Limiting belief: there is something wrong with me/my life/the world/ I was hurt before so I will be hurt again.
Long time ago there lived a young and ambitious gardener called Nazrin. He wanted to create a beautiful garden, one deemed good enough for a king. So for years he learn the arts of gardening and finally obtained some land to planted. But as the beautiful flowers began to bloom, a corner of the garden was invaded by weed, and nothing that Nazrin did could get rid of them. He consulted his teachers, but none of their advice yield any results. He visited experts in other towns, yet their recipes and methods failed to destroy the weed. Finally, Nazrin gathered courage and decided to go to the capital, to speak with the King's head gardener.
The head gardener was a generous man and listen to Nazrin's woes. He asked if he tried this or that and Nazrin would say yes every time. The head gardener sat on the grass for a while in complete silence. Then he said: 'Well, Nazrin, there is only one thing that I can think of that you can do with your weed." 'What's that Master?' asked Nazrin. 'Learn to love them.'
The first step for clearing your life of limiting beliefs and views, is acceptance. Yes, stuff happens and stuff did happened to you. It hurt, it made you feel bad, it kicked your bum and left you black and blue all over. But it is past. That which was done to you, that which you did, all the mistakes, all the falls, cannot happen again; the events don't physically exist anymore. There are consequences, true, and one most deal with them. But you can do so from the present, without locking yourself in yesterday's pain. This by no means denies the pain you felt then and that you may be feeling at the moment. It invites you to accept that you are no longer the child who was bullied; the wife or husband who was unloved; the business partner who was betrayed; the young hooligan who broke windows in a football rage. That was then; this is now.
You cannot go back to the past. You cannot touch it, smell it, taste it, even see it. All you can do is conjure a ghostly image which you infuse with something that looks like life by the desire and needs of the person you are today. It is the present "you" who's feeling the pain, the rage, the disappointment. Either out of disbelief, anger or fear, consciously or not, some of us choose to live in the past and see the present from that distorted, fuzzy, low resolution filter. It's like choosing to sleep in your baby cot and then feeling miserably because you can hardly move.
As you will find out as you continue reading, I am a great TV and film fan -and I make no excuses for it. In one of my favourite Disney films, Meet the Robinsons, we find an over-the-top but powerful example of the dangers of not accepting the past and "keep moving forwards." A little orphan is kept for having a proper night sleep by his roommate. As consequence, when he's at his little league game, he falls asleep and fails to catch the ball. Then, the not-so-nice team players beat the poor little guy. I think that we all agree that this is a nasty experience -traumatising even. But the little boy is unable to accept and let go of what has happened: he becomes sour and resentful. Every time potential adoptive parents come to visit, he speaks about the missed opportunity, in anger, rage, with a mad-look in his face that brings Norman Bates (Psycho) to mind. Unsurprisingly, he never gets adopted. He refuses to leave the orphanage, even when it's closed down, and stays in the old, derelict room, mulling over and over the past event -until he decides to put the blame of his poor decisions squarely on the shoulders of the former roommate, and turns into his very incompetent arch-enemy.
Allow me to give you another example. Imagine walking with your head looking backwards. Not only is there a great chance that you may bump against something, twist your foot inside a crack and walk straight into a puddle. You also won't be able to see properly what's happening around you. You may miss opportunities or fail to see patterns with meaningful messages. You won't be entirely aware of the lessons that Life is presenting you with. And you won't be living fully and whole heartedly. While the rest of the world is enjoying HD, 3D images, you're eyes are glued to an old fashion, analogue black and white, square TV. Because that is what the past is like: just a blurry image, that we sharpened by our present interpretation of what happened.
Accept, then, that your parents were unable to see the degree of your suffering and did not protect you enough from your tormentors. Accept the pain of that child that you were once, and comfort him or her by acknowledging it, as you would comfort a lost child crying on the street (notice that by doing this you are no longer being the child, but the adult with the compassion, understanding and strenght to be able to bring comfort.) Accept that your spouse was an unfaithful scumbag unable of valuing your love; that your business partner determined that you were spendable and that you were wrong when you broke the window and today you would not do such thing.
Hoping that your childhood had been easier, your marriage better, and your business relationship more prosperous, does nothing for you, but to keep you in the hurt, the resentment and the distrust. What does help is to choose to move on from those feelings and find better opportunities for your life. To re-visit the events in order to find the ways they have made you or can make you stronger, wiser, smarter, more understanding and a better person as a whole (this is what a dear friend of mine calls "the gift of the poison"). Find also the lessons, and if you can't see them right away, know that they are there, and time and distance will make them more visible. Seek support if you feel you need it. And apply the old saying: the best revenge is to be happy.
A Life by Design is a Journeying Soul workshop -and soon to be e-book. To learn more visit http://almainterspirit.sgv2.com/offers--events