… I cau­se your fee­lings by my beha­vi­or.

This mode of ope­ra­ti­on is habi­tu­al for me and pre­sent in many moments of my life.

When I belie­ve that pat­ten, I am in emo­tio­nal depen­den­cy mode.

My focus is on chan­ging eit­her the other or mys­elf, in order to chan­ge the fee­ling, with other words the focus is on stra­te­gies, on direct requests:

Please stop doing this.
or
I will do what you want, in order to make you feel bet­ter.
And so forth…

This mode of ope­ra­ti­on typi­cal­ly is accom­pa­nied by mora­listic judgment, that makes me or others wrong. And the­re­fo­re deser­ving punish­ment.

Or making them or mys­elf right, good ones, deser­ving rewards.

Often an obsta­cle to me being honest or doing some­thing that is authen­tic, is the fol­lo­wing type of thin­king: It will cau­se you pain, make you sad, get you angry… if I say or do that… (fear of punish­ment, wor­se­ning of rela­ti­ons­hip)

And a moti­va­ti­on to do some­thing, in order to make you hap­pi­ness, joy, con­tent­ment… (loo­king for reward in bet­ter rela­ti­ons­hip)

STIMULUS

When I view actions of others as sti­mu­li for my fee­lings, my focus is on con­nec­ting to needs, to my deeper values in each moment.

When I am able to live from this con­scious­ness, I am in (emo­tio­nal) inter­de­pen­den­cy mode. We rea­li­ze we have influ­ence on each other, but we are not the reason/cause for the fee­lings that we have.

A sti­mu­lus is an obser­va­ti­on (some action, words, even my own thoughts).

This is best unders­tood by see­ing that the same obser­va­ti­on sti­mu­la­tes dif­fe­rent fee­lings and needs in dif­fe­rent peop­le, so not peop­le and their actions cau­se my fee­lings, but my needs trig­ge­red by an obser­va­ti­on. Our needs cau­se our fee­lings.

Example:

A per­son asking for money stands next to the ent­ry of a super­mar­ket.

I noti­ce this per­son.

The noti­cing sti­mu­la­tes the life in me.

Needs ari­se and various fee­lings point to the­se needs.

While the per­son asking for money expres­ses a PLEASE, the way peop­le recei­ve this PLEASE dif­fers.

Often I say no to the request, which means that I say PLEASE too. It does not make life more beau­ti­ful for me to give money. I attempt to make life more beau­ti­ful by wal­king past, not respon­ding in any way, at times even by igno­ring.

My first nter­nal reac­tion to my noti­cing of the per­son asking for money is often dis­com­fort, when I see a per­son asking for money. Something is clo­sing up insi­de. For examp­le when I recei­ve in the obser­va­ti­on a demand (my inter­pre­ta­ti­on), my need for auto­no­my is sti­mu­la­ted. That is high­ly uncom­for­ta­ble and I will go to inter­nal resis­tan­ce in a flash of a moment, likely.

I also noti­ce fear. A fear-dri­ven thought can ari­se to my awa­reness. If I give with get­ting not­hing in return, is the­re enough for me, my fami­ly? I need trust in finan­ci­al via­bi­li­ty when I pic­tu­re mys­elf giving with get­ting not­hing in return. What if I should give to all peop­le asking, the­re are so many of them !! So a need for sur­vi­val is trig­ge­red. Very unplea­sant.

The CAUSE for my fee­lings are my needs. Can I con­nect to my needs in the moment?

It is not the per­son asking for money, respon­si­ble for MY FEELINGS — my inter­nal needs are sti­mu­la­ted by my noti­cing.

And my NEEDS are respon­si­ble for my fee­lings.

Another per­son may have a need for con­tri­bu­ti­on, enjoy­ing the moment of giving and the gra­te­ful reco­gni­ti­on of the recei­ver.

Another per­son gets angry, thin­king that the­se peop­le should work, nee­ding perhaps under­stan­ding, how hard it is to go to work ever­y­day.

The needs cau­se our fee­lings, not the actu­al actions that trig­ger them.

So I can say:

“You sti­mu­la­ted pain in me, when you said XYZ, but the cau­se of my pain was not what you said, it was my unmet need for hones­ty. You only sti­mu­la­ted my need. What did you hear me say?”

Answer:

” Huh?”

This con­cept is hard to live in life, becau­se we all lear­ned to take respon­si­bi­li­ty for the fee­lings of others, espe­ci­al­ly clo­se peop­le. From child on this mecha­nism is implan­ted:

I am unhap­py, becau­se YOU did this.

Needs are absent from awa­reness and lan­guage. It is the lan­guage of domi­na­ti­on, of right and wrong, vio­lent and tra­gic.

Even expres­sing mys­elf in giraf­fe, in less than 40 words, peop­le most­ly will hear jack­al, they will hear bla­me that they did some­thing wrong. For examp­le:

Expressing in giraf­fe:
I am unhap­py, see­ing that you all deci­ded this wit­hout me being pre­sent, becau­se I have an unful­fil­led need for sit­ting at the table when decisi­ons are made. I need inclu­si­on and belon­ging. What do you hear me say?
Answer:
You always are unhap­py about some­thing, we had to move on this and you were not the­re!
Giraffe reply:
Thanks for let­ting me know what I mana­ged to get across, I want to try if I can make mys­elf more clear.” (try­ing ano­t­her round of self-expres­si­on).

Even say­ing it in giraf­fe, peop­le will hear bla­me. I want to check what they hear me say, by asking them. Asking for reflec­tion, a tri­cky busi­ness!

My way of brin­ging this key dif­fe­ren­tia­ti­on into my life, is to rai­se my awa­reness when I live in the para­digm that I was brought up in.

Every time I expe­ri­ence: I/You cau­sed this pain, I want self-empa­thy and con­nec­tion to my needs.

I rea­li­ze I am not con­nec­ted to needs, when I ope­ra­te in the nor­mal con­scious­ness.

It can act as power­ful gate­way to invi­te me to con­nect to my natu­ral con­scious­ness.

This key dif­fe­ren­tia­ti­on offers me the pos­si­bi­li­ty of libe­ra­ti­on and empower­ment.