The F-WordWritten by Kevin B. Burk, Author of The Relationship Handbook
I'd like to invite you to consider a powerful concept. This concept is essential--we must learn how to master it if we want to experience levels of joy, happiness, love and prosperity that are our birthright. Many of us, however, resist this concept. We use it sparingly, if at all, and occasionally, we won't even consider it as an option. In fact, for many of us, this concept is so emotionally charged that I hesitate to even name it, because if I call it anything other than "f-word" it could put our egos on high alert.
You see, in many cases, avoiding this concept is ego's front line defense--an effort to protect us from experiencing pain. The ego believes that if we embraced "f-word" we would be defenseless at best, and at worst, we would be destroyed completely. Of course, it doesn't help that most of us have a somewhat ego- and fear-based understanding of "f-word" that makes it less than appealing. The truth is that embracing "f-word" is secret to experiencing genuine freedom in our lives.
So, what is "f-word"? Forgiveness.
In order to improve our lives, our relationships, and our reality, we must learn and practice forgiveness. We must forgive freely, liberally, and often. We must forgive everything and everyone--especially people we are most reluctant to forgive. But let's take a few moments to consider true nature of forgiveness.
Guy Williams, a friend of mine who also happens to be a minister of Religious Science, suggested this take on nature of forgiveness. Forgiveness simply means to give as before. When we are angry with someone, when we harbor resentment towards someone, we have stopped giving to him or her. We no longer give that person our love or our compassion. They have betrayed us and caused us pain. And we know what happens anytime we have a painful experience, right? Our egos immediately create a new frame and a new belief in an effort to protect us from experiencing that pain again in future.
Our egos are reluctant to accept truth that sometimes unpleasant and painful experiences are unavoidable. Our egos need to believe that they can protect us. Our egos need a scapegoat--something (or someone) concrete that can be identified, isolated and avoided. Holding onto our anger and resentment keeps us separate from person or persons who betrayed us. This, in turn, reinforces illusion that we are separate from those individuals, and distances us from truth that there is no separation: We are all aspects of All That Is. The less we remember truth of who we are, more our essential spiritual and life lessons seem to present challenges rather than opportunities. Everyone always does best they can at any given time, and that's all we can ever expect.
Change the Words and Change the WorldWritten by Kevin B. Burk, Author of The Relationship Handbook
If we want to change our lives in any way, all we need to do is to change our words, thoughts and beliefs. When we change words, we change world.
Over course of this handbook, you may discover a number of beliefs that no longer support you. By following this simple, three-step process, you can change your beliefs. By consciously creating beliefs that support us, we can change our reality and enhance our lives.
AWARENESS The first and most important step towards changing our beliefs and improving our lives is to become consciously aware of our beliefs. We must identify each thought that shapes our experiences. We have to name our thoughts. We must become conscious of exact words that we have been using to create our realities. This is first step towards mastering our minds.
So much of our life is governed by our unconscious thoughts, beliefs and patterns. We have lived with so many of these thoughts for so long that we believe that they're actually real. We tell ourselves "that's just way things are." Many of these thoughts are beliefs about who we are and what we're entitled to--and almost all of these beliefs deny truth of who we are, limit our potential and cut us off from source of our happiness and prosperity.
We must become aware of our thoughts and beliefs. This handbook is designed to support our awareness.
OWNERSHIP Once we've become aware of a belief, second step is to own it. We must accept it. We must take personal responsibility for it. We must recognize that belief belongs to us, and that it is a part of who we are. Most importantly, we must accept that we created belief.
This process is simple, but not always easy. We have to accept and acknowledge that we are responsible for creating beliefs that are often negative, painful, and limiting. On a conscious level we tell ourselves that we would never do this. Why on earth would we choose to believe that we are unworthy, damaged, unlovable, unskilled, unlucky, or any of millions of other possibilities? Strange as it seems, even our most negative, painful beliefs were created to serve and support us. Every single one of our beliefs exists because ego is trying to protect us from pain. As painful as belief itself may be, ego believes that pain that belief shields us from is infinitely greater. Just because these beliefs no longer serve us, doesn't mean that they are bad or wrong.
It's often easier to own a belief when we are able to identify origins of that belief. If we understand that we created a belief to help us cope with a particular experience, we can accept how that belief served us at time. This process can also help us to uncover beliefs we created because of things we were told as children.
While it's often helpful to explore where and when we first created a belief, we have to be careful. Our egos will encourage us to deflect responsibility for beliefs to protect us. It's one thing to recognize that we believe that we're not worthy of being loved (for example) because our parents didn't spend enough time with us. It's quite another to blame our parents for creating this belief and ruining our lives. Our parents didn't create belief--we did. We interpreted an experience, created assumptions around it, developed expectations and created belief. And until we accept this, we can't change that belief.
Our egos can also interfere with ownership process by encouraging us to identify with limiting belief. The ego can trick us into reinforcing our negative beliefs, by turning those beliefs back on us. Essentially, we tell ourselves that we're unworthy because we created a belief that we're unworthy. We beat ourselves up for beating ourselves up. Without awareness, ego has us coming and going.