A free, flexible mind is the key to great happiness and personal growth. You have the right to choose what to think and how to feel in any moment without the permission or approval of others.

From a young age we are taught to adopt the values systems of our elders, deliberately define our identities, and then "stick to it" regardless of circumstance. Indeed we are programmed to believe that choosing an identity and clinging to it no matter what happens is somehow virtuous and noble.

When pondering this bizarre tendency and the impact it has on society one is torn between laughter and tears.

On one hand it's so utterly ridiculous how can we not laugh out loud? At the same time self-denial on this scale is sad indeed.

Once you look past the biomechanical aspects, a human being is an expression of consciousness. By very nature, we seem designed or evolved to adapt to various intellectual and emotional stimuli.

It makes absolutely no sense to try and force yourself to think and feel a particular way. The fact is, your intellectual mind and your emotional center both respond naturally and immediately to events and circumstances without your having to process much at the conscious level.

It's not uncommon to experience a separation from your inner self, and thus be uncertain of how you feel about a particular event. But with practice and patience you can tune back into your natural response.

Structured moral codes, and especially organized religions, teach people to model their thinking and feeling mechanisms after an ideal role model. From this incredibly flawed and unnatural foundation, said codes/religions insist their subjects direct all life experiences based on the pre-conceived patterns for how to think and feel.

But you don't need a book, rules list, or code of conduct to tell you how you really feel about something. Your thoughts and preferences come from within, and they emerge instantly.

Resisting the thoughts and feelings that come naturally is potentially unhealthy. And attempting to deny who you really are in the moment will rob you of the spontaneous joy and expansion that are rightfully yours.

Consider this scenario:

An event happens in your life, and your conscious and emotional response is to feel a particular way about it. You aren't making any effort to form an opinion about the event, and you are not trying to control your emotional response; you are simply reacting at the level of mind.

Your thoughts and emotional responses may or may not be in alignment with any political party, religion, or social organizations you are involved with. This does not mean you are bad, sinful, shifty, etc. and it doesn't necessarily indicate your political, religious, and social affiliations are inappropriate.

The way you think/feel about something can be affected by varying internal circumstances like physical energy levels and existing emotional states. And your natural response to a given stimuli can depend on external factors, ranging from where something happens to the current weather conditions.

In fact your intellectual and emotional response to an event as it occurs may be different from the response you notice when you recall the event from memory. By the same token you can experience a wide range of variations in your natural response to a nearly identical event over multiple occurrences.

Because people are afraid of the unknown, they often strive to control every aspect of their reality. They can ignore certain feelings, deny particular thoughts, and essentially pretend to be someone other than who they truly are in the name of "staying safe".

It's time for humanity to stop being afraid of who we really are. Our species intuitively wants to move to the next level of human evolution, and for this to happen we need to release rigid, inflexible "rules" regarding how we are to think and feel about specific events.

Once we know who we really are and how we really feel about the life experience we have an honest foundation for deciding where to go next.

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