CHANGING OUR BELIEFS

There is no point in searching for happiness unless we believe we can be happy. We may find many things, but we only keep what we believe to be ours by rights.

We all have underlying beliefs which form the foundation of our lives. These beliefs determine the way that we respond to the world. We believe that we have a certain place in the world. We believe that we have certain entitlements or lack thereof. We believe that the world will respond to us in a certain way and that there are things that we can and cannot achieve. Some of these beliefs are conscious, some are not. Many of them only become apparent to us when they hurt us.

Tana, my oldest daughter, and I had been fighting about her lack of attention to school. She had no understanding of the consequences of her actions. I was up against a brick wall and could not break through. One day we went out to lunch with a friend, and when I left the table to go to the Ladies Room Tana and my friend were talking about her failing in school. When I returned to the table I overheard my friend asking Tana what would happen if she really failed, what would she do? Her response was, “My mommy will fix it…she always does”.

I felt as though someone had hit me over the head with a sledgehammer. I did this, were the first words that I heard in my head. I have ruined my daughter’s life. This belief of hers covertly affects each decision that is made. It’s not a thought, something that one weighs when life is happening; it has a quiet, unfelt weight. It is just there, but it is the determining factor. Sadly, I passed this one on to her.

When I was a child I was expected to be perfect. I was expected to bring home A’s from school, no fanfare, no reward, just expected. I began noticing that when my friends brought home A’s they were rewarded by their parents for their hard work, I simply heard, “So, what else would we expect of you.” So in fourth grade I decided to fail, you know, start from the bottom so maybe I would receive some appreciation for my hard work. How could I believe myself to be worthy of love? I was taught that it was conditional, and the conditions were always somewhere beyond my best efforts. So, in fourth grade I proudly walked into my house with a Big Red “D”. My mother immediately made an appointment with the Principal. She insisted that my fourth grade teacher was prejudiced and gave me the grade because of it. After all, I had never in my life brought home less than an A.

I don’t understand how she did it, considering the fact that I really earned that “D”, but she did. It was changed to an A. This created a foundation belief. If I wanted acknowledgement, I had better give it to myself. There was no prize out there for me. These moments that impress us deeply are difficult to change. It was my “D” and she took it away. Whenever I had a favorite toy, or doll, my father would take it away from me and give it to a poor child, because I could get another one. But I couldn’t get another on that was my favorite. When I was young I was a pack rat. I collected everything and kept my collections in my closet. My grandmother went into my closet one day and decided to clean out the “garbage”. She threw away all of my collections. I would hoard every penny of my allowance and every penny that I could find and save it all in a kitty bank. One day, I walked into my room and it sat broken in half and empty on my dresser. No one took responsibility for taking the money or for breaking the bank until almost six months later; when finally my mother admitted to it. I was being taught from the youngest age, that attachment caused suffering. This was a foundation belief. I sabotaged everything, I could not let myself fail, but I could not let myself succeed either. Whatever I had I lost. After each loss I committed to doing things differently the next time, but I couldn’t, my beliefs created the program that my subconscious ran. And I just worked the program.

The key to understanding our subconscious programming is that we can’t just affirm it away, we can’t just understand it away. A program is not designed by the conscious mind, and so it cannot be upgraded by it. Our programs are designed by our emotional mind through repeated emotional feedback. The more painful the experience that designed the program, the more safeguards, firewalls, and passwords are installed to prevent us from tampering with it. In order to change a belief based program, we must act consciously contrary to our instinct. We must do this enough to impress upon our subconscious mind that the new way is a more state of the art security system. Only through acting as if, and realizing the results of the new way, can we change a response or a behavior that has been set up as a defense mechanism. In other words, “Fake till you make it”. We cannot just reject a prior belief. Of course, we can, it just won’t make any difference in our lives, because we can’t change the program that will automatically act on that belief. If someone has a quality that you see attracts to them what you want, act like in those ways that you see working. Eventually, those actions will provide enough feedback to your subconscious to be accepted as the new way.

My soul, my heart – could not accept love that was earned, love that was conditional. But my subconscious believed that the only way to be loved was to earn it. So, if I believed that someone loved me for something that I did, or the way that I looked or carried myself – eventually I resent that person and acted in a way that would make them leave me. If someone came along who just seemed to love me for who I was, I distanced myself from that person like the plague because according to my program, my belief, if I didn’t earn love I would lose it. So I set up a lose, lose situation – and as crazy as it sounds, my subconscious did it for my own good.

There are the beliefs that we can list, and those we just live. The ones that we live have deep roots. My grandmother believed that you have no one but yourself to depend upon. She believed that if you don’t hold on tightly to everything it will disappear. Every decision that she made emanated from those beliefs. Everything that we face in our lives is filtered through the lens of our beliefs. If you know the beliefs of a person you can easily predict how they will hand any situation.

We can change our clothes, we can change our minds, but changing our beliefs is something altogether different. A belief has a deep root. We can’t just pull it out without replanting, without acting as if we hold a different belief.

When I was a child people would occasionally compliment the way I looked or some talent that I had like painting. When that happened I could feel the fury building up inside of my mother. I could feel her jealousy in my soul. I would pay. So my belief was that if I stand out, if I am publicly outstanding in any area, I will pay. So I crave the light and at the same time I shun it. This is so deeply rooted that I can’t change it despite my understanding of its cause. What I can do is act as if I did not believe that I would suffer. So, I decided to give a lecture to a woman’s group. I wasn’t punished, I did not suffer and it felt so wonderful to share that I began upgrading my old belief through this action and replacing it with the new belief that this is a good thing. It is not easy and takes a lot of work, Rome was not built in a day and cannot be rebuilt in a day, but it can be rebuilt.

The distance between a familiar set of beliefs and one that is new and unfamiliar feels infinite. Crossing that space between fully believing one thing and believing something else feels the same as stepping off of a cliff. Act as if you are not afraid when you are shaking with fear. Hold your head high as if you own the room, when you feel like you should be sweeping it. It is not easy, but the results are worth it. Look, you can’t visualize that you no longer smoke until the desire abates. You can’t visualize yourself hating potato chips until you do. You have to stop smoking – to become a non-smoker. You have to stop eating the potato chips, to stop craving them. You must replace a program with an opposite program to neutralize it and allow the new program to run instead.

When we are born we have a personality. This personality has been formed out of all of our past life experiences, good and bad it is filled with programs developed as a result of the past. Our natural talents come from lives of hard work and practice, our automatic fear are programmed to protect us from past life experiences. The programs are activated by certain stimuli, and reinforced in childhood. We enter each life to utilize the gifts and understanding that have been programmed and to reprogram the areas where we are stuck in spiritually self-destructive programming. When we change our beliefs we are entering a strange new country. In time though, that country become home. In order to make the transition it helps to realize that we can always go back to what we once believed. We have choice.

If our lives are not working the way that we want them to, there is something in our beliefs about our living, not in our lives, that is not working. When we try to change, we cannot maintain it because it is contrary to what we believe. We are not able to commit unless it is to something that we believe. We may change our direction, but if we are going left and still believe that we should be going right we will never see the value in having made the change.

One of the obstacles that we face in changing our beliefs is our need to be right. We need to realize that whatever it was that we once believed was completely appropriate for our lives at the time that we developed that belief. That belief gave us a sense of safety on ground that we walked at the time. Now however, things have changed and the facts that those beliefs were based upon are no longer applicable. Accordingly our beliefs must evolve.

It is not that what we have believed up until now was wrong, and therefore the way that we lived was wrong. It is that what we believed worked in the environment in which they were developed and now those beliefs must evolve to accommodate the here and now.

We can change our beliefs without damaging our sense of self by understanding that all beliefs have a reason for being. We don’t just believe something because we are stupid. We believe things because in order for us to have the experiences that we are meant to grow from the Universe has programmed our personalities to react to the stimuli of our family environment by forming these beliefs.

Using Astrological examples, if a Pisces steps on your foot he/she will apologize profusely for not seeing it. The preprogrammed belief being, if it goes wrong it is my fault. A Taurus who steps on your foot will tell you to watch where you put your foot. Thus believing that if you were not in the way you would not have been stepped on, your problem. If it were a Scorpio you might be accused of trying to trip them. They are obviously programmed with trust issues! Through our beliefs we make sense of the environment in which we must not only survive but thrive. Yet since we are here to evolve it only makes sense that our beliefs evolve in the same manner.

These are very difficult times that we are experiencing now. Nothing is as it was. It is as though everything looks as it did, the form is there but nothing has the same substance. This is a transitional period. We are forming a new reality and therefore the old one is losing its power. We are being forced to seek within ourselves and find the truth. It is what we cannot touch that has the greatest strength, consistency and dependability.

Whatever we can touch, will fade and pass away. Nothing will ever be the way it was. Nothing will ever work the way that it did. Yet if we allow ourselves to grow do the work to change our beliefs, our programming, we will find a strength and sense of self-empowerment that we never believed possible. Life is now miraculous; we are living in the possible all we need is to believe in the fact that nothing asked of us by the Source, the Universe is for anything but our good. Imagine the truth as a three-hundred-sixty degree circle, with every degree being a degree of the truth. We enter our incarnations at zero degrees of truth. That zero degree of truth is the foundation of our first beliefs, it is what our first program is built upon. It is TRUTH. Only, when we reach ten degrees, we see a greater truth and must reprogram our beliefs to accommodate the larger vision of truth that is now available for us to see if we are willing. At no point, were we wrong. The only way to be wrong is to have ten degrees of the truth visible and insist on seeing only the first one. We all see the truth, but it is only when we reach the three-hundred-and-sixtieth degree, that we know the whole truth. If we do not allow that there is always more truth to see, and that seeing it does not make the current truth less true, we will prevent ourselves from the greater experiences, the greater joys that lie in the greater truth.

Our beliefs need to be in alignment not only with our lives as they are but as we want them to be. We must believe in who we are, in who we are here to become, and in the process of that becoming. It is through the building of positive beliefs that we create a positive life. Our beliefs are where we begin when we build faith. And faith is the cornerstone of our successes. The doors to our future are opened by the faith built upon our beliefs. It is through our beliefs that we have the vision to see those doors and through our faith that we have the power to open them.

It is our beliefs that empower our obstacles. I have a friend who was afraid to go back to school even though she knew that she had an opportunity and that it would help her achieve her goals. Yet she was afraid because she believed that she was learning disabled. After speaking about it for a while she acknowledged to me that when she was a child there was such disruption in her home that it was very difficult for her to focus on schoolwork. There were so many emotional disturbances during her childhood that school took a back seat and so she did not do well. Today she is not in her parent’s home anymore. She is not a helpless child anymore, but still the belief that she is somehow unable to learn is still standing in the way of her progress. This is a belief that is built upon a prior view of the truth, but not connected with the current visible truth.
Our beliefs build the mountains that are in our way or they bring us the faith to move those mountains.

“… verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23)

The Barren Stream that Leads to God

We speak about thinking outside of the box, but what we don’t think about is that there is no amount of “Outside of the box” that is outside of God.  When we have an idea – it is God’s idea.  When we think of a new form of worship – it is God’s thought.  Regardless of what we do or what we think of – ultimately, it comes from God.  Even war was not a product of man but of God.  There are many paths to becoming one with God.  Most of these paths have nothing to do with religion, they have to do with gaining understanding, and faith.  One path is fear – through fear we learn that there is nothing to fear in God.  Through the path of loss we learn that there is nothing that can be lost because all is One in God.  Through hatred – we learn that there is nothing and no one to hate because we are all One in God.  Through war and killing we learn the value of life and living.  Through prejudice we learn acceptance.  Through betrayal we learn forgiveness.  All of these paths are paths and lessons created by God with the only intention that we find our way to the truth of what we are and what we have always been.

Once there were two villages that had established a very prosperous trade between themselves each growing the crops that the other needed.  They were wealthy villages because they had the benefit of an abundant stream of water.  Yet, with time both villages began to get greedy, charging higher and higher prices for their goods each trying to outdo the other.  After time passed and this greed escalated, crime ensued.  Each village began hating the other and refusing to sell to them.  This hurt both villages because they needed what the other had, but their pride had grown too great.

They did not notice that while they were entrenched in the battle over their egos, the stream was drying up.  Soon the crops that could be grown could barely feed the people, let alone the livestock and it seemed that all were destined to die out. After generations of only the water that could be caught from the little rain that fell was now taken by a total drought.  One night as the leader of each village slept, there appeared to each, an angel.  The angel told each of the leaders that there was a miraculous healing stream only seven miles from their villages.  Each was told to journey to the stream early because the stream only filled with water at a certain time.

Each man protested to the angel saying that there had been no water in that stream for generations it was now mo more than a barren waterbed.  The angel told the men that God had heard the prayers of the villagers and answered them by filling the waterbed with a healing stream that would not only heal the people, but would provide such nutrition to the fields that their crops and livestock would grow beyond anything ever seen before.

Early the next morning, unbeknownst to the other, each man began his journey to the stream.  As the stream came into sight, each man watched in awe as the water quickly filled the once barren bed to the brim.  Yet, the water was murky and did not look fit for crops, and in no way did it seem fit to drink.  Even worse than that, when they finally reached the stream, they were astounded to see the water already draining back into the ground through the same opening that it had entered.  Seeing the other, each man ran back to his village to gather the villagers so that they would arrive before the other and be ready to fetch all what they needed before the other village could take all of the water.

However, the peasants from both villages arrived at the same time and as the water began to fill the stream, a fight broke out over the water with the inhabitants of each village pushing, shoving and hitting the other.  By the time they noticed the water again, the last drops were already draining from the streambed.  Filled with anger and frustration, the villagers returned home with their buckets and their hopes empty.

That night, the angel returned to the dreams of the village leaders.  This time the angel told them that instead of pushing and shoving each other they should throw stones.  The angel told them that God had placed stones on their side of the stream.  The next morning as the villagers once again reached the stream as it was filling up, they looked down, each saw the stones at their feet and began to hurl them at the other villagers.  To their surprise, the stones never hit anyone but all seemed to land in the stream.

When there were no more stones to throw, the exhausted villagers noticed that the water had become so clear that they could see every stone lying on the bottom of the stream.  Even more miraculous than this, was the fact that water no longer emptied.  Just then a little boy from one of the villages cried out, “Mommy, mommy, the stones…they look like hearts”.  And just at that moment all of the villagers felt their anger, and their hatred drain from their souls.  They each drew from the stream all of the water that they needed and resumed their trading and sharing of resources with a new sense of gratitude.

Natural Bible

The fruit and the sap of a tree nourish our bodies, the leaves of the tree purify the atmosphere and the wood of the tree provides shelter for our bodies. Understanding these things is the beginning of the journey. This nourishment and shelter providing object is sufficient in itself to the common man, interested only in what is it and what does it do for him. Having found nourishment and shelter for his body, and cleansing for his atmosphere, his journey is complete.

The Scientist goes one step beyond the ‘what’ to the, ‘how’. The man of science must seek the answer to how this is accomplished, how the tree provides the fruit, the leaves, the bark, and the wood. Because in knowing this it can insure that earth will be sustained. So, the scientist digs down into the earth and finds roots then following the root system it discovers that the tree is nourished through the soil where it derives its nutrients and water supply. Now science is done, it has accomplished its task and explained how. The material world can be sustained.

Yet there is more to the tree and to the world than what is physical. To truly understand the tree we must venture to the next level. Here the seeker searches beyond what is physical to what is metaphysical, and beyond how it works, to, ‘what is its source?’ The seeker must search for the seed, the unseen, because the seed cannot be seen, only the roots, the tree, the leaves and the fruit can. The seed is no longer visible as a seed. It is now only visible as a tree; for it has transformed itself into a tree so it could grow to become that which could feed the fire that warms, and produce the fruit that nourishes, the leaves that cleanse, and the wood that shelters. Finally it will return to the soil as thousands of other seeds which will begin their journeys nourished by all of the experiences that it has completed. In this knowledge the Seeker is satisfied, knowing the Source.

The Mystic seeks the answer to why the seed, already containing the tree within itself, desires to journey at all. In his journey he finds that the Source is all that it creates, and multiplies itself through its creations. Like a candle whose light is not diminished regardless of how many other candles it lights, the seed that was one, has become thousands and always remained one. It experiences itself as it multiplies, it nourishes itself with its experiences and it returns to itself with increasing brilliance. In this knowledge, the circle of benefit is complete and the Mystic is satisfied.

God’s Bible, is as simple as a tree.