How much time have you spent trying to wrestle your unsupportive beliefs into submission?The self-help industry tells us that to live better lives we need to change and eradicate our unsupportive beliefs. But what if the way to ‘deal with’ those beliefs that we think are holding us back is to not deal with them at all?
When we innocently think our beliefs matter and that unsupportive ones could hold us back – when we don’t yet understand that they are made of thought, which is transient, every moving, always changing – we naturally try to fix them. We winnow out our unsupportive beliefs, hunting them down like fungus obsessed truffle hounds, and then when we’ve caught one we wrestle with it, mightily, like the self-help warriors and healers we know ourselves to be.
We journal about that unsupportive belief and we examine it from every angle and we think of a mantra that is the belief’s opposite and we write that on sticky notes and plaster it around our home.
Seen this way, unsupportive beliefs are weighty. I’ve carried so many of them around with me, it felt at times like I had a 747 strapped to my back. And I innocently thought that facing them down, whacking at them with a mental machete would get rid of them.
To my chagrin, they would always come back. Days, months, years later I’d realized there was the same damn unsupportive belief. “I thought I’d dealt with this!” I’d cry, often expressing actual tears. And I’d dive headlong back in to the struggle with the unsupportive belief, wrestling it to the ground, determined to grind it into dust this one last time.
All this, done so innocently. Not meaning to frustrate myself, and genuinely thinking I was helping myself.
There is another way
When we begin to understand more about what thought is and how it moves, all this wrestling and battling becomes unnecessary.
Thought is energy. It is a universal energy that comes to life within and moves through every human. And the nature of energy is that it wants to move.
When we innocently, without realizing what we’re doing, wrestle with and try to battle thoughts we make them sticky. We impede their movement.
Beliefs are simply thought with a different name. They behave the same way as thought. When we hold them lightly, they move, as is their nature.
When we wrestle with them, they respond to our attention by staying around.
The amazing news is that once we see that we don’t need to wrestle with our thoughts and beliefs, we understand that we can simply set them down.
When we see that a thought or a belief is not a truth about ourselves, we can take them less seriously, letting them come and go like clouds in the sky. No need to fix or change them. No need to replace them with better, more supportive thoughts and beliefs. Those will come and go too.Are you able to see that your beliefs – whether supportive or unsupportive – are all simply thought coming to life within you, moment to moment? Please leave your thoughts below and join the conversation.