Why do we defend our beliefs so strongly even when they don’t serve us? Because we want to be right about our beliefs so we can justify our experience. We even collect evidence that proves we are right. Challenging our beliefs may bring up negative feelings we have long suppressed, and our ego is not going to want us to feel those feelings. Our ego’s job is (and always has been) to protect us from pain that it doesn’t think we can handle.
I once had a belief that I wasn’t good enough in relationships. I created this belief by internalizing my mom’s fears and accusations of me when I was young. Recently, a dear friend of mine showed up as my ‘proof,’ accusing me of letting her down during a very trying time in her life. Her accusations and anger justified my belief that I wasn’t a good friend.
I deeply desire to be “good enough” in relationships, and as a result, I felt a great deal of pain from my friend’s accusations. This pain (feelings of anger, hurt, or fear) is an internal messenger telling me that my desire and my beliefs are not in alignment. This was my moment to stop and challenge my belief. Instead of getting caught in the drama of my friend’s pain that matched up with my old limiting belief, I stopped and asked myself “’is it true that you were a bad friend? Is it really true?” As I looked at the facts, I realized that it wasn’t true. I was being my most honest authentic self, honoring my feelings and giving of myself to my best ability in that relationship.
This realization brought up some old stored anger and hurt towards my friend and my mother for dumping their pain on me. I had accepted their beliefs about me as true up until that moment. I felt sad at not being ‘seen’ for who I am, and disappointed in myself for buying into a belief that just isn’t true for me now as an adult.
Once those feelings moved through, I had a chance to let go of my old beliefs that I am not “good enough” in relationships. I don’t have to be right about it anymore to protect myself from the unconscious feelings of hurt and anger within me.
Now I believe that I am more than good enough in relationships. And...as I pay attention to and honor my relationship to ME, I am even more loving and honoring of all the relationships in my life.
What beliefs are you willing to challenge today?
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