“We not only have our own baggage, we tend to see others, and other situations through it, projecting our own unreality on the presumed reality of other people and things. When we become aware of what is false in our selves, it impacts the reality of those we relate to. Seeing the truth of others requires being freed from our own self-imposed lies. Most often we equate what appears to be with the truth. We can imprison others in our ideas about them or we can free them, by truly seeing the truth of who they are.
A major hurdle to growth and development is taking responsibility for our lives and relationships. It is painful to recognize that how we may be thinking and feeling may be driving self defeating and hurtful behaviors that impair our ability to have healthy relationships and generative lives. We avoid this (often necessary) pain that fosters growth by making assumptions that: it is something that the other person or something outside of me that that makes me feel the way I do. Or, I will be hurt again because I have been hurt in the past. We may have adopted beliefs that we are unlovable, not good enough, smart enough, capable, deserving enough, pretty enough, handsome enough, can’t trust etc. from our early experiences either by not getting our needs met for love, empathy, bonding and a sense of safety. Abuse, neglect or trauma often leaves us feeling anxious or fearful, angry, ashamed, detached from others, sometimes all at the same time. At a young age and since we didn’t know better, hurtful messages from our parents, sibling, teachers and friends are accepted as fact. These limiting beliefs or lies we bought into fuel negative feelings, and drive behaviors or actions that reinforce these assumptions that we have made about how we are. The attitudes and cluster of beliefs become a part of our operating system and ironically drive the very behaviors that create conditions to reinforce, mirror and perpetuate the very things we consciously are trying to resist.
In other words:
If our self concept is not in alignment with what we want to achieve in life we will unwittingly sabotage ourselves, thus further reinforcing our self limiting beliefs. Since it is painful to realize we may be playing a leading role in the drama around us; we then blame others for our circumstances especially the more insecure we are. The “crazy’ person is absolutely convinced that he or she is not crazy. Everyone around them is and can’t be trusted. “They” (others) are the reason for my anger, rage, pain, anxiety etc.. So, if you think you are crazy you aren’t. And it isn’t going to hurt you if you think you are. This simply will allow you to start hunting for ways to be sane. Which by the way is a main purpose of this blog.
Our beliefs, attitudes, emotions and expectations become a template we operate from, a screen that filters incoming “reality” to form our experience of the world around us. It not so much that seeing is believing. Rather believing is seeing! “The mind sees what the heart feels.” (Tony Robbins) Thus, whether we know it or not we steer the ship of our experiences based on the prevailing belief of who we are and what is real. Things don’t happen to us they happen through us. (Fielding Institute.)
This is embodied in a poem by a 10 year old girl who wrote a poem called My Little Robot.
My Little Robot:
I have this little Robot that is deep inside of me,
I tell it what I am thinking,
I tell it what I see.
I tell this little Robot all my hopes and fears,
It listens and remembers all my joys and tears.
At first this little robot was under my command.
But, after years of training,
it’s gotten out of hand.
It doesn’t matter what is wrong or right,
or what is false or true.
Now, no matter what I say,
It tells me what to do.
(From Dennis Waitley ‘Psychology of Winning)
Awareness is the foundation for growth, healing and taking responsibility for our lives. With awareness we have choices. the cost of staying unaware is being on automatic pilot. The names, the places, the people may change but with similar outcomes. As we become more aware, we have more choices and can liven more intentionally and creatively.