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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sometimes Pride Prevents a Fall!

Such a Counter Culture Twist on the Tried and True Biblical advice....

Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 16:18

And to some extent, I agree with this statement.

I am often described as Cocky, Arrogant and Intimidating.

Sometimes I think this is the World confusing someone who knows Something expressing Something because most of those that Know don't Say and most of those that Say don't Know.


Anyway, back to Pride.

Such a negatively connotative characteristic but let me suggest a different angle of approach, application and perspective.

First of all, I think that Pride, like any other characteristic or trait, can be Good or Bad based on how it is treated by any particular individual and their interaction with the World.

Second, my experience with Pride is that it develops and changes over Time.  The Pride I had when I was 24 is significantly different from the Pride I have at 54.  Obviously, there's a 30 year gap between those 2 Prides but more importantly, there's 30 years of experience and life and getting to know and understand myself and what I am good at and what I'm not good at.  So Pride can be changed, honed and developed by Self-Awareness.

Third, Pride can be developed as a Personal Tool or Indicator for guiding future actions much like that "gut feeling" you get when you encounter an experience that, subconsciously and should I say "enterically", you have encountered before.

I say "enterically" because that "gut feeling" is not a gut feeling at all but a real and effective defense mechanism driven by the Enteric System aka "the gut brain".....

And from this link.....

The following -

As light is shed on the circuitry between the two brains, researchers are beginning to understand why people act and feel the way they do. When the central brain encounters a frightening situation, it releases stress hormones that prepare the body to fight or flee. The stomach contains many sensory nerves that are stimulated by this chemical surge - hence the "butterflies." On the battlefield, the higher brain tells the gut brain to shut down. A frightened running animal does not stop to defecate, according to Dr. Gershon.

Fear also causes the vagus nerve to "turn up the volume" on serotonin circuits in the gut. Thus over stimulated, the gut goes into higher gear and diarrhea results. Similarly, people sometimes "choke" with emotion. When nerves in the esophagus are highly stimulated, people have trouble swallowing.

Even the so-called "Maalox moment" of advertising can be explained by the interaction of the two brains, according to Dr. Jackie D. Wood, chairman of the department of physiology at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Stress signals from the head's brain can alter nerve function between the stomach and esophagus, resulting in heartburn.

In cases of extreme stress, Dr. Wood say that the higher brain seems to protect the gut by sending signals to immunological mast cells in the plexus. The mast cells secrete histamine, prostaglandin and other agents that help produce inflammation. This is protective. By inflaming the gut, the brain is priming the gut for surveillance. If the barrier breaks then the gut is ready to do repairs. Unfortunately, the chemicals that get released also cause diarrhea and cramping.

I've talked about the Enteric System in other blog posts before and consider an understanding of it and what it does significant and instrumental in providing data for personal actions and decision making.

After all, to ignore your "gut" is to ignore your history.

In a nutshell, your "gut brain" warns you when things are about to go awry based on your brain's perception of the similarity between a current experience vs a past experience.

Am I tying the feeling of "Pride" to the Enteric System?

Well - if you consider Pride an Emotion, which I do, and if you "feel" that Emotions can be predicted or appropriately responded to based on a "gut feeling", then I guess the answer is Yes.

So how do we bring this assorted information and my Premise for Pride into focus for application in our lives?

Let's assume that you have met the Criteria for Understanding and Dealing with Pride listed above, i.e. 
  1. You have some experience under your belt and can be somewhat mature in dealing with your own Pride.
  2. You are relatively Self-Aware.
  3. You want to use your own Pride as a Tool for Good and not some Self-Defined "Line in the Sand" that absolutely freezes you in a Static Position on an issue or personal encounter.

If all those are True and your Pride has been aroused, violated or insulted by a circumstance or person, then it's conceivable and actually probable that the situation or person encountered may be detrimental or destructive to your well being.

When something or someone activates a "Pride" response, it's like an Early Warning System that if you continue down this Path, you will have to compromise your Core Beliefs or Characteristics in some way.

It doesn't mean that you can't do it.... It just means that something about how you currently are will have to change for you to become more comfortable with the situation that triggered the Pride response.

At a minimum, it is a Red Flag to Stop - Drop - Roll because you might be on Fire or in danger of going up in Flames or down in Flames, whatever the case may be.

In a more moderate expression, it is Time to Take Time and do some self-reflection on the situation and decide what to do going forward.

Pride, like any other Emotion we have, is part of Who We Are.

If allowed to Overdevelop and become Overblown, it can be Destructive.

But, if used as a Balanced Tool from Our Personal Toolbox of Emotions and Traits, it can become....

A Source of Pride or at least Something to Be Proud Of!

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