Relationships: Step Six

I am my vision, how I see myself and others.

There are two kinds of suffering. There is the suffering you run away from, which follows you visioneverywhere. And there is the suffering you face directly, and so become free.~Ajahn Chah

As I recovered from the shock of being ousted from my marriage only three months after we had exchanged vows, I struggled over and over with what had gotten me into that situation in the first place.  I had to admit, I could not see myself in a healthy relationship.  The lens of my negative core belief could only see me stuck in unhealthy relationships.

Before I could move forward with the idea of pursuing healthy relationships, I had to figure out how to see things differently.  It was a struggle.  The belief system that had gotten me into that situation felt etched on my brain.  I literally did not know how to shift my thinking.  Then I had a wonderful revelation – one that feels very elementary now as I write about it, but for me it was key to moving into a space where I could get beyond this limiting core belief.

I had to remember who and when this core belief came into being.  I was four years old.  At four I had no idea I was creating laws that would dictate my life for the next fifty-plus years, but I was and they did.  After living under those mandates for that long, I felt locked in, programed and unable to shift in my thinking – until I realized I had made up the rules and I could learn to see things differently.  I could make up new rules – ones that made more sense and ones that would enable me to have a healthy relationship with myself – first and foremost, to set healthy boundaries with others, and to eventually have healthy intimate relationships.

I remember the day I came to this wonderful revelation in my therapist office.  My friend and I were having supper afterwards.  I arrived at the restaurant giddy with excitement to tell her about my newfound freedom.  Even when I first discovered this powerful insight, I knew it was simple, but I also knew it was hugely powerful.  Plus, I knew that I had thought and operated for so long in the old way that it would be extremely difficult to function differently.   It has been.  Old habits do not die easily, but knowing what I wanted and believing that it was possible helped me to begin seeing the potential for change.  Occasionally, I still lapse back into my limiting thinking, but as long as I am aware of my negative core beliefs and their tendency to sabotage myself, I can work to not slip into those old behaviors.

 We cannot gain a sense of power in our lives while identifying ourselves as a victim.         ~Madisyn Taylor

What negative core belief about myself and others is or will keep me from moving toward the change that I desire in how I relate to myself and others?  

 If you linger on the past, you can never move forward.  Holding grudges, believing that people never change or that you can’t change yourself, you will never progress in your life.  ~Raven-Symone’