“How to Get Out of the Traps We Set for Ourselves” was written and recorded by guest contributor, Samuel Kronen.
With greater consciousness comes greater responsibility, and where there is responsibility there must be the possibility of messing up, right?. With the responsibility of being human arises the possibility of setting traps for ourselves.
What I mean by this is that we ever so often find ourselves giving in to particular thought patterns that we did not choose nor serve us in any kind of way. We unconsciously subjugate ourselves to mental pathways that lead us astray. We succumb to pathology, and those pathologies will move us towards dropping the ball, so to speak.
We all have certain tendencies that we abide in, and I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that in and of itself. Though, some of those tendencies are more negative than others, obviously, and I feel as though this correlates to the degree of conscious attention attached to that particular tendency.
Basically what I’m saying is that the more aware we are of our tendencies then the less likely they are to become traps and really harm us in the long run. If a tendency we have is particularly damaging, then it is likely we have less conscious attention directed upon that tendency.
The more awareness we have nested in our actions and movements through the world then the less traps we set for ourselves, the less stuck we get, and ultimately the better we will feel.
For instance, a trap I’ve set is being too hard on myself when I fail. I have very high expectations for myself and, although to some degree this might be a facet of healthy self-esteem, it can also manifest in very unhealthy and destructive ways. When it became clear to me that I had this inward tendency, a clarity which arose through suffering, it became necessary to contend with this.
I began introspecting and inquiring into the nature of this trap, pondering deeply into how this feeling arises, what triggers it, and where it came from to begin with. Through my inquiry it became clear to me that this tendency had its origins in a deep sense being inadequate, not good enough.
Now, simply recognizing this verbally is not enough to transcend it entirely. This stuff goes back to our childhoods, so it will be a constant practice, a tireless effort to free ourselves of our conditioning. Will we ever be fully free of it? Likely not, but we can certainly be more free than we are now, or free enough to have our conditioning no longer negatively impact us.
Another more minor example would be that of checking social media incessantly. The other day I kept finding myself checking my posts and emails on my phone almost nonstop, regardless of what I was doing physically. At a certain point I really had to stop myself, put my phone away, and really think about why I was doing this so compulsively.
What I came to realize is that I had become partially addicted to the validation and affirmation of the content I was putting out, which likely arose from the same deep seeded emotional turmoil as the previous example. It was nowhere near as damaging of a tendency, but it was perhaps equally as pathological and it certainly required some attending to.
So, it seems to me that the answer to getting out of the traps we set for ourselves is self-observation. The first step is to recognize that we have a problem, and then we begin the process of self examination so as to truly understand what our problem is.
It’s important to know how screwed up we are. If we wish there to be any hope of self-actualization or true happiness, we must delve into the very depths of our being and acknowledge our most fundamental psychological motivations. We have to look at ourselves.
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There are many modalities that help us accomplish this and get us out of the traps we set, but my chosen modality is simply relaxing into my breath whilst observing the movements of my mind. I try to be more so a passive observer amidst my thoughts and bodily movements rather than entirely encapsulated in those things. I give credence to the awareness I am beneath all of that, and in that find myself much more capable of introspecting and reflecting upon my issues.
Again, being human is a tricky thing, and it is important for us to be kind to ourselves along the path of self improvement and discovery. There is no perfect state to be attained here, but we can always deepen and broaden our perception so as to be more actualized human beings, so as to attain a relative state of well being and inward harmony.
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About the Author: Samuel Kronen is a young writer, spiritual entrepreneur, and warrior of the soul whose life work is comprised of the pursuing of higher consciousness and the propagating of love and compassion on a collective level. You can also reach him directly via at sjkronen @ gmail (dot) com or follow him on YouTube here.