Someone made a comment yesterday about positive and negative thinking. Positive thinking can change your life, negative thinking will suck you down, it’s all in your mind, etc.
It’s a nice simple theory that seems logical. And it even seems to work – at first. Take The Secret. Which I loathe, by the bye; I think it was mass manipulation of people’s vulnerability and fear. I met so many people who saw the movie and got high as a kite on it, vowing that it had changed their life. A week later, a month later, a year later, they were back to square one. Disillusioned – but not about the movie. About themselves. What’s wrong with me that it didn’t work for me? Bad news.
We’ve truly made a God of the thinking part of our brain, but I don’t buy it. I buy that positive thinking doesn’t make things happen and negative thinking doesn’t stop them from happening, because I don’t believe thinking is where the powerhouse of our lives resides.
It seems to me that belief is where it all happens, and our thinking brain is just a small part of it. Haven’t you ever wondered why a person can know something intellectually but not be able to do it? – e.g. they’re in an unrewarding relationship and know they shouldn’t be but they can’t get out. Thinking isn’t what’s keeping them there, and it definitely isn’t going to get them out. Belief is. It’s what got them in, in the first place.
Our lives are happening from the minute we’re conceived, long before we’re capable of thought, so the thinking brain can’t be the powerhouse.
I didn’t understand the difference between belief and thought for ages but now I get it. Belief is created by my experiences when I’m very small; the degree to which my organic needs are met unconditionally. If they are, and I’m loved, nurtured, promoted, well fed, well protected etc. I grow up believing the world is a safe place; I’m loveable and deserving of a life where I can flourish by being me. My body is pretty relaxed, my brain works great, my creativity is active, my chemicals are in balance. I don’t think about it – thinking doesn’t even come into it. It just is. My belief is entrenched.
But if I didn’t get the unconditional love that I needed, to varying degrees I grow up believing there’s something wrong with me and people will not automatically love or accept me unless I alter myself or give myself away to please them. Or else, if I’m badly abused, I’ll grow up believing I’m totally worthless.
Whichever it is, I end up in situations and relationships that reflect the truth of my belief. The bad news is that I’ll put up with it for a long time, because it’s what I’ve always done. The good news is that I can’t do it forever, something always has to give. I believe it’s called a crisis.
That’s when I have to go back to basics, and get that nurturing experience I didn’t have as a child. That impacts on my belief system. When I experience unconditional love I start to believe I deserve it. My life starts to reflect that. Problem is, of course, that it’s a slow thing. It took time and a lot of experiences to forge my original belief system, and it takes time to forge another.
The process of that change can be terrifying, because you have to give up what you’re used to. For a while you trudge through a desert, the most lonely place in the world. The desert of the truth of your own ravaged self-esteem. But that desert is the place where you get to see and re-experience all the gaps in your early nurturing experience. Once you see them and feel how painful they truly were and still are, it’s actually unbearable. Which prompts you seek to fill them in the present.
It has often seemed to me, especially in the last 6 months, that my life is actually disintegrating, and I’m going down down down. But another way of looking at it is that my life as I knew it is disintegrating, leaving space for that which is founded on the new belief I’m forging. It’s called – you got it – Stepping out of History. Da-da-da-da as in Beethoven. It’s happening regardless of what I think. You can’t prevent the impact that experiencing unconditional love has on your life.
The last word? Thinking doesn’t have that much power at all. It’s just a consequence of and illustrates to me what I believe. I think the way I do because of what I believe.
At least that’s what I think. Get your head around that one 🙂