Your Belief Systems Are In ControlThe following is an exercise, or process, you can use to explore the depths of your being. It is an exercise to discover your belief systems-what you believe to be true about yourself, about God, about life.
All of your actions are rooted in your belief system. Although most of your beliefs were formed as a child, they are in fact a choice. If you do not like what you believe, you can change it. As an adult, you have full control of your beliefs. In order to change, however, you must take a long, scrutinizing look at your particular belief structure.
Probe closely into your childhood beliefs. Look for the strong messages you received as a child. You may not yet realize that these strong messages usually constitute a major portion of your core belief structure and hold an incredible amount of power. Write these beliefs, or messages, down on paper in a list form. Keep the sentences short for easy reading. Again, you are searching for the core or foundation of a belief, not the philosophy behind it. After you have completed your list, write down what you would rather believe, what you would rather have heard as a child. This is the time to be co-creative and to use your imagination to construct a list that is ideal. Create the perfect God in your mind and on the paper-a belief system that will support you, love you, and work for you, not against you. There are no rules, except that you do this exercise in its entirety.
The following is a composite of the common belief statements I hear from my clients:
Common Beliefs about God from Childhood
1. God is external, lives in heaven, and is separate from myself.
2. God is male and has male characteristics.
3. God has lots of rules. I had better not break a rule or I will be punished.
4. God does not always give me what I want. I have to deserve it, and if I mess up, He will hold it against me.
5. I can only pray for the will of God. If my prayer does not line up with His will, my prayer will not be answered.
6. I am selfish if I pray for myself and God does not like it when I do. Besides, I am too unworthy to pray for myself.
7. God punishes me and withholds my prayers to teach me a lesson. I deserve hard lessons.
8. God gets disappointed in my behavior.
9. God has human feelings such as anger, disappointment, revenge, and judgment.
10. There is only one way to God and heaven, and that is through Christianity.
11. All things in the Bible are true in the literal sense.
12. I need to be respectful of God. If I do not pray "right," my prayers will not be answered.
13. God watches over me with a critical eye, seeing all the things I do. He waits for me to mess up, so that he can teach me another lesson.
14. It will be difficult to enter heaven if I do not keep God first and follow the rules.
15. I deserve to have it tough in life because I have done lots of bad things.
16. Mommy and Daddy say that God will not like me if I lie, cheat, steal, or do not brush my teeth.
17. If I do not believe just the way I am taught, I will burn in hell.
18. God is strict, but it is because I am undeserving and he is trying to teach me to be good.
19. Even though I am struggling financially, it is wrong to pray for money.
20. If I have money, I should give most of it away in order to show how grateful I am.
21. God disapproves of sex and shakes his head in disgust at me.
22. I do not think God likes me much. He does not show up very often.
Any person living with the above beliefs is going to have tremendous fear in his or her life. The whole system is based on judgment, fear, punishment, and not being good enough. It is structured on conditional love with strings attached to behavior. It would be difficult to find happiness under this system. The constant pressure from judgment alone would cause dis-ease to settle in the body. These beliefs stifle personal growth, imagination, and creativity. There is no foundation for self-worth to grow and develop.
As you review your list and discern the nature of your current belief system, remember that it represents choice. If it does not reflect what you desire, discard it. Let your imagination go and create a new belief system. Make a new list of what such a belief system could look like. Perhaps, it would look like this:
An Example of an Ideal Belief System
1. My God lives within me. I am part of God and God is part of me.
2. God has no gender, but is the essence of all things.
3. There is no right or wrong, good or bad, no punishment. There is a karmic balancing, consistent and founded in divine unconditional love.
4. I have complete choice in my behaviors without being judged.
5. God is love-unconditional-and this love is the basis of the universe. God loves all.
6. There is no right or wrong way to believe. All religions lead to the center, which is God.
7. Heaven is not a place that you go to; it is an attitude of the divine. Live and experience heaven in the now.
8. God is available to me in all circumstances. I am never without God. God is part of me.
9. I have full responsibility, as a co-creator with God, for all that I AM and all that is around me.
10. I am honored and revered in the universe.
11. I am a spirit having an earth experience. It is one of many experiences in the universe. My soul's purpose on earth is to experience emotion.
12. I choose my life experience, like an actor choosing a script in a play. I choose everything about my living conditions for the divine purpose of my soul's unfolding.
13. All of my prayers are answered. My job as co-creator is to be clear with my intention so that my prayers can manifest.
14. There is abundance for all in the universe. If I have abundance in my life, it does not mean that someone else must go without.
15. I believe in miracles!
16. I am part of an exquisite whole. I am related to all life. I belong.
17. Angels can fly because they take things lightly.
A person with the above belief system is going to have a completely different outlook on life. Self-worth, self-empowerment, choice, unconditional love, honor, balance, and freedom will be reflected throughout the life of this individual. What one believes, becomes.
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About The Author: Jan promotes self-healing, empowerment, better communities, a healthy world and conducts workshops in shamanism & journeying. Her book, Becoming Yourself is at http://www.janengelssmith.com . Janís a Licensed Counselor. Sheís done over two thousand soul retrievals. She is the founder of LightSong School of Shamanic Studies, a Chemical Dependency Specialist, and Marriage Therapist. Sheís a water pourer for sweat lodge, a minister, a Reiki Master.