Most people have an area of their life that just doesn’t add up. When you factor in all that you know, you just can’t make sense of it.
Why do you do things that are counterproductive or even harmful to your goals and desires?
These are signs and symptoms of self-deception; living in a self-created matrix of illusion.
If you can digest the following mind-bending facts about the human psyche, you may have the AHA experience of a lifetime. Or, maybe it will open a new area of exploration that has potential to explain a lot. I hope it does, because the following serves as the gateway to the matrix. See the entrance. See the exit! Here are the facts:
Children do not have truth/falsehood filters. Whatever parents tell children, they not only believe, but anticipate and act on. This is how Santa Claus manages to stick around.
When kids believe in Santa, they behave accordingly. They write letters to Santa, stay up at night to get a glimpse, leave out cookies on Christmas Eve, try not to be on the naughty list and so on.
We act on what we believe is true.
Enter the first major, hard-to-believe glitch in the program. If you learned only helpful or harmless things as a child, you’d be set up for a lifetime of success. Sadly, you were taught many things that are false.
Here’s the mind-blower: You made these lies pleasurable. I almost hate to be the one to break this to you, but it is true. Children cannot filter out falsehood and they make perceived truth pleasurable. If you did not make truth pleasurable, then you would never act on it. When you are taught that a lie is true, then seeking the lie becomes right and familiar. This combination of traits can turn your whole world upside down. It may be the number one human vulnerability; the key to our undoing.
On a personal level, perhaps you learned that you are not worth anyone’s time. Perhaps you discovered that there is no point in thinking for yourself. Maybe you learned that it is useless to try to succeed. Perhaps you learned that you do not fit in.
Let’s say you were taught that you weren’t worth your parents’ time. When you needed help, they were busy. When you wanted to play, they weren’t interested. When you were proud of yourself and wanted to brag, they dismissed you.
Modern culture encourages older children to let go of their harmless belief in Santa Claus. Most parents are sensitive enough and comfortable guiding their children through the process.
Modern culture offers no encouragement or process to let go of the harmful lies you were told. When you think about it, people might be better off believing in Santa for life than believing they are worthless as a person for life. Still, there is no rite of passage, no method and virtually no mention that young adults should examine beliefs related to their upbringing.
Worse, extraordinarily few people exist on this planet who know how to help others identify and let go of the lies they are living.
So, as an adult, you are now living the lie that you are worthless. You treat yourself the way your parents treated you. You don’t take care of yourself, respect yourself or give yourself the time and sacrifice necessary to create the life you want.
You act on the lie. You don’t care what you eat or what goes into your body. You don’t make time for yourself. You find it hard to accept compliments. You don’t keep commitments to yourself. You are uncomfortable around people with high self-esteem, etc…
Worse, you find a strange, unexplainable pleasure or personal familiarity in treating yourself this way. This only adds shame to the mix.
Here’s why letting go of lies is so difficult. If you are living a lie, you probably don’t want to admit it. The lie you are living isn’t pretty. Who wants to face the ugliness and pain at the core of their being?
No one wants to appear weak or worthless. Everyone is putting their best foot forward and burying the unmentionables. Your ego does not want to see the truth!
Your campaign to hide the painful lie-you-believe-is-true is wholesale. You hide the lie by setting out to prove your worth to the world, as if you could deny the lie by worldly success. You ignore your feelings. You look down on “weak” or “unimportant” people.
You avoid intimacy, unconsciously fearing that if someone were to get to know you, they’d disapprove. If someone suggests in any way that you might be mistaken or to blame for something, you get defensive. You avoid at all costs any hint that you might be less than you portray yourself.
The bitter irony is that all this is totally unnecessary. You are not worthless. You never were. You only believed the lie and now act upon it regularly, at times getting a strange satisfaction from it.
All this leads to an incredible bind. You are strangely attracted to being less than – it is familiar territory for you. All the ways you act upon this belief are troubling, but the denial is so thick that you don’t know where to begin to figure it all out.
You set goals that would improve your life, then sabotage those goals because you lean heavily toward that attachment to being less than. You know you should not eat junk, smoke junk, drink junk, do junk, treat yourself like junk, but you do so anyway. You understand the consequences of such behaviors, but do not seem to care. In fact, you are oddly invested in bringing more junk upon yourself.
When real solutions present themselves, you reject them. When people try to help, you become offended and pretend you have no problem. You even judge others who have obvious problems to move attention away from your own (Reality TV is a good vehicle for this).
It is entirely possible for you to stare real solutions in the face, admit they are solutions, then proceed to do the opposite and resent anyone who calls you on your irresponsible behavior.
You live the lie, take pleasure in the lie, fear solutions to the lie, don’t know who you would be without the lie and keep all this from yourself with amazing agility.
Scammers of all kinds love to prey upon our struggle by offering pretended solutions that do not require us to dig deep. Take a pill. You’ll feel better. Kick the can down the road. Buy this or that personal growth program that promises easy solutions and quick, painless fixes. Anything to avoid looking at ourselves deeply.
Digging deep is the only solution, however. Do not be afraid to do it. The only dark secrets lurking in your psyche will transform into enlightenment the moment you discover them.
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Last reviewed: 23 Feb 2013