I can tell you this, raising a pup is hard work. Apart from all the physical demands it brings, it activated some core beliefs that I held unconsciously, like “I do everything wrong” and “I only have one shot at everything I try”. Those two kind of highlight why I don’t like starting new projects and why I stop before giving myself the chance to succeed. For me, the most interesting though was “I am never ever going to make my dreams come true”, because while the other beliefs do explain a lot of context, they were easy to let go as I was not attached to them in any way The latter, however, really challenged me as I so much wanted it to be untrue. I so much wanted (and partly still want) to achieve professional and financial success. Yet with this belief anchored in the experience of it not being so and my ever-deepened need to make it so, I will never be able to make my dreams come true.
So, next to walking the pup, training her, cuddling her, and being licked all over, I started to work on releasing this belief – steeped in lack – of never ever going to make my dreams come true. I asked myself, could I accept that this is all there is, that it will always be this way? That hurt. And whereas I would have expected to feel this in my gut area, it was my throat that tightened. I felt like choking. And as I am writing this, I can still feel a strain on my vocal cords, as if I have a big lump in my throat. It felt and still feels like not being able to speak my truth, not expressing who I am.
Before I go any further, let me say this. I have said it before and I will say it again, I love my dad to bits and I appreciate his presence and how he has helped me to grow into who I am today more than I can ever express in words. And even though I no longer adhere my parent’s religious beliefs, I don’t hold any resentment towards it. Yes, it twisted me up big time, but any strong belief would have done that, because I was programmed to want love more than anything, even more than my own identity or my sanity. I simply was a very impressionable girl with a very authoritative and religious dad, and that created some very freaking awesome outcomes. Freaking awesome because it pushed me over the edge and landed me on a path of self-discovery and realization that I most likely would not have known otherwise. So even though it is the road less traveled, and I sometimes wished it were easier, I wouldn’t want it any other way. This is the perfect path for me.
Back to my vocal cords. Back to not being able to fully express myself, to what is holding me back, to the pain I stored there by not expressing who I AM in order to be loved. Like most kids, I learned very early on in life that I was not able to speak my heart and mind in front of my parents. I imagine most parents get from mildly upset to sad or angry, like my mom would. My dad, on the other hand, would simply say that it wasn’t so. As a young kid, you don’t question your parents, they are your superheroes. Later, I would ask, ‘but dad, couldn’t it be this way?’, and the answer would invariably, authoritatively, be ‘no, it is this way.’ No doubt, whatsoever. I stopped asking. I remember being 26 or 27, sitting in the car with my dad, having a conversation, I can’t remember the topic, but I do vividly remember not agreeing with my dad and mustering up the courage to ask for the first time in a very, very long time, ‘but dad, couldn’t it be different?’. The answer was ‘no, it is this way.’ Mustering up more courage. ‘I believe it to be different,’ I said for the first time ever. Both of us, dumbstruck. ‘Really?’, he eventually asked inquisitively. Even more courage. ‘Yes, I believe it to be this way.’ Silence. ‘Mmmm, you might be right,’ he then said. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. It was like discovering the world had always been upside down. My dad didn’t need people to agree with him, he needed people to see through his act and challenge him. I had been sacrificing my voice for nothing. He still loved me, and if possible even more. Ever since that day, I regularly give him a piece of heart, allowing him to get out of his mind-made cage, if only for a moment. He never says it, but I can feel in his hugs that, on some level, it is appreciated.
It was a big step towards freedom. Subsequently, it took me about 15 years to get from becoming aware of my own lack of expression to being able to release the adopted beliefs that limit self-expression and the pain that they have accumulated over the years. The thing with adopted beliefs, especially when adopted early and held for a long time, is that they tend to generalize. Not only did I stop expressing myself and doubting every single idea I had, I also, unconsciously, started adopting other people’s beliefs over mine, especially my dad’s. The sins of the father will be visited upon the children. One of the meanings of sin is to miss the mark or to fail. Without being aware, I adopted my father’s limiting beliefs and allowed them to limit me. Living his beliefs I was missing my purpose, yet at the same time they instilled in me a deep desire to live the life I was meant to live, a life of reconnecting and healing, a life lived through and co-created with Source. Full circle, no sin, just grace. I believe Source is expressing itself through us, creating and recreating itself in every moment, just as we are. I intend to live that fully.
picture by Miguel Ugalde