The Needy Iceberg — part 3 (Book Snippet 7)
Our thoughts are not only the source of our feelings, but they also guide our behaviour. The quality of the behaviour of any person is a reflection of the quality of their thinking.
From the acting person’s perspective, within the realm of their logic, their behaviour makes perfect sense.
Tragically, as long as we are unconscious about what we feel and why we feel what we feel, our icebergs are blindfolded, crashing into other icebergs adrift in the rocky sea of life. Decked out in protective armour and equipped with deadly weapons, we brace ourselves for confrontation with other, often seemingly hostile, icebergs. We act out with language, or, in some instances, even physically, because we feel that our needs or values are threatened or our feelings are being hurt by someone else’s behaviour.
As long as we operate from the assumption that the other person is the problem, while being blissfully unaware of what is going on in our own iceberg, confrontations with other icebergs often erupt into conflicts and rarely result in a mutually satisfactory resolution. Even though it may not appear like this at times, we are all trying to do our very best, given what we think it takes to fulfil or protect our needs and values. The more core needs/values my behaviour appears to fulfil, the more likely I am to repeat it, and the more likely it is that it becomes habitual — even if it doesn’t really contribute to a sustainable solution (which would require to also consider other people’s needs and values).
Understanding the causal chain of thought, feelings, and behaviour empowers us to transform this process.
Getting ‘onto the balcony’ allows us a bird’s-eye view of our life instead of executing the same mindless motion over and over on the dance floor. To see how our thoughts create feelings and how these feelings result in behaviours that in turn create consequences in our life brings us to a point of choice. Awareness of the infinite cycle of thought-feeling-action is the essence of conscious living.
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