Freedom Through Self Awareness
by David Montini
The fear was so intense that he could feel his heart beating in his throat. He felt as if a miniature sun were going "super nova" in his stomach, and the tiny nerve ends in his forehead and down his spine were aflame with fright and excitement. Moments before he had been enjoying the company of his two older female cousins (16 and 18 years old). It had become a normal Sunday practice to play with them after escaping from visiting next door with the adults. They were engaged in their weekly naughty behavior of playing poker, sipping wine, and smoking his aunt's non-filtered cigarettes.
Now he found himself locked in his older cousin's bedroom and told to Shut-up and do what you're told, or they would tell everyone that he had tried to rape them. He agreed, not really knowing what rape was. His cousins forced him to assist them in undressing each other. They then roughly removed the rest of his clothes. Before the afternoon ended, he would be taught every sexual secret that these two women possessed, and he would prove himself a willing and eager student.
As this boy grew, he adopted the "belief" that women were sex objects and that their main function was to satisfy man's needs and desires. This belief was further reinforced by his already low feelings of self-esteem and the knowledge that he had finally found an area where he could excel with new found information and skills. He could finally begin to overcome his parents defeating prophecies and gain respect and acceptance from his peers.
To accomplish this, he became a sexual dynamo, engaging in many sexual relationships. His beliefs continued to be strengthened by the ease at which he was able to gain his conquests. After engaging in many one night stands, he decided it was time to settle down. At the ripe old age of sixteen, he attempted to find a happy, monogamous relationship. This only led him to a series of broken and unfulfilling promises and expectations.
What he discovered was that he was incapable of sustaining any type of permanent relationship. He would always sabotage by finding faults or craving other women, and he chose partners whose emotional abuses were far more vicious than any he could ever conceptualize. Eventually he discovered that he was engaging in the bulk of these behaviors unconsciously.
Sex & Beliefs
In time, this man began to seek understanding and insight into his destructive behaviors. He discovered that he was a victim of sexual abuse and that this trauma became the basis for his negative beliefs and continuing destructive relationship patterns. This man brought these same beliefs and patterns into all of his relationships, whether they were business, familial or romantic. He found himself growing angrier and more resentful with every passing day, and was becoming frustrated by his lack of insight and control.
This man permitted his beliefs to rule his life, as most of us do. Every time this man attempted to gain control and power over his life and behaviors, he would visualize the many, many incidents of failure in his life. All of these old memories interfered with his attempt to grow, and they were all tied to his initial sexual experiences with his cousins. This incident filled him with much guilt and shame, which he repressed. He also began to believe that his desires were wrong and that he did not deserve happiness. This cluster of irrational beliefs could explain why he had so much difficulty gaining insights and awareness.
Robert Dilts, in his book, Beliefs writes, "Beliefs tend to fulfill themselves. When we try to argue with a belief in the present, we are confronting all the data, gathered over time, that supports or proves our initial belief. When we go back to where it all started, often the issues are much simpler and clearer. They're certainly not cluttered by later confirmations."
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Therefore, when we apply this information to the original example of the man's situation, we find that, as a child, he may not have known how to react to his initial situation. He probably had no true set belief of his victimization, at that time. However, as the years went by, he began to feel that he "was soiled, and didn't deserve to find happiness.
This belief can cause an imprint of this experience. Beliefs form the center of all of our behaviors. When we believe in someone or something, we will then behave according to that set of beliefs. There are two key types of beliefs that we permit into our lives. The first is to believe that we can attain our desired outcome, that we believe it's possible to achieve a goal. The second type of belief is that we can attain our desired goal, but also have within ourselves the necessary tools or qualities to reach the goal. If for any reason we are hopeless, feeling we can't attain our goal, or helpless and believe that we do not possess the qualities to reach our goal, we become apathetic. When we buy into apathy, we are defeated before we even attempt to grow or change.
This apathetic attitude is where this man found himself when he stated that he was undeserving of "happiness." He was listening to past interferences, messages, that were holding him to the past. These messages were imprinted in his early memories of childhood.
Many beliefs are focused on our expectations, whether they center on gaining acceptance, wealth, love or happiness. Therefore, if we believe that we won't gain our desired outcome, we will refuse to do the work and produce what it takes to succeed.
Beliefs are not necessarily based on truth, logic or reality, but are at times in direct opposition to logic and reality. Yet, these inconsistencies cause us fear and anxiety that is harmful to us.
The type of negative belief this young man ascribed to centered around his own identity. He unconsciously feared that, if he changed his beliefs, he would be changing his total identity. Because these identity beliefs are unconscious, it can be difficult to discover their presence and true nature—once we uncover it. This is not always an easy process, but by employing the proper sequence of steps, change will occur.
Changing Behavior Patterns
After this young man became aware of his past limiting belief patterns, he was able to move past awareness to self-motivated change. To change or modify any limiting behavior, we must follow three steps. First we must discover "how" to create the desired change. Second, we must be in total agreement and harmony with every part of ourselves to want the desired change to occur. Lastly, we must possess the unwavering belief that we can create the desired change in cur life.
When the young man set these steps in motion with a qualified therapist, he was soon to gain direction and reawakened strength in overcoming his past limiting beliefs about himself and others. He eventually grew very compassionate and understanding of others' needs to gain awareness and sought to help them with their change. You see this is a true success story, for I lived through it. We truly can overcome past limiting beliefs if we only give ourselves the opportunity. If we can simply learn to be honest with ourselves and to tap into our "God-given" qualities to overcome limitations.
The next time you're confronted with a decision that is causing you to feel uncomfortable, try this. Sit in a chair; begin taking a few long slow deep breaths while you do start to focus on the options within this needed decision. Begin to visualize the outcomes of all the options being considered and then tap into the messages that the other parts of your body are sending to you. What is your stomach doing? In knots? Tight? Or what is your mental feeling about it? Do you feel safe? Are there any lingering doubts surrounding any of the options?
Learning to identify your limiting beliefs can be time consuming and somewhat painful, but the rewards for this gain are overwhelming.
You Are A Blessing
These techniques are very effective and total release may occur in only a moment, or it may require a longer commitment. Always remember that healing and growth are the essence of a lifetime. Once you transcend past patterns, your gains will astound you.
As you ascend to new heights of consciousness and return to your true natural state of unconditional love, guided wisdom and unlimited power, you find that your heart is open to, and receptive of, the beautiful love of universe. You gain a deeper inner state of peace, wholeness and contentment. Remember, growth is a transitional cycle of loss and recovery with a higher states of enlightenment as the ultimate goal. Strive to be the blessing you are and to realize your personal divinity.
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by Barry W. McCarthy.
About The Author
David Montini is a certified therapist, hypnotist, instructor and lecturer. He maintains a private, nonprofit, pastoral practice, based on the principles of inner harmony and has a regular weekly lecture/support group.