Tuesday, February 2, 2010

That's Not True of Me!

I'm grateful to our Unity Minister, Rev. Ken, for his wonderful and enlightened perspectives. Something that he mentions often is his tendency to say to himself "that's not true of me" when he encounters a situation in which he is feeling limited.

There are many reasons why we hold on to thoughts or beliefs about ourselves that do not acknowledge our best and highest. Most of them come from our parents, who were doing their best but likely weren't taught themselves that they were good enough just as they are. We get messages from our families, teachers, friends and colleagues, the media, pretty much everywhere, that cause us to compare ourselves to some ideal. Many of those ideals, being extrinsic or coming from outside of ourselves, are not even what we hold most true for ourselves. We buy into them anyway, though, because we become accustomed to looking to others for validation and answers. There's a noble purpose to this dynamic in that it allows us to forget, and then remember, who we are. Forgetting for a time allows us the delicious moments of remembering.

Who we are, and how we show up in the world, are reflected in what we believe about ourselves. I heard a story once about a young girl who spent alot of time singing and enjoying her voice. One night her mom came home from work really tired, and not in the mood for any noise, even her daughter's singing. So she snapped at her daughter, telling her to stop making noise. The girl stopped singing, and as an adult believed her voice was terrible and never sang again. This is how we buy in to ideas that are not true of us.

So I ask you today to think about the limits you believe to be true about yourself. Sometimes those beliefs are deeply held and we're not even aware of them, but they color our experience. If you have ever thought that you're not smart or talented enough to have the job you've always wanted, or you don't have enough time to do something you've always wanted to do, or that you have back luck and nothing good ever happens, or that you're alone or that no one really loves you, it's a thought going by. It's not true of you.

When we're caught up in self-limiting thoughts, we tend to remember only those instances that make us right. We search our past experience for things that prove that we're less than we should be. We get stuck in justifying how inadequate we are, because that's what we've heard. We develop amnesia about all of the things that are perfect about who we are and what we're doing.

I'm learning not to get too stuck on wanting things to be different. Some of those old programs are very ingrained, and they do take over at times. Resisting doesn't help. But what I can do is remember that I always have dominion over what my thoughts bring to bear. And I am reborn every time I own the highest in myself, and deny that which is not true of me.

May this tool be a blessing!


  1. Sherry, so far this is one of my favorites of your blog entries. I work a lot with 12 step groups and addiction recovery...sometimes it seems that our adult-selves would be much more health if we could "forget" the things we learned as children...sexual abuse, verbal abuse, neglect, angry homes, lacking necessities: is it any wonder that our external validation is ALL we want, but has NOTHING of what we NEED! Learning to find our TRUE self and the nature of Simply BEING in the NOW, present in this moment without clouds of confusion from the past: is the Journey I am on...the path I seek, and I hope: a place to find the Healthy ME. Keep writing!

  2. Thanks for that, Austin, and for all of your thoughtful entries. I appreciate them. I agree with you, and am on the same path. It's not always easy to trust that all we need is within us, because some of us learned as kids that we were not safe, and so we keep Looking outside of us for confirmation that we are loved and safe. I believe, though, that a troubled past provides one of the most fruitful sources for present growth. I'm happy for you, and the truths you have found. I'm glad you're keeping in touch.