The reason I love dancing is because there isn't a right or wrong way to do it ((delusions only effects those around us)). Dancing is just me interacting and responding to the music and energy around me/in me. I believe the parts of our brain interact in the same manner.
This post is intended to demonstrate my understanding of how four of our psychological structures interact. If only this understanding can do something for my two left feet.
When you visit the doctors office s/he is likely to check your vital signs: heart rate, blood panel and temperature. Similarly, a psychotherapist will interface with your 'psychological vital signs:' behaviors, relationships, thoughts and emotions. If you're blood pressure is high the Doctor will prescribe something to lower your blood pressure; psychotherapy is different in that if your emotions are dis-regulated it often has to do with a disturbance in other areas of life. For instance, we may experience dis-regulated emotions based on the level of security we feel in relationships (present & past) or disturbances in thought patterns attempting to block emotions. In other words, what we're able to detect is typically a symptom of an undetectable disturbance among relationships, emotions, thoughts or behaviors. Furthermore, when we examine the interactive experiences of our psychological vital signs we'll begin to discover meaning and reveal subconscious content that may liberate us from latent modes of operating that aren't relevant to our present.
Below are psychological interactions in the model of vin-diagrams to demonstrate interactions.
My understanding of the interaction between Behavior and Relationship is when we see ourselves or the other moving with, towards, against or away (an adaptation of K.Horney,1950). You'll notice signs of towards behavior in physical affection, working together through conflict, or being supportive while respecting the others position and the self. Moving with someone is typically a sign of enmeshment, and although we generally want to share all our experiences with our partner, retaining our sense of self is vital, otherwise leaving the other feeling responsible for you. Being infused with another will remedy feelings of insecurity, burden of freedom and fears of being 'unwantable.' Moving against in a relationship is generally observed in power/ control, exploitation or righteous indignation-a destructive force to inflate the self by way of demoralizing another to defend experiencing powerlessness or vulnerabilities. Moving away is a behavior often seen as leaving,resisting or avoiding a giving relationship. Moving away allows us to control distance from something that can hurt us or potentially control us as it offers us something we need as if we'll be enslaved by our vulnerable needs, Being able to leave another offers us the illusion of strength as we aren't reliant on others and build high levels of tolerance towards deprivation.
The interaction among Thoughts and Emotions is a convoluted but brilliant effect. I believe creativity, reflection and neurosis is generated from the integration of thoughts and emotions. Creativity is possibly the highest form of human capacity, because it mandates high levels of critical thinking (subjective empirical data & imagination) and defenseless levels of emotional content (pain & hope). Examples of creativity are entertainment, art, inventions and music; inventive expressions to portray or resolve pain and hope. Conversely, feelings of pain and hope combined with thoughts about our environment can trigger neurosis as they deploy critical thoughts to prevent loss or control another. An example of neurosis is when we feel threatened and begin thinking of ways to avoid the threat or guarantee an outcome- in the absence of an actual threat. In this case, hope can be a threat because it's indicating something favorable may happen, which will alert latent experiences once filled with hope that may have led to failure or feelings of disappointment, where in which the self will then abort.
The process of reflection enables us to think about our thoughts and feelings. Through thinking about our thoughts and feelings we can clarify the basis of our conflicts/neurosis and identify meaning of our experiences, which we can draw upon to then create and develop personal ways of being ourselves.
Emotions interacting with Behaviors
Whenever I get home the first thing I do is open the fridge. I consider this to be a compulsion: a behavior intended to appease an emotion.* However, when I walk by pecan pie and don't indulge I'm exercising will power a behavior demonstrating deliberate restraint in service of preventing an insincere action.* It's not that I want to eat the pecan pie, rather I don't want a pecan pie to exist without me because the way it always makes me feel (walking away from it is walking away from pleasure or a temporary way to suspend my problems)-perverse ideology. Every time I open the fridge I'm ensuring myself that I have something to eat (whether or not I'm hungry) this is derived from a fear of being without, but more importantly this insures that I won't have to rely on others to feed me- masturbation.
Through exercising will-power over compulsion one may come into contact with undeniable longings. Recognizing our sincere feelings is often times too sobering and deconstructs our omnipotent pillars.
*These examples are not intended to be offensive, but are trivial and insensitive portrayals of actual psychological experiences. However, more personal or vivid examples may be compromising.
In my line of work the interaction of relationships and emotions are like energy and matter to a physicist. In other words, emotions and relationships reveal ourselves much like energy and matter inform us of the physical world we live in. So much so, I believe the interaction of relationships and emotions organize the development of love and hate within us. These two states of being cannot exists outside the nest of a relationship. Most importantly, I believe many aspects of our life is designed in a way to avoid or infuse with love and/ hate; feelings like pain, joy, inspiration and envy are derivatives of love and hate as these emotional indicators signal our way towards or apart from love and hate.
Thoughts and relationships
Saturday mornings my mom would wake me up so that I can watch Soul Train, because she knew I wanted to learn how to dance. As I learned to dance I went to school dances thinking I can show off; however, although I knew how to dance it was clear I couldn't dance with a partner. Because unlike Dancing With the Stars, Soul Train showcased mainly individuals dancing.
My experiences with dancing are riddled with misconceptions.
Similarly, our thoughts in relationships are often based on preconceptions that don't fully consider our partner. Common preconceptions about a relationship are rooted in paranoia or idealization. Paranoid thoughts are usually based in previous experiences of relationships and function to protect us from getting hurt by another/caregiver. Idealized thoughts are developed by the desire that another will take our pain away and/ they exist to seduce our pleasure sensories- derived from an infantile deprivation or fantasy.
Paranoia and idealizations effect our relationships as it distorts interactions with another. Either disposition becomes exemplified during conflict with our partner/caregiver. For instance, during a conflict a paranoid organization will project malicious intentions onto the partner (accusing them of crimes they didn't commit) causing undue turbulence in the relationship, or the idealized organization will be guilt ridden and confused as the self won't permit self expression in order to preserve the state of the union with the idealized other.
It's difficult to generalize elements of healthy relationship as human preferences are vast, in fact, I would be suspicious of anyone that claims such; however, I believe there are optimal levels of paranoia and idealization that act as backup singers to the lead singer of acceptance. Accepting our partner for who they are, how they feel, what they want, and their areas of development are dependable materials to build a strong relationship, versus who we need them to be only to validate a paranoid/idealized pathology.
The illustration above is the full model of the contents described above. Again, thoughts, emotions, behaviors and relationship are the windows to our psychology. I refer to them as the psycho-sensory interfaces.
The vin-diagrams are windows into our psyche and as we describe our experience we become more mindful of the essence of our behaviors, relationships, thoughts and emotions. Think about wine tasting and describing flavors or experiences- here, we're being mindful of our experience. If we become interested about how these flavors and experiences came to be we may cultivate insight about the winery, grape or grower. Insight, is a powerful tool that provides us a deeper meaning to our experiences and thus increases the value of our senses. As we practice insight we come into contact with our subconscious, which reveals an undetectable yet ever present influence in our life. Understanding our subconscious influence better explains the neurosis of who we are versus who we are expected to be, as well as what we have versus what we want.
The development of this practice ideally leads us to become much more accepting of others especially those closest to us, but furthermore, we develop the capacity to experience pain without suffering from trying to avoid pain as well being able to appreciate pleasures without having obsessive control over pleasure.
"When you come up with a good idea, you don't have to do a whole lot. The idea does it for you.
- In Honor of the late great Don Cornelius