Oh, the lies I sometimes tell myself! I’ve come to see that my Core & Guiding Beliefs hold both light and shadow. The light aspect provides freedom, strength and groundedness. The shadow aspect typically provides very little beyond false hope and ultimate disappointment.
Looking at the roots of what I believe is part of the art of wakeful living. Unless I do the deep work of challenging my core beliefs, how will I ever know if I am standing in a truth or a lie? Just because I believe something, that does not make it true. Also, just because I so want something to be true, that will not make it true. That’s the meaning I take away from Dr. Brad Brown's quote above.
I’ll share some of my core beliefs, both the truth and the lie. My absolute top-of-the-heap core belief lie is: I am the rightful judge of what should touch my life. I like to place value labels on life events–what I judge to be good or bad–because it makes me feel justified in resisting what I don’t like. The opposite side of that belief is that value labels for life events are limiting descriptors and can prevent me from embracing everything.
The second core belief relates to those spaces in time when I am unsure of what I know. I have most often lived believing that the space between my knowns, or places of certainty, is scary and must be navigated as quickly as possible. What I have discovered recently is that it is the space between knowns where growth and abundance reside.
So, on to number three. This is where my victim mode kicks in, and I just do not understand life and believe it only wants to confuse me. I don’t understand what is going on. The Truth side of this belief is that Life wants me to “hear” more than I want to listen. Does this sound familiar to you? If I cannot hear, then I am not responsible.
This confused perspective of “I just don’t understand” coincides comfortably with my fourth core belief that it would be so much better for me if Life would just leave me alone.
The singular problem with “leave me alone” is that I have already given life so many permissions to enable me to grow and deepen in maturity. I do believe Life takes seriously any invitation or openness from me to listen, and Life will pursue it, to the maximum, when given such opportunities. I asked for it–even if it might have somewhat in ignorance of what might come my way–and Life took me up on the invitation.
My fifth core belief comes down to a very simple perspective: “Life wants to thwart me; it is out to sabotage whatever I aim to go toward.” But, as I actually look at my life journey, I see that more than anything, Life has wanted to partner with me. It has been my resistance that has caused me to feel I am a victim. Life has wanted a collaboration which I have resisted for total control. I have opted for power over partnership. This is that mirage thing. There is no way to grab it.
I only have two more beliefs to share with you in this space. The next one is one I have held so very close to myself. My life has reinforced this belief: It is important to avoid pain at all costs.
Yet again, I find the light side: Life’s commitment is in making me whole, rather than making me happy. I never thought I would say it, but pain can be a sign of health and is an important monitor for living!
The lie associated with my final belief is that sometimes I need to take a break from all this self-work. I deserve to indulge myself once in a while. Relax and revert, I used to say. But it's important to remember that any behavior I am unable to control, controls me.
I think it is pretty easy to see how closely my false beliefs have paralleled with the Truth and how easy this has made it for me to hold onto them. It is what made them feel right, even though they were lies. If lies are seen as lies, it is actually harder to hold them as Truth. We must always expect them to have a seed of truth-like notion in them. As we stay wakeful we will find more false beliefs in life–there are always more–call them for what they are, for they are lies. There is a power in naming, in this way, that will reduce their ability to hold you in thrall.
Finally, going forward, I am committed to living life from my True Core Beliefs, realizing there is a shadow side to each Belief. I will stay open to knowing my feelings and awake to living my life with consciousness of purpose and without relaxing and reverting. I will choose to be in partnership with Life, identifying my lifeshocks and embracing, without judgment, what I receive from Life.