I Am My Vision, How I See Myself and Others.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it. ~Rumi, thirteen-century Sufi poet
Habits I’ve spent a lifetime reinforcing with repeated behavior do not change easily. Right before I released Too Much Gold to Flush, I became ensnared in the old mind talk about whether or not the book would be successful, would the world help me to help women in shelters, or would I die with five thousand copies in my garage? I osculated between my crippling belief from the past – I’m not worthy unless others believe I am – and my terrifying fear that the future would bear this out with clear and tangible evidence. I had one foot in the Battlefield of the Past and one foot in the Fear Forest of the Future. I had lost sight of The Way.
We learned early in our childhood to march forward, never questioning the feelings of shame and blame that plague us – and seemingly always had and always would. For many of us the idea of questioning the sanctity of the people who gave us life feels terribly uncomfortable. I remember sitting on a therapist’s couch and wondering how I could change an idea that felt etched on my brain. Then with a wash of clarity, I realized that I was the one who had drawn the dysfunctional conclusion in the first place, and I was the only one who could change it.
What if those nagging feelings of unworthiness and undeserving that have plagued me all my life are totally ungrounded? Most people tend to believe that the rest of the world magically has their act together, and we are the only ones who don’t. We all carry some sense of shame – that belief that there is something wrong with me, and I need to hide it. Blame is a close companion to shame. When I blame others, I know on some level that there is something wrong with me, but I don’t want anyone, including me, to know that, so I direct responsibility for my unhappiness and problems to other people or the circumstances of my life.
These ideas about shame and blame are born out of how we interpret our childhood. What if we could let them go? Does that idea feel better than blaming our parents, the two people most commonly associate with a dysfunctional childhood? I hear some of you reserving the right to allocate at least partial responsibility to others for how your life turned out, which is, of course, your right. Ultimately we have full responsibility for how we interpret the events of our childhood. And within that explanation, you will find either freedom or imprisonment. It’s all in how you chose to see it. I’m not saying that what happened was in any way fair or that you orchestrated the events. At some point, probably early in your life, you were forced to create your own take on what was happening and how you were going to move forward throughout life. For some of us, our strategies felt like survival skills. Even if nothing traumatic happened in your childhood, you likely formed your own version of not being good enough.
You created your own version of what you do or don’t deserve. What if you were wrong about not deserving to be happy? Your need to cling to the past and your fear of looking at the future differently may make you want to argue with me, but why turn away from the freedom that I am offering. You are only tied to a belief that keeps you stuck in a prison of limiting thinking as long as you choose to stay there.
Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
How will my negative core belief undermine my desire to change this way of thinking and how it impacts my life?