Note: The work described in this article usually requires
Guidance and support by a person experienced in this work.
EVENTS, SITUATIONS AND EXPERIENCES
It is also important in our inner work to differentiate between an event and situation and an experience. An event is something that happens and is perceived by us. A situation is a series of events. An experience is how we internalize the event or situation. Three children in the same family might witness the same event or situation and have three totally different experiences because they interpret and this internalize the event in different ways, depending on their inborn tendencies and character.
It is not what happens that causes our feelings and assumptions, but rather our childhood (and present) interpretation of what has happened, which becomes our experience and thus our "past". Each of those three children who experienced the same event will have had a different experience and thus a different "past".
In reality, there is no past. It is non-existent. It does not exist anywhere. Neither does the future. Only the present exists. What we call the past is only our personal subjective interpretation of a past event, which no longer exists. We can allow this interpretation (not the event) to control our subconscious reactions, or we can take a look at it and let it go.
In the same way, when we alter our interpretation of a past event our experience of that event changes and so does our "past". When our experience of the past changes, then our beliefs and corresponding feelings and reactions are transformed in the present. When we alter our perceptions of the same events, we are actually literally changing our past, as the past is nothing more than an interpretation.
This is our point of power, our present ability to change our assumptions about the past so that we experience the past and present differently.
Note: As we mentioned a situation is a series of events. When we want to work with situations it is best to list a number of events that make up that situation so that we can work more specifically with one particular event in that situation, as the situation may be general and working with it, might not give us the same success as with working with a series of specific events.
We do not seek to change the events, unless we realize that our perception of them was distorted and false. We alter our perception of and the assumptions made concerning them. We change our experience.
EXAMPLES OF FALSE CHILDHOOD ASSUMPTIONS
As children, until a certain age, we naturally but falsely assume that the adults in our life must be right and thus if we do not get what we need from them, then there must be something wrong with us, not them.
The two basic assumptions are that:
1. What we experience is what we deserve.
2. What we experience is what we can expect in life.
These two false assumptions then generate a few general categories.
1. I am in danger. I am not safe.
2. I am not worthy of love and respect.
3. I do not know to think and make decisions.
4. I am not capable of succeeding in life.
5. I am responsible for what others feel and what happens to others.
6. Others are responsible for what happens to me and how I feel.
These basic categories can then lead to a large number of specific assumptions. Thus, when our parents, teachers, uncles, aunts, grandparents and others criticize us, reject us, abuse us, ignore us, abandon us or simply do not give us the love and attention we need, or even if they are ill or die, our childhood "logical" assumption are:
1. This is what I deserve.
2. I am wrong.
3. When people are angry with me, I am wrong.
4. When people are angry with me, I am in danger.
5. There is something wrong with me.
6. If someone leaves me, then it is because there is something wrong with me.
7. This is what I can expect in my life.
8. When others are ill or unhappy, I am to blame.
9. I am not lovable as I am.
10. I must be like others in order to be loveable.
11. I must have others' love and acceptance in order to safe.
12. I am not a good person.
13. I do not deserve and will not have love in my life..
14. People who love me will hurt me.
15. People I love will abandon me.
16. I am safer when I avoid opening to others.
17. I am safer when I do not tell the truth
18. I am safer when I hide my real feelings from others.
19. I do not deserve to be happy.
20. I am responsible for what others feel
21. Others are responsible for what I feel.
22. I must ______________ in order to accepted and loved by others
23. I have to be better than others to be worthy of love and respect.
24. I do not know what to do with my life; I need to have others to tell me what to do.
25. I am not safe in this world. I am in danger from people.
26. I am not able to survive alone. I need others to support me or take care of me.
27. I am dirty and shameful because I had sexual feelings.
28. Sex is a sin.
29. I must do what my parents and others want in order for me to be a good person and for them to accept and love me.
30. I am not able and will never succeed.
31. I must be beautiful / handsome and attractive to the opposite sex in order to be worthy.
32. I cannot trust my love partner - surely he / she will eventually lose interest in me and find someone else.
33. God does not love me unless I am perfect.
34. I am safe only if I have a lot of money.
35. People want to suppress my freedom; I must fight to protect my freedom.
36. As a woman I need to be equal with men.
37. As a woman I need my man to be stronger, more able than me.
38. As a man I must be more able and more successful than my wife and all women.
39. My self-worth depends on what others think about me, what they say about me and how they behave towards me.
And many, many, many more.
These are some of the hundreds of false assumptions that are programmed into our inner child, because we were then unable to understand the truth about who we are so as to be able to explain the events in a different way. I am sure you can add more.
Choose the ones in the list above that you believe might be lodged in your subconscious and add any others you can think off.
Continued in the next issue.
Adapted from the book The Psychology of Happiness by Robert Elias Najemy