You’ll Feel it When You Believe It – A Radical Insight in Plain View
Blaming the way you feel for your problems is like blaming feeling hot for causing a fever.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Well, this student of NLP and Neuro-Semantics took 15 years to really get this insight. I know you won’t take so long.
Despite the short-length of this article, the information in it is profound. I pray that you find it at the right time in your life to benefit. To God be the Glory.
For a long time, I beat myself up because I didn’t ‘feel’ as compassionate towards other people as I thought I should. As a Christian, I am called by Jesus to ‘love my neighbour as I love myself’, a high calling whether you believe Christ or not.
But I didn’t feel the motivation. In fact, sometimes it was like wishing you were taller or your arms were longer and, in frustration, pulling them downwards (or straining yourself upwards) ‘ngnhhhhhh! Urrrrrgf! Obviously, this does not work.
So I beat myself, and consigned this ‘lack of resources’ to the ‘one day it will come’ pile.
You may be able to relate by answering the question: ‘Why can’t I feel x for y?’ (love my teenager, enjoy my free time, want to do my finances when I need to etc?).
But here’s the question? Why should you have to care/love/etc?
If you haven’t decided it’s important to you, if you haven’t made a decision (which is different to an everyday thought) then why would you care?
What do you mean? Of course its important to me! Of course I care. Yes, but I respectfully disagree in terms of the way that belief/decision is represented in your mind. It does make a difference. And as the bible says “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure”. We can say we believe one thing and act some other way – what we really believe.
Michael Hall and Bobby Bodenhammer teach that a belief/decision is a thought validated by a strong ‘yes’ at a higher level. Although belief change is not the focus of this article, you can experience some of what they mean by trying the following:
Think of a national monument – the Eiffel tower, Big Ben, the Grand Canyon, Table Mountain…
Think of it covered in strawberries and cream? Funny? Maybe. But do you believe it? I don’t think so.
Now, ask your self the following questions: Who is in the Whitehouse right now? Answer. Then ask: Is it Nixon? Is it Ford? Is it Lincoln and listen for the voice in the back of your mind or the feeling that confirms it is not. This is a signal from your higher level meta-YES. Notice also, that beliefs (things you have said yes and no too are more enduring than thoughts. I mean, you’re not still thinking about your cream covered monument, are you? (grin)
So, back to what you ‘should’ feel.
Albert Ellis, inventor of REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy) says that we basically feel what we think. That’s right. And if that is true (which in the last 15 years I have found it mostly to be so) then HOW CAN YOU FEEL SOMETHING YOU DON’T YET THINK?
When you truly get this you realise how utterly illogical it is to believe that you should care about something you haven’t firmly decided to care about. I don’t want anyone to feel guilty because this is a structural issue, one of internal arrangement of mental phenomena, rather than a moral issue of ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
So, therefore, you have to make the decision to care even when it is not something you feel like doing, which you won’t because you don’t have the belief that you care enough yet! As I said at the top, blaming your feelings for not feeling enough x is like blaming feeling hot for causing a fever. You’re focus is on the wrong place, the symptom not the cause.
So you need to make an intellectual decision that it is worth caring, and not keep harassing your feelings because that won’t give you the information you need. Stop seeking something you won’t find because it is not there!
Using belief change techniques, go from, I should (and beating yourself up) to ‘I can’ and ‘I will’ because I have logically decided with my rational thinking processes that it is necessary to install a new belief.
So, in summary – it’s NOT the feeling that is important. It is the lack of thoughts to create the feelings. Ergo, it is both a logical issue and a psycho-logical. The logic is – no feeling because the thought structures are not in place. The psycho-logical part is – there is no feeling because the thought structures are not in place!!
So you actually need to dispassionately examine what beliefs would need to be in place in order for me to feel x(compassionate, loving, brave etc)
What do I need to believe in order to feel?
I will say up front that this can be an uncomfortable exercise but if you can ‘hold the space’ and want some help, coaching might be the right thing for you.
Douglas Cartwright can help you install new beliefs that will lead to new actions and new feelings. If you are interested in finding out about a completely free introductory session then go to http://www.livingwords.net/testimonials.html. You can renew your mind and live your words like never before. Free ebook comes with every introductory session.
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