In the last blog I discussed what it means to “Know Thyself”. In this blog we will look into how we lose connection with our true self.
Our True Self
When you were born you came into this world with a unique energy and being which is the foundation of who you are. The true self is a unique life force, essence or energy that you come into the world with and that comes into the world through you. The true self is the house of consciousness. It’s that inner sense of purpose that seeks out to grow and expand infinitely. It’s the only permanent aspect of selfhood, like a default mode.
Our Programming Begins
Our programming begins before we are even born. According to Lopez (2010), the emotional state of the mother has an impact on the development of the baby’s body and brain. When mum is healthy and happy, she produces a hormone called oxytocin. The message imprinted is that there is safety and peace and the baby feels safe and secure. If mum is feeling high levels of stress, fear or anxiety during pregnancy, the message imprinted on the baby’s brain and body is now one of fear and insecurity.
Lipton (2005) describes how after babies are born they observe their environment and download the wisdom offered by parents directly into their subconscious. They don’t even have to be taught, all they have to do is observe. As a result their parents’ behaviours and beliefs become their own. It’s like they are in a hypnotic trance which puts them into a highly suggestible, programmable state. Important themes for babies are: do we feel welcome and is it safe?
Programming the Child
From the age of say two to six, the child’s brain frequency speeds up to what’s called theta brain waves according to Dispenza (2012). They live in the realm of imagination and love role playing and bed time stories. Information once again goes straight to the subconscious, without questioning. Important themes for kids this age are: can we just fully be ourself? Is it safe for us to be out true self? Do we have the freedom to express ourself? Am I enough the way I am or do I need to please others to feel my sense of worth?
A child may experience critical criticism, teasing, bullying, rejection, abandonment, shock, fear or abuse. If nobody is there for the child to help them deal with their pain in a nurturing way, then the child is forced to make sense of it all in their own limited way. As a child, we don’t see the big picture, we just see a small piece of what’s going on from our limited perception. We make meaning and draw conclusions from the experience. We have a tendency to think about ourselves and take things on to be our fault.
In some cases we are not able to remain true to our instinctive wholeness, we are not able to be who we really are, our true self, because it may not be safe, we may get punished or shouted at or teased or dominated. As Eisman (2005) discusses “…this kind of challenge to a child’s natural sense of being, when either repetitive or forceful enough, results in great wounding”. The wounding is in the form of limiting emotions, beliefs and behaviours embedded in the child’s subconscious programming.
When the true self is faced with one of the limiting situations previously mentioned, with all the pain, we are unable to remain true to the instinctive wholeness of our true self. Our consciousness gets fragmented into parts, like a series of internal personalities or masks. We may disconnect from our self-expression, our authenticity, our playfulness or our vulnerability, because it may have not been safe to show these parts in the past. So we end up disconnecting from our true self, who we really are and we start wearing “masks”, pretending to be someone we are not, just to keep everyone else happy. This can make us insensitive to love, happiness and pleasure.
As children develop they form a number of strategies to deal with their environment, that embrace a particular belief, say of not being worthy of love. These strategies become like habitual patterns of reaction to the child’s environment, for the child to protect themselves. Strategies like not trusting others, taking care of themselves and not relying on others. Although the strategies we develop as a child are creative and effective at the time, we habitually and automatically bring them into adulthood, without even being consciously aware. This can be very limiting to us as adults.
Between the ages of six and twelve the brain waves speed up to an alpha frequency. Adults experience alpha waves as a light meditative state. The analytical mind begins to form at this point and children in this age group tend to have a foot in both worlds; their world of imagination and their outer world of reality. After the age of twelve the door between the conscious and subconscious mind usually closes and the majority of the child’s beliefs have been formed. It’s interesting to note that the part of the brain that allows us to choose where we place our attention does not fully develop until our early twenties. Aahh, now we can excuse our teenagers J.
How I got Programmed
My father loved me dearly and would do anything for me. I was a sensitive child and one day when I was about eight years old we had family friends visiting our home. So there was myself, my two brothers and the two kids from our family friends. We played and mucked around and were generally loud and mischievous as kids can be. When the visitors left my father told me I had misbehaved and gave me a rap on my backside with his belt. My father was a strong man and I sensed his anger and I was very afraid. In that moment I made some decisions.
1) I’m not allowed to have fun.
2) I have to be a good boy.
3) I am not good enough.
4) My father does not love me.
5) I‘m not worthy of love.
After that I looked for other events to solidify my decisions as beliefs. Because my father would get angry from time to time, it didn’t take me long for these decisions I made to become core limiting beliefs. I disconnected from the part of me that was allowed to have fun. The emotions from that experience got frozen in my body and mind. I formed a whole lot of strategies around that and other experiences to show how good and worthy of love I was. Strategies like not expressing myself, not being able to say no, disconnecting from my emotions and the need for achievement and perfection. I brought these habitual strategies into my adulthood and did not question them until my forties when the pain they brought me got unbearable.
Turning a Blind Eye
Our emotional baggage and limiting beliefs cause us a great deal of suffering and pain, because pain is the way the body tells us we need to take care of something. If for example we break a finger, the body gives us pain to let us know there is something wrong that we need to give our attention to. After we take care of our finger and it heals itself the pain goes away, because it is no longer needed. Most of us realise when we have physical pain that we need to attend to it and get it healed, but when it’s emotional pain, we tend to want to just sweep it under the carpet for as long as possible, until the pain and our life become so unbearable that we can no longer turn a blind eye.
If we don’t heal our emotional baggage and transform our limiting beliefs we will constantly be at the mercy of them and they have the potential to sabotage our relationships, our dreams, our health and our life. If we have the courage to heal our emotional baggage and transform our limiting beliefs we will be greatly rewarded as we reach the full potential of who we really are and live an inspired life on purpose. So how do we heal our emotional baggage, transform our limiting beliefs and re-connect with our true self? That will be the content of the next blog.
Dispenza, Dr. Joe (2012) Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House.
Eisman, Jon (2005) Categories of Psychological Wounding, Neural Patterns, and Treatment Approaches. Hakomi Forum Vol. 14-15, pp 43-50.
Lipton, Dr. Bruce (2005) The Biology of Belief, DVD, Spirit 2000.
Lopez, Samuel (2010) Emotional Trauma in the Womb, Blog. Retrieved February 23, 2018 from https://psychcentral.com/blog/emotional-trauma-in-the-womb/
Author: GABRIEL PERGAMALIS
About Gabriel Pergamalis
Gabriel Pergamalis is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Self-Mastery Coach at the Perth Hills Mindfulness Space. He is passionate about helping people empower themselves to quieten their mind, tame their emotions and transform their limiting beliefs. He understands how the mind works, especially the influence of the subconscious mind. He is constantly upgrading his level of training to bring his clients the most simple, yet effective techniques to develop mindfulness, connect with their true self and overcome conditioning of the subconscious mind.
For more information on Gabriel’s “Know Thyself Program” visit the SELF MASTERY COACHING PAGE.
You can download Chapter 1 of the program for free including a 30 minute guided mindfulness meditation by Gabriel.