Who is running your “belief” system?

We have all heard the news….. it’s not just a niche concept anymore!  The news can be heard from the airwaves of television talk shows, late night radio, news and magazines, and the latest and hottest self-help books.  The news has gone mainstream and is becoming widely accepted to be a new way of relating to the world around us.  What is this “News”?

Our thoughts create based upon our belief system.  We are constantly creating and magnetically attracting experiences, opportunities and people who mirror our inner beliefs.  Yikes, some might say!  And there is a genuine reason why many may want to dismiss this news altogether…… it’s not good news to know that we have SO much responsibility over a reality that we aren’t satisfied with.

Solution?  Absolutely!

First,…. get in touch with what beliefs are surfacing and running much of your life.  Are they even your beliefs, values and thoughts?  Are they your mothers, or dominant great aunts?   Are they outdated versions of yourself?  Are you still reflecting on your post college ideals of your potential success 15 years into your career?  Check these out!  Question them and put them to the test to determine if they are even a part of your ever-developing sense of self.  If not, let them go and let them go BIGTIME!

Second,…. take a moment to do some real inventory of what latent fears lurk deep within you.  What concerns are lying just under the surface?  Are you secretly running a program in the backroom of your mind that your partner is too good to be true and just waiting patiently for a sign of betrayal or rejection?  Perhaps you carry concern that the next promotion shouldnt really be yours regardless of your seniority and effort because it would rock the boat with your friendliest of colleagues… let someone else shine and remain peacefully well-liked? 

Fears are often revitalizing and provoking those outdated and foreign beliefs that don’t serve you.  They are the beliefs that may never have been truly yours, simply adopted from an influential family member or respected mentor that is now keeping your growth on many levels at bay.  As a matter of fact, regardless of the work that you pursue to make conscious change these are the very thoughts that may sabotage you from real break throughs again and again!

Sit down and take a genuine and unabashed inventory…… what have you got running the show in there?  What is running amok?  How does it feel to get a glimpse of the fears lurking in the darkness of your inner consciousness?  Uncomfortable?  Off-putting?  Don’t ignore them…. make friendly with those fears!  Gently encourage them out of the darkness and into a more enlightened view and gently examine them from many angles.  What’s there now?  Have they lost some of their solidity?  Do they seem less reasonable or less likely? 

Look again.

And after the excavation and dissection….. SHAKE THINGS UP A BIT!!!  I mean, why not?   Have a ball…. throw a party and celebrate that you know what you have been fearing and it is no way as frightening as you had allowed yourself to feel!  Claim your renewed freedom and gently and lovingly retrain yourself to allow that fear to exist without feeding its silent, sucking momentum.  You know the truth and the truth is, it really will ALL be OK.

Whenever a new belief fed by a latent fear rises to your attention from your new openness,… welcome it compassionately.  Shake it’s hand in a warm greeting and be a good, yet temporary host.  Get to know it for a while and then see it clearly from all sides.  Watch it shrink in its stature through its revealing of itself, just like a formidable foe that has come into need of you and somehow becomes less threatening in its weakness.  Beliefs and fears are exactly the same.  They need YOU to be fed.  They require your focus on them to even be real.  Gently strip back their power through your familiarity with them. 

Celebrate the moment you are in right now….. and take time every day to see and feel how many aspects of your life are just RIGHT!

Advertisements

Misunderstood vs. Intention……

Is there any greater frustration than being misunderstood?  Is there something more agonizing that being pigeonholed in a clouded opinion of one who cannot see and hear you objectively?  For me this IS the greatest of pains and the most difficult to rise above!

Years ago I was asked by two family members what I considered to be the largest personal challenge to my ego.  I knew it immediately and the answer I gave them then is still the same answer I would give today…… being misunderstood!

My upbringing was entrenched in moral referencing, codes of ethics, religious underpinnings and lists of do’s and don’ts for which I made ridiculous efforts at being fastidious.  I was actively aware of what was expected of me and my 6 siblings and also what living this immaculate lifestyle was meant to somehow guarantee in future reaping.  There were covenants and promises built into this system of living, so by following this simple subscription I was bound to find eternal happiness.

We all grow into the adults that we were favored to become.  Most of that growth came by great trial and effort and often many pitfalls and failures.  The self-criticism born out of those failures is the first hurdle in the encounter we have with misunderstanding.  We ask, “Did I misunderstand the rules”?  “Could I have misunderstood the rule makers”?  “Could I have over-estimated my ability and misunderstood my own strengths and weaknesses”, and worst of all, “Is the judgment that I feel from those observing me my failure or their misunderstanding of my intentions and best efforts”?

I have severely failed to meet the expectations built up for me by those who reared and molded me in childhood.  It has been made perfectly clear to me that judgments around the results of my choices are concrete in the minds of my jury and regardless of my personal soul shaping and growth, the intentions behind my experiences are veiled in cloudy, half-formed and often absent perception from those attempting observation from the outside.

Isn’t that true on some level for every one of us?

The shaping of our sense of self may be riddled with these moments of self-inquiry, self-doubt and external misunderstanding.

“The teacher didn’t see the kid behind me flick me in the back of the head and is now punishing me for turning around in my seat”!

“The officer didn’t see the pothole in the road and pulled me over for swerving with a warning”!

“The surprise birthday I painstaking planned only annoyed my spouse rather than being appreciated for my efforts”!

“My inability to show up for my childs second parent/teacher conference this year due to work constraints has been misperceived by the teacher to be poor parental involvement and a disinterest in my childs academics”!

We all have our personal and painful lists throughout our lives and these disappointing moments are not likely to always remedy themselves with certainty.  Some of these deep misunderstandings linger and destabilize commitments, break down trust and destroy relationships.

While we cannot shape the opinions and perceptions of others what we can do is to hold a special kindness for ourselves in these moments and deeply acknowledge our genuine intentions.  Yes, our best intentions.

No one will ever maintain a spotless record of successful communication, execution and completion without ever failing to be perceived from the intentions of their heart.  Human nature and communication in all it’s complexities guarantee that.  Consider the many angles from which one can read and understand a casual text.

TEXT:  “Why aren’t you here”?   It could be a frightened cry,… it could be an antagonistic inquiry,… it could be a formal scolding,.. and it could be a casual question.

When we acknowledge with gentleness that our best intentions may miss the mark and be subject to misinformed judgments, we can hold ourselves harmless and exhibit kindness to ourselves for what we consciously meant to see manifest.  This awareness within ourselves simultaneously opens us to the compassionate posture of seeing others intentions more clearly.

In a recent wedding that my spouse and I were honored to be witnesses for, the bride and groom had chosen to write their own vows.  Included in the deeply personal vow exchange was the inclusion of the commitment to “Patiently forgive one another for personal failings in communication and execution of anticipated duties and to acknowledge their best intentions first.”  Beautiful!

So what standard to you hold yourself to as a spouse, parent, employee, devotee, neighbor, friend?  What do you hold others to?  Compassionate inquiry and acknowledgment of our own and others greatest of intentions frees us from harming ourselves and those we love and respect.  It honors who we are becoming and draws us closer to heart based relationships where forgiveness is found and relationships flourish.

Intend understanding.