Believe Beyond Belief
When I was a child I was told that I was going to die young. My mother traced a line on the palm of my hand and announced that I would die young and that she would be devastated. I spent much of my early elementary years believing that I was bound to devastate my mother by having a short life.
What do you believe? Do you know? If you think you’re pretty sure, are you sure that you’re sure you know? Often we think we are aware of what we believe and who we believe in until something comes along to make us take a deeper look.
What you believe about yourself, others and the world is called the Cognitive Triad. It drives beliefs and behaviors of the person depending on how strong the belief is. It tells you what you believe about yourself. It asks: What are your self-beliefs? Where do they come from? It is important to identify beliefs for the purpose of making more conscientious choices rather than being pulled along by subconscious thoughts that ultimately govern your behavior.
As human beings, we have three states of consciousness: Our conscious mind, yours, Dear Reader, is at work as you are reading and comprehending the contents of this blog. In your subconscious mind you may be vaguely aware of the sound of nearby noise. If you are in your house, perhaps it’s the hum of a fan or the buzz of the refrigerator. If you are outdoors or near a window, it may be birds chirping, the wind blowing or cars passing, but unless your attention is drawn to them, as it may be now, because I just drew your attention to it by mentioning it, you aren’t consciously aware of the sound because you are not tending to them.
Your attention is on the contents of this article, but still, in the back of your mind, you are semi-conscious of what’s going on around you or of thoughts that linger in the back of your mind. Your unconscious mind is a different animal. None of us know what’s going on in there. Your unconscious mind is however, always tending toward wholeness. It strives to make the unconscious beliefs conscious so that you can confront them or do something about them, whether it is to change them or heal from them.
Beliefs we do not know we have drive our choices more than the ones of which we are aware. Our beliefs start in our thoughts. They may be due to something we are told or something we witness but they are always a result of the meaning we give to an event.
A thought is a powerful (or terrible) thing. Our thoughts define our current reality. What we are thinking in the moment may not be true but the way these thoughts impact us, it may as well be true. And in some cases, what we think end up manifesting in our life and becoming true.
As I grew up the memory of this belief began to fade into the background of my mind. Notice I said fade and not go away. That’s because that is what memories do, they go into farther corners of our mind as they are replaced by new ones but they never truly go away. Beliefs, on the other hand, can be replaced by new beliefs.
Even though I had not thought of dying young for years, the memory of it had come flooding back during a family crisis. My younger sister had just had a stroke. Faced with the possibility of something terrible happening to her, brought up the unconscious memory of the palm reading and the early death declaration back to the surface.
While taking care of my younger sister during her crisis, I had a major panic attack. I thought it was because she had just had a serious medical crisis but it was because the belief that I would die young had come back to the surface of my mind. It wasn’t until I had a conversation with a good friend of mine who helped me realize that there was something I was believing about myself that was causing the panic. In talking it through with her and later journaling it out, I realized that a latent belief was causing my current state of being. I had to find a truth to challenge the belief in order to get myself out of my dilemma. The truth I landed on was the fact that my mom could sometimes be quite dramatic and also quite scary at times. She’d make declarations that were no one’s but her own. As an adult, I was in a position to realize this and stop taking on her declaration as my truth.
When I did, I was able to replace the thought of “I’m going to die young and devastate my mother,” with “I’m going to live as long as the Lord God has numbered my days,” I was free to let go of the anxiety that had taken hold and tend to what I needed to in order to help my younger sister. The anxiety stopped. The panic dissipated and I was able to complete the tasks I had to do in order to help my sister.
As a result of this experience, I decided to write a book on belief to help people identify and confront faulty belief systems that hold them back from being their best self. Every week I will include an idea from the book I am crafting to help you modify your beliefs for the purpose of giving more credence to what God says and less power to thoughts that steal your joy. I hope you return next week and I hope you begin a journal as you follow this blog. My hope is that you will be able to identify your own beliefs, keep the ones that serve you, and change the ones that do not.
Tracy T. Taris
Determine your current level of stress and decide whether it's something you can handle on your own by implementing a few self-care measures or whether you need help.