“What we see in the outer is but a reflection of the inner, because we surround ourselves with a picture of our own beliefs. In other words, we manifest in general what we seriously think and believe. So if we want to find out what our habitual thinking is like, we have but to look around us and ask ourselves what we really see.”
~ Emmet Fox
Have anything in your life you’d rather not look at? Skeletons in your closet? Things you’ve stuffed down into the dark recesses of your heart and mind? If you don’t you’re a very unusual person.
Like a turtle carries her home on her back, we carry these hidden burdens with us as we move through life. They slow us down, cause us to sabotage ourselves and block our way to happiness and abundance in our lives, sometimes they even bring on physical symptoms and illnesses.
Often these thoughts, beliefs and memories are from our earliest childhood. We think they can’t do much harm since they’re so old and so well hidden, but mental health professionals agree that these negative and often emotional perceptions get activated in every day life and when they do we fall back into old dysfunctional patterns that create more pain and frustration in our lives. By cleaning them out we can change the quality of our life.
How do we begin clearing them out? Some questions to ask are:
- What is it that I believe that is standing in the way of my happiness?
- What is it that I don’t want to look at?
- What are the situations where I always seem to shoot myself in the foot?
- What do I need to accept before I can change?
- Where did these thoughts and beliefs come from?
- When is my first memory of them?
The first step is looking at the answers to questions like these. The second is to write the answers down. Many people skip this step yet studies have shown the therapeutic value of writing is more than we realize. The third step is to speak about them with a trusted friend or counselor who truly hears you.
Obviously not all beliefs and thoughts can be cleared with just these three steps. Just as we seldom clear the closets of our home on the first go round, so we realize that this too is just a beginning. Such practices are a start, giving us breathing room and allowing us move to the next step either repeating the process or moving on to deeper work with the tools of mentoring, therapy, or energy work.
As we clear more and more, life gets simpler, lighter, and more effortless. What fills me with wonder as I work with myself and my mentoring clients through this process is how wise we really are. We know the right answers, the right way to handle situations, the way that will bring us what we want, and yet when the energy of negative thoughts, beliefs and memories block the path we become confused and lost – not because we don’t know the answer but because we don’t believe we can have it. Usually the only person who stands in the way of our having what we want is ourselves.
Get a journal, schedule some time, start exploring for yourself today – you have the rest of your life before you – choose to enjoy it!