The problem with trying to identify beliefs of this nature is that they tend to be unconscious. You hardly know that they are there, much less what they say. However, one way to identify them is work backward. What you do is look back at what keeps showing up in your life and then deduce from that what the belief must be that is creating that kind of activity.
What I mean is that if people consistently treat you a certain way, then you can safely assume that they are energetically picking up on some belief that you have about yourself. They are subconsciously treating you in alignment with that belief. As an example, if people tend to ignore you all the time, then you probably have a belief that you are not worth listening to, or have nothing worthwhile to say, or are a boring person. If people continually let you down, you probably have a belief that says, “People always betray me,” or “People don’t value me.”
In yesterday’s story, Glenda’s core negative beliefs were, “I can’t trust men.” “Men will always leave me if I get close to them.” “To survive I must suppress my feelings.” She had made those right for 30 years by acting them out all through her life. My sister Jill, in Chapter 1 of my book, Radical Forgiveness based her whole life upon the belief that she would never be enough for any man. That belief came from her original wound of feeling unloved by her father.
Go back over the work you did a couple of days ago in your journal and review the patterns that showed up in your timeline, plus any others that have come to mind since. See if you can deduce a few probable beliefs that might have been acted out over those years. Then write down variations on what you think those core negative beliefs might be.
Keep in mind that the ones we are trying to discover in particular are those that seem to be connected to the original wound — the ones that have been driving your story.
To get you started, here a few examples of typical core negative beliefs:
• I will never be enough • It is not safe to be me • I am always last or left out • People always abandon me • It is not safe to speak out • I should have been a boy/girl • Life is unfair • No matter how hard I try, it is never enough • I am unworthy • It is not good to be powerful/successful/rich/outgoing • I don’t deserve to • I must always obey or suffer • I am alone • Other people are more important than me • No one will love me • I am unlovable • No one is there for me • I have to do it all myself
So, complete your list of “probable” or “likely” beliefs. Then look through them and pick out the ones that seem to you to have the most resonance. Write them up in your journal first and then write each one on a separate Post-it or piece of paper. And then keep them by.
You might be wondering now, how do I get rid of these beliefs? Well, this may surprise you but, before you can get rid of them, the first thing you have to do is to love yourself for having them rather than making yourself wrong for it. Criticizing yourself for having them will only keep them stuck.
The second thing to do, which might seem even more radical than what I have just suggested, is to love each one of the beliefs. Love them as part of who you have been up to now and open to the possibility that they have served you in some way. Consider that you needed them otherwise they would not have been there, and that they might have served to protect you in some way. Love them for what they have done for you up to now, even if you cannot see what that might be.
I am telling you to love them because beliefs are not just benign things that exist as connections in the brain that can be turned off just like that. They exist as an integral part of your ego. That means if you make the beliefs wrong and try to get rid of them, you are attacking and undermining your own ego. And that is a big deal. Bringing love to the situation by loving yourself for having the belief and loving the belief itself prior to disavowing it, will quieten the ego and make it more receptive to accepting the positive alternative.
So, you see, to ask, “How do I get rid of these beliefs,” is to ask the wrong question. The real question is, “How can I get to a point where I can lovingly accept my belief, and love myself completely for having it so I can then let it dissolve naturally?”
That might sound crazy but the paradox is that it’s only when you do accept the belief and love it in the knowledge that it has served you, that you, or shall we say, your ego can begin to let it go.
I am sure you’ve heard the saying, “What you resist, persists.” It is certainly applicable in this instance. Resist the belief by trying to let it go from a place of judgment and it will become stronger. Love it just the way it is, accepting it as a loving, supportive part of yourself that you now see is no longer relevant to your life, and it will dissolve on its own. It will cease to have any votes in your reality, and it will have no power to create in your life.
So, what I want you to do now is to take those pieces of paper on which you wrote your beliefs and one by one do the following.
1. Hold the belief in your left hand, which connects it to your right brain, hold it high, and then say this, with feeling:
“I love myself for having had the belief that . . . . . . . . . .and I realize that this belief has served me lovingly in the past. I send love and appreciation now to this belief and the part of my ego that has felt the need to hold onto it. I feel blessed to have had it as part of my consciousness until this moment, and I realize now that I need to hold onto it no longer. I therefore lovingly release it from my consciousness NOW.“
2. Now hold the belief in your right hand and say the same thing again, this time connecting with your left brain.
Say it at least three times, changing hands each time, and say the last line with gusto and with plenty of voice. Put some physical energy behind it as well. Then, when you have finished doing it for that one belief, tear that piece of paper up. Then go on to do the next one.
3. In your journal, for each core negative belief to which you have sent love, write up a statement that would affirm the positive. For example, Glenda would now be able to affirm, “I now believe with all my heart that it is safe to get close to and be intimate with a man and to stay in the relationship for as long as I want to.”
When you have written these affirmations, say them out loud at least three times. And then, do a mandala immediately afterward.