I don’t know about you but I lie to myself all the time. And part of “growing up” is to catch myself doing it, question why, and the underlying beliefs that trigger the lies, and then digging down underneath the beliefs to work on rewiring the neurology or filling in the ruts in the neural pathways that entrenched the beliefs underpinning the lies.
Here’s an example: I use the word “never” a lot! “I will never win that prize.” “I will never figure out a way to stop misplacing my glasses.” “I will never get published.” The “nevers” go on and on.
There seems to be a negative trench in my brain that too often goes to the improbability of something happening rather than to the possibility! Part of this is the way I came into the world, my genetic wiring. And part of it was the way I was raised, the environmental wiring. We all have these vestige neural pathways carved into us; some more deeply than others.
But there is good news here; neuro-biology is examining the “neuro-plasticity” of the human brain and discovering that we can change the way we think. Ruts in the plastic can be worn deeply by repeated thoughts, beliefs, lies. But they can also be modified, filled in, redirected through conscious choice.
This is Rosemary’s whole point in her article about the lies we tell ourselves. And here’s the paragraph that helps me the most:
Now LAUGH!!! Feel how good it feels. You DESERVE to laugh, no matter what is going on in your life, no matter where you are, there is something to laugh about. I just looked out the window at a squirrel trying to get into a squirrel-proof bird feeder. Do you think the squirrel thinks that, just because he can’t get any birdseed out of it, there’s something wrong with him, that he’s not ‘good enough’ to be worthy of food? Heck, no! That squirrel goes around the corner of the house, climbs the tree to the non-squirrel-proof bird feeder, hangs upside down, and eats his fill. Only we humans compare ourselves to some mythological standard and find that we don’t measure up.
There is nothing wrong with me. We all have negative thoughts about ourselves, but these are lies buried in the beliefs we carry that no longer serve us.
I once had an Enneagram teacher ask me: “what if the world is perfect just the way it is?” I was stunned at first. Then I laughed; and I relaxed! Yeah, the world is perfect and I am perfect. The lessons come to help us become more perfect.
One of my lessons is to replace “never” with “sometimes” in my thoughts about myself– and every time I do I get to laugh! Through this practice maybe that “never rut” will begin to fill in. And when it is gone, when that lie disappears maybe I can replace “sometimes” with “always”!
How are you lying to yourself? How are you catching yourself doing it? Find a practice to rewire your neurology; pave over the old ruts and believe in your inner light!