Social programming is a powerful influence as we grow through our formative years. Whether by words or behaviours, our parents and other teachers instruct us as to what we should believe and how we should act in order to fit in and survive in our world. And while it is surely important to find our fit within our culture and be able to recognize our interconnectedness, most of us acquire a set of limiting beliefs that are intended to keep us in our place and comply with mainstream attitudes. Perhaps our most important choices as adults are to determine which of those acquired beliefs truly serve us and which ones we let go.
A significant part of our maturation process is developing an internal locus of control rather than allowing external factors to determine how we think and feel. Victor Frankel, a psychiatrist who wrote about his experiences in a concentration camp in WWII, proposed that even when we don't have choice about circumstances, we always have choice about our attitudes and beliefs about those circumstances. How we interpret events changes how those events affect us.
I remember the expression on one client's face when I suggested she was not obligated to adhere to some of the secular catechism she had learned in her childhood. "You mean I get to choose what I want to believe?" Her eyes were full of wonder as this revolutionary new concept rippled through her consciousness. There is a Native American proverb that translates as 'We can only be what we give ourselves the power to be".
So the next time you feel 'not right with the world', take a look at what you are telling yourself with your thoughts. As most of our thoughts fly by on an unconscious level, turn up the volume and actually listen to yourself. Question if this is the program you want to run your life. Or perhaps there is another channel, another script that might inspire you to greater things. You get to be the author, the director, and the star of your own story (and you can hire a production assistant if you need one :).
"You can have anything you want; just stop waiting for someone to tell you deserve it. "
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.