In the last post we looked at a very simplified list of possible beliefs that may exist in our lives yet the reality is there is likely an incredibly intricate web of beliefs and rules around what is required in order for us to feel our Beautiful State of Being whether that comprise of Peace, Joy, Love, Meaning or Fulfilment. That being said the road to dismantling these conditional beliefs can be simple yet not necessarily easy. To start we must better understand the common thread between all conditional beliefs, there exists a master linchpin from which all hang.
When the realisation to which I am now writing was unfolding within circumstances of my own life I saw that there was one primary force that kept these illusory beliefs in place… Fear.
The fear is based on the notion that if these conditional beliefs aren’t satisfied we won’t be able to experience our Beautiful State and all else is suffering. The fear is that we will suffer.
Need, control and manipulation are the three pronged defensive force we employ in order to protect ourselves against that fear of suffering.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:
Conditional Belief: In order to feel loved I must feel honoured and respected.
Fear: To feel betrayed or dishonoured means I am not loved
For me to feel honoured and respected my partner must …..(fill in the blank)….
I don’t want my partner to ‘do this’ or ‘be like that’ or ‘see that person’ or …..(fill in the bank)
Conditional Belief: I must be a size 10 in order to be accepted
Fear: To not be a size 10 means I am unattractive, not in-line with social expectations and therefore not accepted or lovable.
Need/ Control/ Manipulation: I must work out so many days a week, I must eat these foods, I must sacrifice these desires.
When we do actually manage to get one or more balls in the air as satisfied conditional beliefs to our own or society’s expectations, we may briefly experience that which we have longed for being our Beautiful State, however the double kicker in this no-win game is the fact that even when satisfied we will fear the loss of that satisfied belief or the goal posts will move and fear and suffering are returned as the belief moves back into an unsatisfied condition.
For example let’s say you have always believed that being a millionaire was what defined financial success in your mind and you had accepted it as a conditional belief of Joy and fulfillment. So you laboured many years and sacrificed much and to your great glory you achieved this goal and celebrate mightily you did. Yet as the streamers were swept away and the normality of your financial position set in you began to notice many billionaires and suddenly you were but a miniscule fish in a much bigger pond. You began to make a comparison and feel inferior and create a new conditional belief around financial success. The briefly satisfied condition is now once again pushed out of reach calling for your attempted control, need and manipulation for potentially the rest of your life in hope of once again holding that holy grail in your hands and bathing in its glory.
As long as we don’t control the conditions upon which we can access the highest prize of life then it will forever be just out of reach and fear and suffering to various degrees will be in our midst.
The road to freedom is the letting go of the primary conditional belief that all others stem from and that is the belief that there are external conditions that require satisfaction in order for us to be our Beautiful State. This is how Viktor Frankl found his freedom and we can to.
He wrote “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Viktor wasn’t able to change his situation so was forced inward, this in many ways was the blessing within his predicament. In what we might call normal life we are endlessly tempted to try and control people and situations in order to avoid our fears so that we can maintain the lifelong attempt to satisfy our conditional beliefs.
Our whole lives have become a giant web of fear avoidance.
When I finally conceded that it was impossible to control people and circumstances outside of myself I realised that as long as I needed anything from anyone or any particular favourable circumstance outside of myself I would always be a slave and destined to fear, disappointment and suffering.
I was forced to realise that everything I was looking for already existed within me and was within my dominion. I knew that ultimately I didn’t need anything from anyone, I need only let go of the underlying belief.
The question then became, how do I unhitch these limiting beliefs that have been so long engrained?
If I truly believed that as a sovereign entity all I desired was already within me, and indeed I did, then the only way I could see to burn the limiting beliefs woven over an entire lifetime was to prove them manifestly incorrect. To prove the belief wrong and the fear unjustified I needed to walk through it. I had to engage the fear directly, I had to take on the tiger.
To collapse the web of fear we must be willing to face it and move through it.
In letting go of the need for any thing or anyone to be different than they are, including ourselves, we walk through the fear. Paradoxically it is in surrender to what is as it is that victory is found. By letting go of any and all means of need, control and manipulation, we put absolute trust in the one new belief to which we hang everything on.
I am the source of everything I desire.
When we are willing to face the fear and move through it and when we let go of the need for people or circumstances to be different than they are, we undermine the entire house of cards.
On the other side of the fear we realise that the catalyst for suffering has been removed. How can expectations be let down when there are no expectations? How can we feel fat when we have let go of the the belief in that judgement?
It doesn’t mean we all of a sudden let everyone run all over us. In reclaiming our power to live in our Beautiful State we can now allow others the grace to be and do as they wish, for it is in the same freedom that we now bask. If who they are when freely expressing is not in alignment with who we wish to share that kind of relationship then we can make the empowered decision to lovingly change the nature of the relationship. When we know all the power is within us then nothing need be feared.
When the fear is embraced and the conditional beliefs are let go, we reveal our true Self, we potentiate our deepest dreams and we emancipate our lives.
To need nothing is to fear nothing.
To fear nothing is to be free.