by Terryann Nikides
As children we acquire beliefs about ourselves. We come into the world a whole being and within a few short years we learn the conditions that are required for our parents/caregivers to love us. Just as 10 people seeing a car accident have 10 different perspectives; each of us experiences our parents/caregivers in differing ways. In whatever way we experienced our caregivers, we acquire limiting beliefs about ourselves, such as; we should be polite, we should be smart, we should be pretty or handsome. We are really just children in adult suits spending our lives defending or rejecting identities that we acquired before 4 years of age!
Most of the identities are aspects that we do not want to live out hence the identities are pushed into the unconscious. The unconscious then comes to haunt us as the shadow. As the shadow, the unconscious makes itself know in dreams, or, when something is catalyzed in us or as Jung would say- a complex is activated. Once we are triggered or a complex is activated we try to regain control by suppressing, avoiding, denying, and lying to ourselves.
When a complex is repeatedly activated we begin to question our selves: “why does this keep happening to me?” We pull our hair saying, “There must be a better way!” This begins our journey as seekers, seeking to find a better way. This is one of the many steps we take on the path of self-parenting.
We begin to investigate why we keep falling into the same old, same old pitfalls. We are aware that the shadow is following us, showing us something that we have not, heretofore, seen. The shadow projects itself not only onto walls but also onto others, reflecting itself back onto us as a conflict. We see a reflection of the unconscious in everyone and everything around us. We defend ourselves by blaming, justifying and feeling self-righteous just to keep the shadow at bay. The defences further cloud our perceptions of self and others engendering self-deception and dishonesty. Despite the defences, we still feel helpless, out of control, at a loss, and overwhelmed when triggered.
The basic need that we all have is for safety. We want to keep our loved ones and ourselves safe. To do this we have certain conditions wherein we feel safe, conditions that vary from individual to individual. Often times the conditions serve while others create conflict. The more rigidly we hold our beliefs or preconceptions the more we are catalyzed and are unable to take practical steps in life- the total antithesis of self-parenting.
We tend to struggle with “ listening without preconceived notions, rigid concepts, expectations, and belief systems.” We cannot even hear our hearts when there are rigid beliefs dirtying our lens of perception. The more beliefs we acquire the dirtier the lens becomes and reactionary living results.
To clean the lens: we first must see, reveal, and expose the beliefs that we hold as swords against the overwhelming world we live in. The sword has protected us in the past but once we are in adulthood we begin to experience its ineffectiveness. We keep coming up against the same old, same old conflicts over and over again. We may have blamed others for our experiences but we find it no longer works for us so we lay down our sword and fling our arms up in the air saying “there must be a better way!!” and begin the quest.
The shadow holds the mysteries that keep us in the same old patterns of behaviour and in a reactionary and infantile state incapable of having our needs met. In BreakThrough’s seven step process we take a journey from our conscious beliefs to the unconscious beliefs that are played out over and over in our lives. They are played out with our parents, our children, siblings, partners, bosses, our bodies, the list is infinite.
Once we see our limiting beliefs we are freed from the same old same, old patterns. We can now choose and take the steps we needed to take all along but could not. This process is a deep way to parent ourselves and finally reveal what has been holding us back for so long.
Responsibility is the ability to respond. To be able to respond and have our needs met we first must take responsibility for our role in a conflict. To be the adult, to care for our child self that never grew up, the child that was never able to face the hurtful wounds of childhood, we must first take responsibility for our lives as they are. Most often we blame and feel that we are justified for blaming the other for our experience of life. Though, blame only ensures that we remain a victim to everyone who does not behave the way we want him/her to behave! We put ourselves in a prison of our own making, lining the walls, unquestioningly, with the rules of our ancestors. We know very well that asking others to behave in ways to make “us” feel better is a Sisyphean task.
When we take responsibility, we can then deduce the beliefs we have about our experience and what triggers us. BreakThrough does this by asking the catalyzing and honest questions that evoke deep-seated beliefs to rise to the surface and expose themselves for the culprits that they are. The process is as liberating as it is adventurous for the leader as well as the participant. Self-investigation through questioning elicits the hidden beliefs that have been limiting us and keeping us from living life as it was meant to be lived- Fully! The BreakThrough process is much like the parent taking the hand of their tiny child and gently bringing them into the world.
Join us on this adventure of “awakening” that leads to Freedom!
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