Shifting Reality Tunnels

Reality tunnels are shifting !

Humans come into this world pretty much as a blank sheet and epigenetics tells us that if you have a trait in your genes; it is your environment that activates it.

From your first breath, your mind is trying to make sense of your world and you are really dependent on those around you to help you do that. So, when you are very young you completely accept Mum and Dad’s views on the world and the whys and wherefores.

You create a reality tunnel around you that you then operate in. This will be made one brick at a time and those bricks will hold your beliefs, hopes, fears, about yourself and your world.

The colour of your tunnel will depend on those early bricks, so things like being loved and praised will create a brighter tunnel than a child who is berated or abused might build around themselves.

The thing about these tunnels is they create a safe place for us. By safe, I mean a place we know - “better the devil you know”. So even if the tunnel is not what most of us would consider a great environment – it’s your environment, you know it and so it’s safe. The survival brain likes to stick with what it knows, as familiarity is safer.

And so, we stay in our tunnels and don’t question the foundational bricks, the beliefs or views we have about ourselves, others and life. In fact, we do something amazingly clever, we go out of our way to reinforce those beliefs by only noticing things that do confirm those bricks to be solid and we actually dismiss anything to the contrary. Why? Because to consider an alternative would make the cement between the bricks in your tunnel crumble – the security and shelter the tunnel provides could fall!

So, what can we do?

By questioning one brick at a time, by breaking down generalisations and gently noticing that, actually, that may have been true – or at some point, they may have chosen for it to be true … but is that necessarily the case now?

By gently changing a person's view or perception of a brick you can change the brick or better still remove it and let some light in the tunnel and in so doing widen their view of themselves and the world.

Ali Knowles