Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Beliefs and fears and desires and...oh my!

Everybody is a believer ~ even the most cynical of those among us! That is, we all believe in something. For example, many of us involved in, and committed to romantic relationships believe, on some level of consciousness, in the concept and practice of love. Likewise, many of us who breathe, eat, sleep, dream and move through the world believe in life…and so on, and so forth.

A spiritual perspective simply encourages us to exercise our beliefs with sensitivity. Developing clarity around how and what we believe is significant. In order to gain an understanding of the particular ways in which we believe, we need to explore what we know about our perceptions and attitudes. Some of the things we may need to unravel with this regard include an understanding of the types of beliefs we carry on a day to day basis, and an awareness of the intensity of our beliefs as we are holding them ~ with conscious thoughts we have awareness of our cognitions as they are happening, or not long thereafter.

Now, let’s return to the issue of romantic love. If we enter into a new relationship believing that it is not going to last very long (or that ultimately it will not work out), we run the risk of creating a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.  There are many, many of us who carry certain cognitions, including the belief that we are not worthy of being loved; that any love relationship we enter into will ultimately fail; that true love does not exist, and/or that we attract “bad people” because we are damaged (to name but a few). Yet most psychologists would agree that the desire of most human beings to love and be loved is phenomenal.

When fear based thoughts are contextualized by (relational) trauma they are very understandable, however they are also misguided. A big problem exists when our thoughts are incompatible with our wishes; when we assume the worst, even as a self protective measure (in order to avoid too much disappointment) what we usually unwittingly help to bring about is the complete opposite of our truest desires. In essence, through our fear based attempts to secure emotional safety we may end up locking ourselves into a self imposed, self-constructed prison allowing us the scarcest amount of room to live up to our fullest potential.

So how does the idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy work?

A psychological lens, more specifically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), concerns itself with the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. This idea, in a nutshell, suggests that what we think (our cognitions) informs what we feel, which then influences how we behave. Note: these types of thoughts and feelings should be distinguished from intuition, which is another type of process altogether. Now consider the following contrasting examples to gain more of an understanding of how this idea (CBT) works, remembering to bear in mind the significance of conscious, pre-conscious and unconscious levels of awareness in all of these processes:

    1. Thought:  There is something wrong with me. Because I am damaged I am only able to attract other damaged people who may seek to exploit me
      Feeling:    I am mistrustful and fearful of people who attempt to engage me romantically
      Behavior: I distance myself from people, and may even sabotage potential relationships as a way to maintain control over what I perceive to be inevitable feelings of loss, abandonment and/or rejection
    2. Thought: I am a loving human being with much to offer; the world is a huge place with plenty of good and honorable people in it who can clearly recognize my worth
      Feeling: I am excited about the possibilities to love and be loved
      Behavior: I place intention into creating opportunities for myself during which I might meet interesting people for friendship and/or romance, and connect authentically with others even if it means straying away from my comfort zone

In both of the aforementioned examples the subject desires to love and be loved. However the thought patterns of example one are contrary to these desires and will likely bring about the subject’s fearful expectations, unlike the subject in example two, whose desires are aligned with her beliefs.

~ ~ ~

A metaphysical lens emphasizes the idea that “like attracts like.” Note: this does NOT mean that we attract people to us who are like us. What this actually means is that we attract according to our beliefs. If our beliefs are largely fear based, we will manifest (attract) our fears. In other words, the “Law of Attraction” will not work according to our desires unless our beliefs are in concert with them.

The primary principle to pay attention to is that we have the power to create our reality with our thoughts and our thoughts are not always the same as our desires, although we may trick ourselves into believing that they are.  It is important to recognize that our thoughts can be conscious and/or unconscious. When our thoughts linger in the unconscious zone things can be tricky because it is impossible to access, and alter thoughts that we have no awareness of. With this in mind, seeking counsel/healing from a trusted person or persons who can assist with bringing our thoughts, feelings and wishes to the surface, whether it be through traditional talk therapy, spiritual psychic medium readings and/or energy work can be invaluable. Alongside increased recognition and awareness of our thought processes we can analyze any distrustful, negative beliefs and judgments we may be exercising in relation to a love relationship situation, take note of the abovementioned principle, and make an authentic attempt to adjust our thinking so that our truest desires may be realized!

Additionally, recognition of the incredible power we carry as cerebral beings is fundamental: because our beliefs can effect physical, mental, emotional and spiritual change ~ for better or for worse ~ knowing what we are sending out energetically is paramount, not only on personal levels connected to love, family, education and career but to our survival as a species! Our thoughts affect our behavior which in turn affects responses to us on individual, collective and universal levels. Some metaphilosophers have referred to this phenomenon as “Cause and Effect”.

Remember: We have the power to create our reality with our beliefs, therefore it is important to strive to be aware of what and how we are thinking, when we are thinking it. Now go and think about that!





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