So if changing your life is as simple as changing your thoughts, why is it so hard to change your thoughts?
Human beings have approximately 60,000 thoughts a day, and a majority of those thoughts are repetitive and negative.
Studies have showed that more than 80% of the thoughts you have today are the same thoughts you had yesterday. (If you would like to discover how to completely transform your thoughts in 28 days, I recommend The 28-Day Thought Diet.)
Your brain processes 400 billion bits of information a second. We can’t consciously take that all in or remember that much information, so while we “think” with our conscious mind and believe that is what will move us towards our “happily ever after,” in reality it is our subconscious programming that determines how we live our lives.
The subconscious mind is the mind’s hard drive. It’s where information gets stored. Your cells record each thought, emotion and experience by what was seen, smelled, heard, felt. And It creates a program. By the time we are seven years old our brains have already downloaded the programs that will run most of our lives.
Our ability to walk, talk, read, and write, is developed in childhood and those instructions are encoded in our brains. This is also true when childhood traumas form patterns of fear, anger, abandonment, and grief; we have the potential to carry those patterns for the rest of lives because even if we don’t remember these events, our brain does.
Consider this… you are seven years old and just had a great day. After having a difficult time with spelling, your teacher passes out last week’s exam and you got an A. Then at lunch the boy you secretly like asks if he could sit next to you at lunch. You talk and laugh and by the time you are heading home you are beaming with joy. Feeling smart and pretty and on top of the world. Skipping, jumping and smiling all the way home, but so caught up in your glory that you don’t see the car full of teenagers driving too fast, playing their music too loud and not paying attention to the stop sign. As you are crossing the street they almost run you over at 40 miles an hour. The car speeds away and in a New York minute your euphoria turns to anxiety, your heart racing as you run for the safety of the sidewalk. In your panic you trip and fall face first into the concrete, skinning your hands and cutting your lip. Crying and defeated, you hobble the rest of the way home with a mixture of tears and blood running down your face. As you open your front door looking for your mom, instead you find your older brother too engaged with his friends to even notice you are home and a note from your mom that says “ran to the store to pick up something for dinner, I’ll be home soon. Snack in the fridge, do your homework.”
This is a typical childhood moment that can happen to us all. This is how trauma gets recorded in our bodies and our energy field, creating unconscious patterns that form our beliefs. Left unhealed, it has the potential to remain with us for our entire life.
These are common experiences in which we develop stories and reach conclusions like:
- I’m not important as _______.
- Everyone ignores me.
- No one is there for me.
- My needs don’t matter.
- When I am happy, bad things can happen.
- I don’t deserve to be happy.
We construct a belief system to protect ourselves from our perceived hurt. We defend ourselves; we blame and judge others; as soon as we feel hurt knocking on the door within, we run back into our “comfort zones” to avoid the pain and opt for the coping mechanisms we created that help us feel safe.
It really doesn’t matter how old you are today, the life you live today is a result of the patterns that were created from childhood.
When you begin to reflect on your life, you may notice that the people that show up will act and treat you much the way you parents did. Whatever beliefs you had towards mom and dad, you have towards others and the odds are pretty good that you still don’t feel seen, heard or understood.
So how do you get past it?
To make a change, you need to create a new operating system. You need to unlearn, and unplug, your old thinking patterns and rewire, your brain with a new one. The 28 Day Thought Diet is excellent for this, but also F.A.I.T.H.–or Finding Answers in the Heart— helps you work with your “second brain,” the heart, to connect with the part of you that has answers beyond what your brain can provide.
Awareness is the first step. You can’t change an unconscious thought until you bring it to your consciousness. The people in your life that activate those old beliefs and patterns aren’t there to hurt you, or to rub salt in the wounds. The people that “trigger you” bring awareness to the wounds so you can heal them.
Íf I accept the fact that my relationships are here to make me conscious, instead of happy, then my relationships become a wonderful self-mastery tool that keep realigning me with my higher purpose for living.
– Eckhart Tolle
It’s never about them; it’s not about what someone said or didn’t say, what someone did or didn’t do; it’s always about you. Instead of projecting your feelings onto them (blaming, judging, projecting), become present to the feeling within you.
When you were triggered, what emotions come up? Anger? Fear? Sadness? Notice where in your body you are feeling it–-is your heart racing, your stomach churning, your back aching? Become present and allow your body to feel the feeling so your emotions can be seen.
Just like the person or situation that ignited your feelings, your emotions are not trying to hurt you; they’re trying to wake you up to what you’ve buried inside. Your anger, grief, resentment etc…. no more want to be ignored than you do. So don’t reject what you are feeling; become aware, quiet your mind and listen.
As you become present, the energy inside you will start to move. You will start to relax, and feel a sense of calm. Your feelings will give voice to what you have been holding on to your entire life … “I was so scared, I am so angry, I needed you and you weren’t there”.
With practice, the more you unpack the layers and layers of emotions you have stuffed, the more space you create. It is that space that helps the emotional charges diminish. Take away the charge and your emotions lose their power effectively.
Allowing your emotions to speak is not only healing; it’s liberating.