I have been thinking a lot about old beliefs and how they feed my fears. Yes, old childhood stuff—beliefs that I am not lovable, will be abandoned, am defective and that I must subjugate myself to redress all of the above. The schema—as they are called in cognitive therapy—do in fact, scheme. They conspire and work together. The fear of being unlovable is built on the belief of being defective, so how could you love me? Therefore you’ll abandon me. To try to prevent that I subjugate myself and then I get mad at you and then at me. It’s a not very merry Merry-Go-Round of bad beliefs and bad feelings.
To break the cycle I have to have new beliefs. We say “old tapes” but now I know they are so deeply imbedded that they are closer to subliminal messages. I can do the work of catching and changing those messages when I am aware of them but so often I seem to “come to” in the middle of being convinced that one of my fear thoughts is absolutely true. Somehting like, “She doesn’t like me.” “They don’t want to be friends with me”. Or the bottom-line “I’ll be alone and sad.”
There is a lot that I can do about this way of thinking but after that it really is God’s work. I think that’s what steps six and seven are about: Do what I can to change these underlying beliefs—they are after all what leads to lying, cheating, gossiping and being mean. But then I also need God to help me and to heal me and that is my ongoing prayer.