Consciously Unconscious, The Forty-Fifth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal

Nov 12, 2023 by Janet Zinn


I was taken off guard.   I thought I was going through present difficulties consciously.  I was meditating.  I was practicing gratitude.  I was reaching out to friends.  And, yet the combination of a dear friend dying while adjusting to Larry, my husband, having a serious injury, along with the horrific world events, had me spiral so that I made poor choices, acted impulsively, and inadvertently hurt others, all while losing sleep.  My reactivity was to repeat the pattern these last two weeks.  

If I hurt you, I am very sorry. It is said that we can do better when we know better.  It would have seemed that I knew better.  I did not.  I was in a fog of denial that prolonged my suffering.  I wish I could say that I was kinder and gentler after I hurt others. Sadly that was not the case.  It was only when I was being so hard on myself that I recognized very old behavior.

There is a hubris in believing we are immune to unconscious behavior if we’re “doing all the right things.”  Being human is a process of uncovering our unconscious parts.  It took a trifecta of stressors to have me dig deeper.  Boy, am I humbled.  

Since I am in the middle of learning what I have to learn to grow now, I have no wisdom to impart.  I suppose I can share that we don’t know what we don’t know.  I am hoping to continue the learning process so that I do know better and therefore can be better.  These present life lessons are knockouts.  I am getting up slowly to face them, hopefully with more compassion and kindness.  I need that now.  From what I’m seeing, we all need that now.  

Self-Care Tips: 

  • If you are being hard on yourself, pause.  Ask yourself what’s upsetting you?  Is hurting yourself with thoughts familiar to you?  Has it worked?  (It’s never helped me feel better.)  What can you do that includes self-compassion and kindness?  Then try it.  
  • If you find you’re very reactive, getting upset easily, understand that these times might be hard for you.  See if you can give yourself a break.  When necessary warn those around you that you’re sorry but you may get upset easily.  And when that happens take the time to repair the damage if others are amenable.
  •   Forgive yourself. We’re all human.  We can learn so much from feeling shame, ending the cycle of being mean to ourselves because we made troubling mistakes.  That is how we learn and grow.