Remember that post called Thoughts Jumble–the scramble of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that comes forward in most standard posts about my “growth” trajectory?
None of my writers’ group people liked it. Too touchy-feely-boring-y. But, can we talk before I hit “delete?”
I went from making that post private, to public, and back again a few times over. Now it’s public again. If only to serve as an illustration for how confusing this stuff can be. And because I’m stubborn.
I can almost hear a few groans. Stay with me: I’ll deconstruct and decode; promise.
Thoughts and feelings are the best way to access hidden beliefs operating on a subconscious level. They lead us to beliefs that we accept as true, but can be changed fairly easily. When we change our beliefs, we become conscious of the thoughts associated with the belief, and they often change, too. And the troublesome feelings just kind of go away.
Why would we want to find the hidden beliefs? Because beliefs create. They create our experience, and probably our entire sense of what’s real.
An example. Do you know anyone (maybe you) with a belief in poverty? That’s shorthand for feeling and thinking that there is never enough. Enough money, food, clothing, maybe. Or even enough love. A belief in poverty can create an impoverished life. Not living in a cardboard box, maybe, but a chronic condition of prosperity sitting just beyond ones grasp. A lack of safety in one’s financial world.
How do we fix this? Often, it’s at the level of belief that the problem can be fixed. A reader, Kristine, commented that her sense of lack existed in her earliest recollections. This is true for most beliefs, especially the well-hidden ones. Messages from our parents and others in a position of authority (aka societal messages) get implanted in our unconscious, and remain just below the level of consciousness until we unearth them.
Can I do my own unearthing, you might wonder? Absolutely. Here’s how.
First step: Write stuff out. You don’t have to do it publicly like I did. But just get things down on paper. Just write about anything you’re struggling with.
Step two, using the Gootugo map and colored highlighters, markers, or desktop highlighting tools, color code your words according to the ABCs in “go.” In other words, if a sentence or two in your written words reflect feelings, give them a pink highlight. If they reflect denial or defenses, make them aqua.
Gootugo doesn’t have colors yet. But it should: (note to self–add the colors already!)
I assigned the colors as follows: Autothoughts = green; Beliefs = yellow; Consequences = orange; Defenses (or Denial) = aqua, Emotion = pink, and Family = violet.
I just went to that Thoughts Jumble post, and colored the first opportune sentences with the appropriate colors, as an example. But I completed the color coding on my laptop before starting this post, just to make it easier. That effort is illustrated in the screen shot at the top of this post.
Let’s talk a moment about Denial.
Denial is what we do when we can’t face something. We usually can’t face something because it seems too frightening to go through, or because it’s too painful to bear. Fear and pain are not easy feelings. Innocent bystanders (those lucky people whose defenses are still in place, or who have not experienced many hardships) might wonder what’s so damn scary about getting close, or painful about isolation. But trust me, if they were easy, we wouldn’t need the twin soldiers–defenses and denial–to protect us.
The better part of my Jumbled Thoughts post sported a nice aqua highlight. Denial free-flow. If only February days above 10 degrees Fahrenheit were that abundant.
Can you spot defense and denial in the Thoughts Jumble post? Comments welcome!