Stumbling Over Old Beliefs

Practicing mindfulness alone doesn’t always open the door to change old beliefs.

One of the key elements of Pathwalking is using mindfulness to consciously create reality. Ergo, I am doing things to better myself and create the life I most desire to live.

There are two super-frustrating things I cannot seem to get out of my head. These are my thought processes when it comes to money and when it comes to weight loss/body consciousness.

Specifically, these are brain weasels chittering endlessly away at me, telling me that I am unworthy, that I do not deserve to earn a decent living, and that I am fat and undesirable because that’s how I am.

No matter how much mindfulness I employ to get my thoughts and feelings aligned, no matter how long I meditate for every day, I cannot seem to rid myself of these particular self-doubts.

These have been the two biggest obstacles in my path. Clearly, they are rooted so deeply that I have not been capable of getting to their source to take them on. So, if you will indulge me, let’s see if writing it out gets me closer to where I desire to be.

Old beliefs, like old habits, die hard

In both cases, I am pretty sure this is going to require digging into my murky, hazy childhood. For the most part, my memories from between the ages of 6 and 11 are scattered at best, discombobulated, and super-hazy. I think I blocked a lot of stuff out from that period of my life for a whole host of different reasons.

In that time of my life my parents divorced, my dad moved halfway across the country from us and my grandparents retired halfway across the country in the opposite direction. There was a shit-ton of upheaval going on, and I was a clever, overly-sensitive kid at the eye of the storm.

Let me just make this clear — I DO NOT blame anyone for how I am now due to that time. I know lots of people will blame their parents for screwing them up, but I don’t. This was forty years ago, and so at this point, the onus and ownership of my screwed-up psyche are on me. Why? Because I am old enough to take accountability for what’s in my own head, and cope accordingly.

However, a great many of the beliefs we hold as adults are formed when we are children between the ages of 6 and 11. I have to surmise that this is where I need to turn to find the roots.

One last, important part. To my mom — if you read this — please don’t be offended. You were my primary focal parent since dad was only present in my life once every three or four months. Ergo, these beliefs that took root in my head are derived from things you did and said.

That out of the way, please adjust your headlamps, we’re going into a potentially dark and disturbing place.

Ancient beliefs about money clinging to my psyche today

When I was growing up I lived with my mom and my younger sister 98% of the time. I would fly across the country to visit my dad and/or my grandparents and my dad a couple of times a year, mostly over holidays. Otherwise, it was life in my mom’s house.

My mom did not want to have to work, but after the divorce had no choice. We lived very comfortably in a nice middle-class house in the suburbs. I attended an excellent public school. It was a loving home, and mom raised my sister and me well.

While we never exactly struggled with money, it was still a constant topic of my mom’s. Although now, almost forty years later, I cannot recall exactly what she said about money, the impressions remain: Those with money were better than those without. You had to be lucky to have money. Money came from certain lines of work, like doctors, lawyers, and businesspeople.

I vaguely recall my mom talking about never quite having enough, always needing/wanting more money to do more things, and it was a frequent bone of contention. It doesn’t help that I seem to believe that much of the social stratification among her friends made a lot about what everyone had. There was a ton of comparison about the haves, have-nots, and such.

To this day my mom loves to measure what she has versus what others have. She loves to show off the things she owns and frequently compares material things between people. She still seems to be striving for more, more, more. Things are never quite good enough.

Once again, no offense to my mom — but can you see how exposure to this, while very impressionable, rooted some funky beliefs deep in my psyche?

Where does this put me now?

That’s the question. Rooted deep, deep into my subconscious are the following beliefs:

  • Money only comes from certain, specific, high-paying jobs like doctors, lawyers, and merchant chiefs
  • You measure success with money
  • If you do not have money you are not successful
  • Only certain people are worthy and deserving of money
  • Money makes people do unkind things
  • You will never have enough money
  • Others are better and more worthy and deserving than you
  • Money makes the world go ‘round
  • Struggling for money is normal
  • If you don’t have money your life is less

Can you see how much conflict the above beliefs can cause? And of course, I chose a path in life that would not lead me to being a doctor, lawyer, or merchant chief.

To change these beliefs I need to dig at them and see if I unearth more. Now that I have a better idea of what they are, I can meditate on them and work to remove them. Maybe having a better idea of what these beliefs are and just how far back into my life they were rooted I will be able to change this.

Not going to be easy. But to go where I desire to in my life and consciously create my reality my work is cut out for me here.

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Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

Ancient notions about weight loss clinging to my psyche today

Let’s pull no punches here. I was a fat kid. On top of that, growing up in the Midwest, I was a short, fat kid. I sucked at sports and was about as dorky/geeky/nerdy as they come.

I went through a pre-teen weight loss program when I was 10 or so. I’ve done the yo-yo diet thing, and I have fluctuated from 20 pounds overweight to 80 pounds overweight. The struggle has been ongoing ALL MY LIFE and continues today.

My mom (again, not blaming, just showing where the beliefs originated) has spent much of her life needing to lose weight. I don’t know how many different diets she has been on. Her weight was a constant topic when she was dating, which occurred during my fuzzy-memory period between the ages of 6 and 11.

She has always held certain specific beliefs about low-fat, the value or lack thereof of certain foods, and that being overweight is bad on multiple levels. Being fat makes you less desirable, is awful for your overall health, makes you less than people who are not overweight, and is a constant source of judgment.

Mom constantly would compare herself and her weight with that of others. Her weight loss versus so-and-so’s. It was a frequent issue, and she always needed to lose more, more, more. She was unworthy or undeserving of ‘X’ because of her weight. To buy that shirt or those pants she had to lose another 20 pounds.

This is still ongoing. In preparing for a trip to the Mediterranean this fall, mom was telling me how she would like to lose weight. Again, no offense to my mom — but can you see how exposure to this, while very impressionable, rooted some beliefs deep in my psyche?

Where does this put me now?

That’s the question. Rooted deep, deep into my subconscious are the following beliefs:

  • Losing weight is a never-ending struggle
  • Weight loss is hard
  • You can never lose enough weight
  • Unless you are thin you are unworthy and undeserving
  • Fat is bad
  • You are worth less if you are overweight
  • Your weight is how you are judged as a person
  • If you are overweight you are utterly unhealthy

Can you see how much conflict the above beliefs can cause? Is it any wonder that I remain overweight, and cannot seem to get down to where I would prefer to be?

First, let me explain why I desire to lose weight, and how much. There are several reasons. These include wearing clothes that currently do not fit, taking the pressure off my damaged knees, being a better and more capable fencer, and overall improvement in my body would feel good physically and mentally. I need to take off about 80 pounds.

Let me clarify a couple of things about this. First, though I am overweight I am strong and active. My cholesterol is high, but that’s genetics and is being treated with drugs. My blood pressure is normal and my resting heart is normally in the mid to low 60’s. Yes, my doctor really also wants me to take off the weight so that these stats don’t change, and I concur that’s wise. Despite being heavy I am in relatively excellent health.

Maybe uprooting the above ancient beliefs will allow me to more easily let go of this weight. It will certainly help. Granted, there are some other psychological reasons, but they are not rooted quite so deeply as those above.

Final thoughts

Practicing mindfulness doesn’t always open the door to change old beliefs, but it is still necessary. By being aware of what I am thinking and how and what I am feeling I can see how those old, deeply-held beliefs still impact my mindset and actions now.

To change my beliefs about money and weight loss requires me to act. My actions and the intent behind them are a product of my thoughts and feelings. Hopefully getting a handle on these old beliefs will help me see them in the way of my path, and I can better step over and around them continuing on my journey.

Do you have old beliefs you stumble over along your life paths?

You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter, and you can find and avoid certain obstacles along the paths you take in life.

Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on September 11, 2019.

Written by

I am a practitioner of mindfulness, positivity, philosophy, & conscious reality creation. I love to inspire, open minds, & entertain. http://www.mjblehart.com

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