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Back again to this extraordinarily difficult concept that seems to elude us every time we need to rely upon it.

The challenge is not necessarily to understand it but rather to be willing to enact it. The challenge is to enroll our emotions to the service of our rationality. The challenge is to allow our emotion to disengage in order to give room to the present moment to exist.

We know that to stop negative recurrent thoughts, toxic relationships, self-destructive habits and other happiness poisoning behaviors, we must move on. However, the very rationale of enacting these behaviors stems from our emotions: high expectations, needs, poor self-esteem, helplessness, codependency, fears of separation and abandonment, anxieties, etc.

These emotions create correlating maladaptive behaviors. In return, these behaviors allow us to endure, to keep going, to maintain some sense of balance and purpose. We establish patterns of behavior that are hurtful most of the time and make us numb. However, they become familiar over time. We feel to somewhat control them and we hold on to them as our safety buoy. What we forget in the deal is that they do not increase our “feeling good” potential, they are just a trick, a mask. We hold on to them because we prefer knowing where it is going to hurt rather then to choose an unknown route.

So, we live from the past (our negative emotions) to the future (our hurting behaviors) bypassing the present, the now, the place where we create those moments that eventually fill up our happiness bag and our future. And that is the magic! Letting go means to forget expectations, what we “deserve”, our due, projects, control, even our need for results. Not wanting anything emotionally is to become open, available and alive. It allows the unknown to take over. It starts right where we are, at this precise moment.  It is a wonderful adventure!

 

Do I believe that environment, education and personal experiences shape the behavior of human beings?
-Yes, I do
Do I believe, however, that some physiological and neurobiological factors also affect our brain?
– Of course, I do.
The literature is abundant on this topic and it would take a far too long expose to get to the heart of it. It is important, however, to understand our hormonal system in order to deal with men’s behavior versus women’s behavior.
For instance, we often hear: “Men are all the same…” Well yes, men behave similarly because they have a similar hormonal system with testosterone as the predominant hormone. Testosterone has many soldiers that together configure men’s brain and their behavior. The mix is, of course, mitigated by each man’s life experience but also by his hormonal level. To give you an idea, men’s general range of hormonal influenced behavior includes: goal oriented, dominant, sex oriented and bear like when angry (Testosterone), protective (Vasopressin), exploratory, masculine (Mullerian Inhibiting Substance or MIS), sensitive to affection and attention (Oxytocine), dad’s behavior (Prolactin), aggressive (Cortisol), seducer (Androstenedione), excitable (Dopamine) and at times cuddling (Estrogen, in a small percentage, yet pretty powerful behind the scene).
Dr. Louann Brizendine, M.D. in her book “The Male Brain”, named testosterone Zeus or the King of Male Hormones, vasopressin the White Knight, MIS or Hercules, oxytocin the Lion tamer, prolactin or Mr. Mom, cortisol the Gladiator, androstenedione or Romeo (my favorite), dopamine the Energizer and estrogen the Queen. Cute and appropriate!
And thus, men’s propensity to be the protector, the warrior, the bread winner, the solution seeker and also the destroyer, the aggressor and the never ending high libido seducer becomes a bit more understandable.
Of course we know that men and women are not necessarily from “the same planet”. We can, then, safely presume that women’s hormonal system could pretty much be on the opposite side thus explaining general issues in relationships.
I will let you ingest this first part and get back to you in a week with female hormones. At the mean time, maybe, you could help me out and bring in your knowledge about it!