The Negative Belief Cycle
Most of us are aware of what the Belief Cycle is: We experience events in our lives, have thoughts about them, interpret these
thoughts which become our beliefs. We then take action on those beliefs; repeating pleasant experiences and avoiding negative ones. We go through life constantly making adjustments to our belief cycle as we experience new events. For the most part, this cycle is positive, helping us navigate our way through a sometimes chaotic world.
But what happens when it's not? When we have no control over our experiences, as is the case with victims of repeated abuse, those living in a war zone, and individuals suffering from systemic racism, our belief cycle becomes skewed. Our experiences are so traumatic we struggle to make sense of them. So instead of thoughts and interpretations we rely on feelings which are often negative. These negative feelings lead to self-judgement instead of action, which in turn lead to negative beliefs. Over time, what emerged for me was fear (feeling), somehow I caused it and deserved it (judgement), and low self esteem (negative belief). These negative beliefs grew and flourished by constant repetition of the belief cycle.
However, "no matter how these negative beliefs are formed, via upbringing, social, religious, cultural conditioning, they are my responsibility. I am the only person on earth who can change this." Certainly I have had guides along the way, from my first therapist to my Reiki mentor, but the responsibility is mine,
Responsibility gets a bad rap; it's seems such an awful word. I'm responsible to go to work, pay my bills, clean the house - nothing fun. "But the word responsibility is actually quite beautiful; it means the ability to respond. It is easy to give the responsibility for what happens to others. But this way you remain a victim, and a victim can never come out of the miserable situation he finds himself in. Being responsible is the first step in the journey to happiness and a zest for life."
Knowing how the negative belief cycle works, taking responsibility, determining to be happy was a huge step in my healing journey. Knowing there were exits in the cycle allowed me to make the choice to let negative thoughts go instead of nourish them. Choosing the "ability to respond" was my first step in courage and happiness, the first step to win over myself and become a true victor!
(All text in quotes come from the book "This is Reiki" by Frank Arjava Petter).