Have you ever considered asking yourself, sincerely, deeply and honestly, whether you are actually telling the truth about yourself to yourself….?
Neale Donald Walsch in his Conversations with God dialogues espouses this as the first, and perhaps most profound of the 5 stages of subjective truth. This very question of the truth of who I am is the subject matter that has kept me both enthralled, and also in a quandary, for most of my life. The deeper questions of what is actually real, and what exactly makes it so. And what the hell is this game of life all about, really?
Growing up in the Hampshire countryside in England, and closely allied with my younger brother Thomas, life was as for any young boy of upper middle class background, filled with adventure and fantasy, and play, and football, and staged gun fighting and tree climbing, and we tumbled, and we laughed and we were naughty; there was mischievousness and there were dogs and there was cricket and there was swimming. It all seemed like a fairytale, like a a joyous never ending summer fairytale.There was no reason to question anything, life unfolded as it did, in a splendid and glorious and joyous manner. Everything was perfect just as it was, and that was my experience/my truth.
In the Autumn of 1986, a jolt to my system came in the form of news that I was to be sent away to boarding school. That’s right, an 8 year old version of me going to live, sleep, eat and learn away from home with 250 other boys ranging in age from 8 until 13 years old for up to 3 weeks at a time. I wasn’t to realise it then, but this was when I started to learn about the power of my emotions, and that I was beginning to create beliefs which would lead to my subjective experiences in life & therefore my subjective truth/reality.
That first night away from home, I lay in my dormitory bed, curled up in a frightened ball clutching my favorite teddy, a walrus by the name of ‘loveable’, who actually wore a pink jersey with ‘loveable’ emblazoned on the front but who now had sewn on a blue striped pyjama jacket, courtesy of my dear nanny Monica, to save my being teased by the other boys. My 8 year old body was wracked with tears, and fears and uncertainty; why was this happening to me, what had I done wrong, why was I being sent away from home, why was I being rejected? Self consciousness pervaded my little 8 year old’s sense of self, as I somehow knew that to suppress and stifle these emotions might spare me blushes in the morning and teasing by the other boys. My truth in these days was that I was scared and alone and very, very sad, and yet felt that I had no safe outlet for expression of these energies and emotions. As much as I could be exuberant, joyful and highly energetic in my play, I was also very sensitive, sad and nervous in my vulnerability, with no map to skilfully navigate, communicate or express these parts of myself. ‘Boys don’t cry, and those that do are wimps and sissys and are singled out for unwarranted attention and teasing.’ Here started to begin a conflicting theme in my life, of my internal world reflecting my subjective truth/experience (pain) and my outer world reflecting what I thought was necessary in order to ‘fit in’ (pretense). I had started lying to myself.
With the prospect of sinking or swimming, I learned how to cope pretty quickly, I learned how to adjust or adapt my behaviours in order to make friends, or curry favor with teachers, or to avoid being the target of the sometimes cruelty of little boys to one another. The learning and coping was to suppress and repress my energetic truth, and to replace these with the veneers of tip top, tally ho, and everything is grand. And so began an unhealthy manner of relating to and with myself let alone even an inkling of an understanding of my emotional intelligence. The fact is, and was, I am a very sensitive being and am able to feel very deeply, but back then I decided it wasn’t safe to, and started to push away and numb myself to the power of what I was experiencing.
It was in the following year 1987, that in retrospect, led to one of the more profound realisations of my life. My younger brother Thomas arrived to school. Of course, by this point my coping mechanisms and strategies were in place and I had learned a certain dysfunctional, functioning, repressive existence when it came to feeling my deeper emotions; then Tom appears and decides that this boarding school lark is really not his cup of tea at all. He personified home-sickness, he cried, constantly, He bawled, constantly, he was, and still is a beautifully sensitive soul, but back then he was able and freely did express exactly how he was feeling. My carefully constructed defenses came down and I suddenly found myself triggered into feeling all that I had buried. One morning in particular, Tom was in such an emotional state during breakfast that I, as big brother, was asked by the teachers to take Tom for a walk around the cart path to settle him down. I’ll never forget that walk, as it was to shape my emotional life for almost 30 years thereafter.
It was a cold, grey and misty Autumnal morning, late September or early October. We were both dressed in our uniform of corduroy trousers, checked/plaid shirts, V-necked jumpers, blue woollen ties and our trainers for walking, there was a nip in the air and the path was wet and muddy. He was sobbing, somewhat hysterically, and I was doing my best as older brother to calm him, all the while being triggered enormously by his emotions, reminding me of the power of mine. My throat was constricted and in pain as I forced back my own tears and sadness, my stomach was churning as though a jar of butterflies had been unleashed within, and I vividly remember the energy of the moment, and the decision I made in that moment: I would never show my emotions in order to protect my brother.
Seemingly innocuous, right? You can almost empathise with the 9 year old me attempting to protect and soothe and pacify his traumatised younger brother. The trouble was that the belief created by the boy in the power of that moment was carried through his boyhood, into adolescence and on into manhood. The belief that I should never show my emotions. The interesting thing about beliefs, or course, is that they hold absolute truth for us in our experience of the world. And so, I created the experience in and of my life that I should never show my emotions. A strategy for boarding school, perhaps, but not for life!
It wasn’t until 29 years later in January 2016, in the Australian outback during an Avatar consciousness training course that I uncovered this belief, discreated it, and began to experience a different reality, one where the boy, the teen, and the man was willing and able to express himself and his emotions. I cried and cried and I cried, I howled, I wailed, a grief so deep and haunting and old came through me and then I laughed and laughed and laughed, as the realisation dawned on me that I had been living my emotional life through the beliefs of an 8 year old boy.
And so, I came to the profound realisation at the grand old age of 37, in the Australian outback, that my beliefs are creating my experience of reality. I’ll say that again. Our beliefs are creating our entire subjective, and collective, experience of reality. I was dumb struck. Does everyone know this already and am I the dumb-dumb or last person to figure this out, or are these tools in consciousness deeply important for the awakening of humanity to the truth of who we are, and perhaps more aptly, who we are not?
How many of us are truly, deeply aware and conscious of what we believe? How many of these beliefs have been deliberately, and purposefully chosen and created by us, and how many are we living through as a result of a collectively conditioned and indoctrinated society? Are not the beliefs of the society simply those that are passed to us from our fathers and forefathers, and to them by theirs? I invite you to consider the reality you are currently calling your life, and how deliberate your experience of your life is. Is it a life that you have deliberately chosen to experience? Is there anything you would like to change about your life? Do you believe you can change the experiences you are having? It all starts and ends with the power of our beliefs.
This is epic news for those of us willing to do the work and take full personal responsibility for our lives. Whatever you believe you experience. What do you choose to believe?
Please feel free to share with anyone you feel may benefit from reading these words.