I think one of the hardest things about figuring out what is blocking peace is discovering unconscious beliefs and issues. Most of us have tapes playing in our heads all the time that are based on beliefs we don’t even realize we hold. Painful issues are often buried deep and ego works very hard on keeping them that way.
One of the most useful tools any teacher has offered was given to me in somewhat different forms by two different teachers. On any given issues in life make a list of what your mother believes. Then do the same for father. If you had a family member at least seven years older than you who had a big influence, make a list for that person too.
Some examples, what do (mother, father, aunt, older brother…) believe about:
- Financial management
- Rich people
- Poor people
You get the idea. In my Fischer-Hoffman group we had a handout of 16 pages of nuances along those lines and as we spent two months each on mother and father, most of us added our own items to the list. You can put a lot of time into this if you want to do a thorough job.
Once you have your lists, take a good look. Those lists tell you what you believe. Yep. Everything on the list that you’re assigning to a parent/influential figure is something you believe. They may or may not also believe some or all of the list, but the key factor is that all of those beliefs are YOUR PERCEPTION of what they believe. And they’re in crazy daisy chains, intertwining and surfacing in one context but not another. Contradicting each other depending on the circumstance.
One of the best ways to realize how important perception is in this is to have siblings separately make lists. It’s astonishing how often they’ll have complete opposite lists of what Mom and Dad believe.
As part of this month’s challenge to explore what blocks your peace, you might try this exercise. Make your lists and write a post about what you find. Do you see beliefs that seem to interfere with having a peaceful heart?