Breaking Belief: Recognizing Deep Rooted Belief Patterns
Belief goes much deeper than thought. We are raised in a society that is shaped by belief systems–religious belief systems, political belief systems, cultural belief systems, gender identity, etc.–which shapes our earliest experiences. Repeated exposure to experiences rooted in those belief systems shape our thoughts, particularly in our formative years. Repeated thoughts about those experiences then create more beliefs.
Those beliefs then dictate our thoughts throughout the rest of our lives. We create layers of belief which stack upon one another and form the way we perceive and find meaning in the world around us in any given moment. We eventually reach a point where we no longer see the world as it is. To quote Anais Nin, “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”
One of the foundational principles of the Universe is that belief dictates reality: thought creates. We hold a belief, that belief shapes our thoughts, our thoughts shape our actions, and our actions ripple out into the physical world around us creating a domino effect of consequences that then affect other people’s experiences and reinforce or otherwise shape their belief systems, and the belief systems become self-perpetuating, both dictating their own manifestation and ensuring their survival.
So the thing I must point out is–once you reach a certain point, you begin to create your experiences based on your preconceived beliefs, but you believe that it’s the other way around.
(CAVEAT: This post is NOT about the lived experiences of individuals who have experienced abuse and systemic oppression and cannot directly be applied to those situations without discussing more nuance, such as power dynamics which are created by belief systems to enforce said abuse and oppression.)
Many times we think that beliefs are limited to things that we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and arrived to conclusions based on rational process but they’re actually psychologically rooted in beliefs we hold about ourselves that we inferred from childhood experiences.
For example: Someone who was adopted as a child may grow up to believe that they are unworthy of loving relationships. The experience of abandonment by their parents creates a deep subconscious sense of unworthiness. That person then lives the rest of their life from that subconscious belief, and acts accordingly, thereby shaping their life by creating experiences that mirror back to them that unworthiness.
They may sabotage relationships because they are engaging in behaviors that are actually coping mechanisms for that unhealed trauma, but which are not conducive to a healthy relationship, thereby destroying their own relationships and using that as evidence to reinforce their unworthiness. Even worse, they may project that unworthiness onto the opposite sex and begin to believe that “all men will leave me,” even though they are actually sabotaging the relationship with their own behavior.
Their belief that they are unworthy is based in deep rooted psychological trauma.
In many cases, people are unwilling to recognize this trauma because it’s too painful for them to relive. So they bury it and they ignore it until they forget that it’s there, and yet it still seeps out into the rest of their psyche, exerting an unchecked influence in all that this person experiences for the rest of their lives.
Let’s look at another example. A person whose parents are exceptionally religious, raises them in childhood with a deep belief in good and evil. The child has a paranormal experience and tells their parents about it. The parents reinforce the notion of good vs. evil and rather than quelling the child’s fear, they reinforce it.
Even though the child may grow up and shed their religious trappings, the belief in good and evil stays with them, and they spend the rest of their life categorizing their experiences that way. That root belief in evil creates more beliefs–that evil is powerful, perhaps more powerful than them. That it’s something they can’t control. That there’s a constant battle between the two.
Their belief in evil causes them to filter many of their paranormal experiences through that lens. They see those experiences and say, “See! I experienced this! It’s real!” not realizing that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. They’re just subconsciously looking for experiences that will validate their beliefs, rather than informing the belief based on the experience.
It’s only when you accept and understand that you have the ability to choose how you view these things in this process that you can stop that cycle and take back your power. It requires tearing down your old beliefs and philosophies and rebuilding them on a foundation of unconditional love.
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