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Have you heard people say that you’re responsible for what appears in your life? That you have created it? If you're currently in a bad marriage and suffering because of a partner’s narcissism, addictions, and abuse, let’s say, you may want to argue back that this most certainly is not the case. After all, you always envisioned yourself married to a loving and caring man. So, why would you have created the nightmare you're living now?

Well, you might not have consciously created it as you might create a house, deciding beforehand on a design, and then seeing to it that the architect and others involved in its construction adhered to the blueprints. Indeed, that would be conscious design. You, however, have been creating your life unconsciously.

The Power of the Unconscious

Truthfully, many of us are creating things all the time unconsciously. We do this through choices we make that are habitual or programmed from our pasts. We don’t actively choose them.

You may have been programmed by your past to be attracted at an unconscious level to be attracted to a certain type of man—a man who might be nothing like the loving and kind man you always envisioned that your life your life partner would be. However, because you were unconscious or unaware of what was driving you, when you felt that magnetic attraction, you believed you’d actually found true love. But instead, you'd merely met someone who fit with what you were programmed to seek out because of hurts from the past. And again, this was likely diametrically opposed to what the healthier side of you truly wanted for yourself.

You might want to imagine that there is a wounded child part of you that's driving you unconsciously. Needless to say, it does not make the same choices that your conscious self would make. It tends to pick out as a potential partner someone who has the worst traits of your parents or primary caregivers. But then, this wounded child part wants to try and rectify the past. However, since the past is past, this simply can’t happen. So, regarding such relationships, when the romantic haze has cleared, negative or hurtful scenes rather reminiscent of the past are typically replicated in the present-day relationship. And really, why wouldn't they be since the partner likely has the same or similar attributes to what caused those childhood wounds in the first place?

Decide to Live Your Life Consciously

Your life’s mission, should you elect to accept it, is to become more aware and start living as consciously as possible. In other words, don’t settle for going along with the programming from your past. Don’t just do what is habitual. Sure, those behaviors might have helped you survive as a child in what was likely a dysfunctional family. But pursued in adulthood, they’ll likely keep you experiencing dysfunction in your current life. You don’t want that, do you?

Some people believe that to live life more consciously, they must follow their emotions—that their emotions should be their guide. And indeed, your emotions sometimes can lend guidance. But again, let’s assume that you’re married to a man displaying narcissism, addictions, and abusive behaviors. As a result, you’re apt to experience a great deal of emotional pain. You may well become depressed—and depression hurts. Then, to distract yourself from all the pain you’re feeling, you may turn to alcohol or pain medications for relief. You ignore the fact that the emotional pain might be present for a reason—that you should be listening to it.

That said, you have to understand that not all emotional reactions are caused by, or consistent with, what’s happening in the present. They can be triggered by a similarity to incidents in the past that the brain has spotted. So, if you come from a dysfunctional background and have a tendency to be reactive to things that are happening in your present, you probably don't want to act based upon your emotions. Instead, you want to stop and listen to them. Then, you want to consciously evaluate if what you’re feeling inclined to do is indeed a smart idea.

You want to take rational actions that are in your best interest—and in the best interest of others, too. That's what making good conscious choices should be about.And yes indeed, your goal should be to live your life consciously, not allow it to be ruled by that unconscious wounded child part of you instead.