In early childhood, most of us put on the ill-fitting garments of our false selves. We adapt, adjust and wriggle into the scratchy expectations and admonishments of our care-givers and authority figures. We learn to deny the urgent straining of our souls to fill our true wholeness. Our true colours grow dull. We shrink smaller and smaller until only the tiniest chink of light shines through the scaly armour of words that mirror our thoughts. Out of our mouths tumble “Not too bad”, or “I can’t complain…” or “over-worked and under-paid”… when we’re asked how we are doing. And so we unconsciously choose to cement in our psyches the negative self-talk that echoes across all our experiences.
Our lives today are embodiments of the words we chose to say yesterday. This might sound trite, glib, clichéd. Like an old movie reel our beliefs flicker across the silver screen of our minds. Each one of us has millions of thoughts from the moment we open our eyes and stretch into the new day. We can choose to think and then say it is a miserable day – or a cosy, wet day. We can choose to say we are surviving – or flourishing. Our words reverberate throughout the cells in our bodies, and like ancient pebbles cast upon the still silent waters of a dark lake, they send ripples out into distant galaxies. Our thoughts and words hamstring – or set us free.
So many of us pause hesitantly at the threshold of choice, bound by the bonds of our beliefs – the stories we tell ourselves: I’m not good enough, loveable enough, worthy… Like a pendulum, we swing between the what-ifs or the shoulds. Like Scarlett O’Hara, we procrastinate, postpone: “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow…”
We generalise, use “master talk” and say things like “as all women know…” or “we all feel that …” We all do? Is this true for each one of us? Comatose, we seek the counsel of friends or “experts” who see the world through the prism of their own minds, the retinas of their own eyes. Like sleep-walkers, we choose to listen to their words. To believe them.
The choreography of our lives is infinitely poetic. We visit experiences that exile us from our homeland, wash us up on the cold shores of loneliness and suffering. We walk through the morass of despair. We will never know what it feels like to be courageous, passionate, reckless, irresponsible, if we don’t give a damn my dear. If we don’t leap, like The Fool, into the unknown and dance on talcum-white beaches, our laughing faces to the sun. Not look back, at least for a while. Ultimately we can all choose to believe that there are no “right” or “wrong” choices. Each choice we make will lead us along a different, not always easier or better, way out of the cul-de-sac. Says Gary Zukav, “You cannot, and will not, encounter a circumstance, or a single moment, that does not serve directly and immediately the need of your soul to heal.” Research acknowledges what shamans and witches have known for eons. Our thoughts and images that flow from the deep ocean of our imagination have real physiological consequences for our bodies. Our brains often can’t distinguish whether we are imagining something or experiencing it in “real time”. Stories of heroines and heroes, gods and goddesses, warriors and queens are our stories – universal stories that frame our dark nights of suffering and loss, celebrate our courage and our will to re-emerge with our bundle of straw, spun into gold.
From the 12th century the word bileave took on a meaning which was more about holding something dear, having a sense of esteem or trust in something. This subtle nuance speaks eloquently about our personal values, and ultimately, how we value ourselves. So often we don’t value ourselves. Trust ourselves. Love ourselves enough to find a reason to believe. So often we shrug off our instinctual wisdom, or relegate it to the precarious roller coaster ride of “luck”, a “fluke” or “being in the right place at the right time”. So often we deny ourselves credit for the brilliantly courageous, self-loving choices we have made. So often we deny our victories, preferring to wear the thorny crown of blame.
The “trauma of life” model adopted by psychologists and counsellors where childhood wounding shapes our experience in adulthood is inherently flawed. The human spirit is tenacious, resilient. The astrological birth chart reflects the unbounded potential to move from basic ground and venture into new landscapes. Choice is a precious pearl to be treasured. We can alter the trajectory of our lives by choosing thoughts, cherishing our beliefs, trusting that we will manifest only those experiences that resonate with the quality of Light or energy we want to experience. We can choose to believe that we are wiser, stronger, more adventurous, far more abundant than we thought we were. We can image our lives as mythical, epic. If we dare to visualise our experiences with flair, seemingly random events take on a deeper, richer resonance. One way to give voice to our lives is a daily journal where we can catch the silvery strands of the dreams that take us across shadowy thresholds during the night; where we can capture the minutiae of our daily lives on paper, sift our thoughts, vent our frustrations, our pain and our longings. Bare the beauty of our hearts. Be the poets of our own lives. Look to find a reason to believe.
Rod Steward Reason to Believe.