Many of us grew up with parents, caregivers, siblings, teachers and/or religious leaders who told us lies about ourselves, about others and about God. They might have told us (or implied) ideas like these:
- You are born in sin.
- You're stupid, irresponsible and not good enough.
- You don't deserve love.
- If you fail, you are a failure.
- Others are always better than you.
- You have to be perfect to be loved.
- God is judgmental and punishing.
- Feeling good about yourself is called pride, and it's a sin.
- If you take care of yourself, you are selfish.
- Your job is to please others.
- Others know better what's right for you.
- Feelings are a sign of weakness.
I could go on and on. The reason these "lies" are so insidious much of the time is because they are embedded in the way we are raised. Your parents (or others) may not have explicitly told you, "You are a failure." But that doesn't mean that you didn't pick up on that (or other destructive messages) in more subtle ways.
Because of the power of habit and repetition (how they make us settle into a comfortable routine, even when it's destructive or untrue), many of us have been programmed to believe lies like these.
So challenge your inner critic in order to get to know it a little better. When you have a destructive thought, ask yourself, Whose voice am I hearing in my mind? Take a moment right now and see if you can tune into where you got some of your false beliefs about yourself. If you grew up with your parents, then it might be the parent with whom you had more conflicts. Or it might be a competitive sibling. One of the greatest challenges in life many of us face is learning to tune out our greatest critic's voice in our minds.
In my experience, the greatest challenge has been to quiet my mother's critical voice that used to take over my thoughts entirely. Put bluntly, my mother was an angry narcissist. As an only child, I got the full brunt of her anger issues and judgmental energy.
I was plagued for many years with the weight of my mother's criticism in my head. No, I wasn't hearing her actual voice, but my own negative judgments and addiction to worry were issues I internalized as a result of her constant judgments. Needless to say, it was a tremendous relief when I finally learned how to silence her critical voice in my mind.
Part of the challenge is that many of us don't even realize that self-doubt is largely the by-product of having endured the criticism of another person so early in our development. So get radically honest with yourself. Are you aware of how much that inner critic pokes at you, yammers away at you, judges you or scares you? Awareness is the first step.
Many of my clients are not aware of the persistence of this voice that is programmed into their lower brain. This voice is the ego, the wounded aspect of the self. Even if you aren't aware of this voice, or call it something different, recognize that it's having a hugely negative effect on your life. (Actually, it's likely having even greater negative effects if you aren't aware of it).
This voice is our shadow side, and in order to evolve emotionally and spiritually we need to become aware of it and work toward moving out from under its influence. This negative, critical, judgmental, lying voice keeps us from walking in the light.
What is the light, anyway? We walk in the light when we operate from a higher part of our brain — the part of our brain that has access to Truth. This Truth comes through us from our higher self. And the truth about who we are and about who or what Spirit is, is not something we can know from our limited mind.
We need to be open to learning with our higher self to access Truth. And in order to learn in this way, we need to unlearn the lies we were programmed to believe early on in our lives:
- Rather than being born in sin, you are a spark of the Divine — a spark of the love that is God.
- Rather than being bad, dumb, stupid or not good enough, your Divine essence is a child of God.
- Each living being — including you — is worthy and deserving of love.
- Mistakes and failure only indicate that there is more to learn.
- Each of us has our individual gifts and talents.
- No one's essence is better than anyone else's.
- Love is unconditional and never demands perfection.
- God is a source of unconditional love.
- There are no conditions under which that love doesn't exist for all of us.
- Like any loving parent, our Creator supports our joy and the full manifestation of our gifts.
- Feeling good about yourself is essential for being able to love others.
- Taking care of yourself is part of being a responsible person and will allow you to share love with others.
- Your intuition knows best.
- Being willing to feel your feelings deeply is a sign of strength.
When you heal the false beliefs that are limiting you, you will begin to walk in the light.
To begin learning how to move into the light, take our free Inner Bonding course.
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