“One of the greatest moments in anybody’s developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is.” Norman Vincent Peale
Last week I wrote about our identity chart and how creating one can give us a better understanding of who we are. I use an identity chart composed of self-image, primal law or basic belief, and eternal law. If you missed last weeks blog, please refer to the link at the bottom of this article. Because our primal law is what drives our life, I chose to focus on it.
I understand that everyone is not interested in recovering Self. For some, it is easier to focus on the self-image we have created. And that’s okay. I honor everyone’s choice to live life as they feel called to. Someone said to me, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.” I agree with this statement, however sometimes life is broken and we just haven’t realized it yet.
Understanding how our basic belief system can be the driving force in our life can be a challenge. Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” The result of failure to examine our life comes often with the realization we’ve missed IT. I would hate to face death knowing I’ve not yet lived. It’s too easy to shut ourselves in and down with the weight of societal and familial rules that we follow without question.
We can miss a lot if we have an unrecognized and unspoken fear of looking stupid or being misunderstood, or even worse, of failing. We may not even know we’re doing this if we are too afraid to stop and look at life behind our self-image.
I have already given you process # one for discovering your primal law or basic belief. This week, I will give you the next three processes. I remind you that these processes are not a one time happening, rather they are a lifelong experience. Once again, I suggest you write your answers so you can refer back to them.
Process # 2: Listen to your self-talk. Notice if you call yourself names or belittle yourself.
Do you engage in this type of self-talk: OR this type:
I can’t make it The sky is the limit
Nobody notices me I am loved and appreciated
I’m ugly Who I am is beautiful
I’m a disappointment I’m grateful for life and its gifts
I’m stupid I love and appreciate my brain
Pay attention to your expectations. Do you expect to fail? Do you allow yourself to make mistakes without self-castigation? When you have a party do you worry no one will come?
Are you okay trying something new in public? Are you afraid you might look silly or stupid if you try something you don’t know how to do?
Process # 3: Write down three of your most negative thoughts about yourself. Remember as you’re doing this that what you’re writing is only what you think, it is not necessarily true. In fact, it probably is not true, it’s just what someone told you so you believed it.
Process # 4: Bring awareness to your behaviors. Do you attempt to cover up a sense of shame, or swallow anger, or hold back and sit on deep hurt and sadness?
Ways of covering up and protecting our basic beliefs are:
- Pretend life is great. It’s fine, you’re fine, and everything is perfect.
- Pretend you don’t care. Nothing bothers you because you have it all handled and you’re beyond whatever “it” is.
- Cover your well of pain with shallow laughter. Laugh when you want to cry.
- Do things to get attention in order to be seen.
- Feel a need to look perfect and be perfect so no one thinks you’re not.
Be with whatever you see and remember that it’s okay to identify what runs your life because what’s true is underneath all the shadow stuff is a beautiful, compassionate, loving human being. We are all magnificent creatures who are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Many are filled with self-doubt, depression, misery, complacency, and a lack of understanding and knowledge of the beauty of life. Everything we need to live a life of love and fulfillment is within us. We have the key to unlock the door to our true being, but we have to be brave enough to take that step. We begin to have the life we’re meant to experience by putting our foot on a path that will return us to our true Self.
“Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage..just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. I promise something great will come of it.” Matt Damon spoke this line to his son in We Bought a Zoo
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- Discovering our Primal Law (brendamarroyauthor.com)