How does one deprogram oneself from self limiting beliefs and self deprecating thoughts? I don’t really know actually but I am working on it.
I was born into a world filled with people that thought I was a beautiful gift to their lives. As a child I didn’t give it much thought really. It was a given that I was loved and valued. I didn’t think I was better than anyone or that everyone else was less than me. I just was and it felt good. I loved my family and friends and they loved me and that was quite simply enough. Even when bad things happened to me I knew I was precious to those in my world so I could rise above these bad things that were done to me….not because of me but rather in spite of me.
When I was 7 my mother remarried a man that saw me as a threat to his sense of well being. Then he moved his new small family away from all the people that made me feel safe and valued. At this tender age I found myself half a world and a great big ocean away from these loving people. When I walked in a room I felt the energy of resentment and disdain when all I had ever known was the energy of love and peace and acceptance. I quickly learned that the place I “belonged” was not in my new family but alone in my room. My room became my whole world. Finally two years later I was allowed to get a broken little kitten to share my world with. With my kitty, who had severe spina bifida, I learned to endure my isolation and filled my lonely days with a mystical and colorful imagination.
But I began to question why. Why was I so unwelcomed? Why was my very presence enough to ruin a grown man’s day? As a young person I had no way of understanding that this man’s reaction to me was his problem….not mine. I loved him so much….why didn’t he love me back? I wanted to be around him….I was so hungry for his approval and acceptance. Didn’t he know that? Maybe it was because I wasn’t worth loving. Maybe there was something very wrong with me. I became reclusive and shy. I was becoming very ashamed of who I was. I had no one to stand up for me or at the very least to remind me of who I was. I slowly forgot that I was a very loved and valued human being. These people who were filled with gratitude that I existed might as well have been dead. They were not there when I needed them the most. It was no longer enough to just be. I had to somehow justify my existence.
My stepfather loved sports. I tried every sport there was but I failed time and time again. I was not a sporty person. I was a small, delicate child that loved to climb trees, pick flowers, read and write long letters to my beloved family back home and I loved the bond I had with my kitty. I sang and played music. All the things my stepfather could have cared less about. I tried to excel at school but it just was never enough. If I got a B I should have had an A. If I got that B up to an A then I should have been doing that all along. I often remember him saying disparaging remarks about College Graduates and Academics. Eventually I just gave up. I compared myself to everyone and I always came up lacking and falling very short.
As I grew to be a teenager, still living thousands of miles away from my beautiful family in California, I slowly began replacing my step fathers voice with my own. I would tear myself down before he got a chance to do it first. I got very, very good at this one thing…a skill I have honed and refined to a fine art as I got older. I even surrounded myself with people that agreed with this brutal voice in my head which only further confirmed what I had come to believe as fact. “See Lisa, just as you have always suspected….you are ugly, worthless, stupid, and undeserving!”
I am 49 now and I know all of this now to be untrue but how does one deprogram years and years of brainwashing and reprogram with the truth? I don’t know really. It is something I work hard at….to the point of madness. It’s exhausting work, especially having it do it alone. I guess that is why I love my Spiritual Tribe of my Minister Brothers and Sisters. They are constantly reminding me that I am a beautiful child of God. Sometimes I can actually see myself through their eyes. But our time together is very short and limited so eventually my familiar and comfortable self abusing thoughts creep back in leaving me crippled and debilitated.
This is a very difficult place to be in. I am in the in between place of habit and knowing better. More days than not I feel like a deer caught in headlights…..wanting to go and shine but too afraid to move just in case my step father was right all along. Every day I ask Spirit for help in letting go of those self limiting beliefs but it takes 4 things that I find really difficult to obtain….
Surrender. Trust. Allowing. Receiving. Basically to just let go and let it be.
My greatest wish is one day to can find a way to rest in that. To find a way to risk and reach for my potential….the potential to find peace and to offer myself to the world in a way that makes me feel complete. It is my greatest desire to do so and if I can finally conquer my fear…well who knows what can happen.
Until then I will struggle to deprogram the lies and reprogram the soothing idea that I am beautiful, worthy, brilliant, and deserving!
I leave you with a song my grandmother use to sing to me…..one of those people that had me convinced at one time that those above descriptions were true:
Walk in Beauty
Just a side note: My grandmother, whom I adored and adored me, had no possessions when she died…except for a box….filled with the letters I had written her when I lived so very far away.
Blog posts I have enjoyed today: