How does any individual practice self-love? What does that even mean? Are you going through life at half speed finding yourself disillusioned with unfinished projects, dreams, and goals? Do you find yourself talking to yourself in a very negative, criticizing way, such as, “You are such an idiot?” or “I’ll never amount to anything?” Are you treating yourself lovingly?
One of the initial and most fundamental needs we have as human beings is a connection through love, a bond with another human being. Under normal circumstances, new-born infants and toddlers would have this primary bond with their mothers. The emotional center of infants’ brains require not only loving and timely responses to their needs, but healthy emotional information from adult caregivers’ body language — healthy information such as relaxed muscles in the arms that hold them, happy and loving facial expressions, a soft and gentle tone of voice, and softness in the eyes. Babies glean this “information” and interpret it as love.
An unborn fetus is affected by the mother’s experiences and emotions. His neural circuitry is already being formed. According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, a child’s conscious mind does not really become operational until the age of seven. His conscious mind would include his personal identity, his creative mind, his personality and his ability to think logically. So, during the gestational period and in the early years of childhood, a child ‘s brain is operating out of his subconscious mind in the frequency of Theta. This is an egocentric mind, meaning, the child views all experiences through a childish lens.
In reality, the caregiver’s brain programs the infant’s brain. A child will download behaviors by observing parents and siblings for the first seven years of his life. A parent who is in tune with the needs of the infant sets her child up to encode positive emotional patterns in the regulatory centers of the brain that governs mood, emotional self-control, and social behavior. Good experiences lead to healthy brain development. Repeatedly firing nerve patterns become wired into the brain and will form part of an individual’s habitual interaction with the world, in effect, an individual who becomes an emotionally healthy adult who treats himself with love. This is the ideal.
So, what happens if an individual’s infancy and childhood were less than optimal for healthy brain development? If the parents are not emotionally healthy or the child’s homelife was chaotic and dysfunctional, the child can download behaviors that are not very positive. Adverse circumstance lead to deficits in the neuronal connections in a child’s brain. The percentage of programs downloaded that are negative can be as high as 70 per cent. These downloaded programs are stored in the subconscious mind of the child – the habit mind.
A depressed mother sets her child up for problems with bonding, relationships, and learning how to self-soothe when emotionally upset. A child with a depressed mom feels constant deprivation and distress. A stressed parent has difficulty offering her child a specific quality required for optimal development of the brain’s self-regulation circuits: the quality of attunement. Children in these situations do not experience themselves as appreciated for who they really are. Consequently, they are likely to grow up as insecure adults whose neurological and psychological self-regulation systems in the brain are poorly developed. These underdeveloped systems lead to low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and a need to seek validation from others. For such a child, the majority of the programs stored in his subconscious mind are disempowering and self-sabotaging.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND “CHANGING OUR MIND”
If you resonate as a person whose childhood was less than advantageous, are you doomed to a life of low self-esteem, depression, social awkwardness, or a propensity for addiction? Science has provided a positive answer to this question. In 1948, a Polish neuroscientist, named Jerzy Konorski, observed changes in the neuronal structure of the brain and called this scientific phenomenon “neuroplasticity.” Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout the brain. Over the next several decades scientists explored the brain’s amazing ability to rewire itself, to learn, grow, and heal. Modern imaging technology allows professionals to look into our brains.
We can actually change our brain’s structure, function, and brain chemicals by changing how we think and how we act. The neural pathways we use the most become broad – meaning, habits are formed. So, thinking negative thoughts such as, “Nobody likes me!” “I’m a loser!” “I’ll never be successful,” broadens those neural pathways. If one thinks these thoughts repeatedly throughout the day, it becomes habitual, a mindset, our outlook on life. When we start thinking hopeful thoughts, these neural pathways become broader, a new habit is formed, and the old negative neural pathways are eventually extinguished.
The implications for those individuals attempting to overcome a tumultuous childhood are positive and encouraging. Dr. Joe Dispenza explains in more detail the process of “changing your mind.” When an individual makes an attempt to rewire his neural circuitry, he will begin by thinking a new thought that, up to this point, has been foreign to him. He fires off the thought, “I am successful!” Immediately, negative chatter in his head fires back, “You don’t have what it takes to be successful.” The negative chatter is the old circuitry that is now trying to sabotage the new way of thinking. As human beings, our will is connected to the Spirit and if we will ourselves to persist in thinking, “I am successful,” eventually that thought will dominate and become the loudest thought in our head. New neural circuitry has now been formed and is now broader than the negative old circuitry. Old circuitry will eventually be pruned and fall away due to lack of use.
CHANGING NEGATIVE PROGRAMING
We need to ask ourselves, “Are we living a life that moves us toward our wishes and desires or are we living a life that manifests the issues we downloaded from other people? One clue is to observe where you struggle in your life. Do you find yourself having to work really hard and
putting forth blood, sweat, and tears to achieve a certain goal or desire? If so, it is possible that your downloaded programs are not supporting your goals.
Dr. Bruce Lipton PhD, states that there are only three ways that an individual can put more positive programs into his subconscious mind. The first is hypnosis. Having several sessions with a qualified hypnotherapist is one way to accomplish this. Studies find that just six hypnotherapy sessions will make long lasting changes to an individual’s neural circuitry and behavior. Another method of hypnosis is audio hypnosis, that is, listening to audio devices as one is falling asleep. But before you switch that audio device on, do the following as part of your evening routine: First, plan the next day – set your intention for what you need to do and how you want to feel. Second, spend a few minutes at night reviewing your goals. Third, practice gratitude. Thinking grateful thoughts before going to sleep programs your mind to think in abundance instead of lack. Fourth, ask your subconscious mind for answers to concerns you may have. This replaces the habit of worrying. If the answer does not come immediately, ask every night until you have an answer.
Now you are ready to switch on the audio device and listen to your self-hypnosis tapes. It is more valuable to listen while in a light or medium state of self-hypnosis as opposed to sleeping; however, an individual can still benefit if he or she falls asleep.
The second way to change negative programs into positive programs is repetition and practice. Repeating positive affirmations over and over and behaving in a way that supports the positive messages, will eventually imprint a new behavior into the subconscious mind. Remember, the subconscious mind is the habit mind. Changing how one thinks can actually change the structure of your brain and the types of chemicals that it pumps out.
Monitoring your “inner child” is a way to recognize what issues we need to address. The inner child is that part of our mind that stores all of our emotional memories and experiences. These stored childhood memories contribute to negative reactions and mindsets we may have as adults, affecting our methods of parenting, our views on finances, how we relate to our spouse, or even if we are worthy of being in a loving relationship. These childish mindsets are the wounded parts of our psyche.
To heal this inner child, we need to become conscious, that is, to look back with an adult filter and to monitor our reactions or “triggers” to adult situations. Is our emotional reaction out of proportion to the incident? What is the underlying feeling when you have just had an argument with your spouse, for instance? Most likely it is an unmet need from your childhood. Often, the feeling may be, “I need to feel loved and appreciated!” When you have determined what that feeling is and the unmet need, meet that need yourself and do something that nurtures your
inner child, something that makes that child feel loved. This is how you love and validate that inner child and it is how you empower yourself.
Dr. Joe Dispenza has some concrete suggestions for setting up a daily routine concerning the process of tuning into your inner child, “changing your mind” to create positive programs. First, every day disconnect from your world by turning off your cell phone and computer, turning off the TV, sitting down in a comfortable chair and closing your eyes. Second, take deep breaths and center yourself – stay in present moment. Third, ask yourself what you want for your future. What trigger do you want to address? Decide on what emotions you want to feel when you begin to create that future. Teach your body emotionally what that future will feel like. Fourth, Rehearse in your mind the new futuristic you. What do you need to do, what decisions do you need to make, and what steps are required? Fifth, to move successfully into the future, you MUST let go of your past. Now decide what thoughts you will NOT bring to your future. Write them down so you will recognize them when they pop up. Decide what behaviors and actions will have to change and become conscious of them.
You now have a daily routine for healing inner child wounds and the gradual changing of your future into your wishes and desires. Take one idea at a time, work at it diligently with much repetition until you believe you have mastered it. Only then, move to a new idea or trigger and repeat the process daily keeping in mind the importance of repetition. This is important work. It can be slow and frustrating, but the long-term effects are so worth the effort.
According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, the most effective way to change the subconscious is through energy psychology. The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) defines energy psychology as follows: A collection of mind body approaches for understanding and improving human functioning. Energy psychology focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions, sensations, and behaviors, and known bio-energy systems: meridians, the human aura, and our chakras.
On Dr. Lipton’s website, Brucelipton.com, he lists more than thirty energy psychology modalities. I have had experience with three of these modalities, all of which have been immensely helpful. My first experience was the body talk system. Exposures to the stresses of every-day life can compromise the lines of communication in our body. This system re- synchronizes the body’s energy system which enables the body’s mechanisms to function at optimal level. It puts each cell and atom in the body in constant communication with each other, thus preventing disease and it accelerates the healing process. My chiropractor used this system for the fifteen years that I was his patient. It helped me through some very stressful times in my live and, possibly, saved me thousands of dollars in medical bills.
The second energy psychology system that I have experienced is Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT. This system focuses on some of the meridian points used by an acupuncturist. These meridian areas are points in the body where the body’s energy flows. EFT uses fingertip tapping to apply pressure to these points while at the same time making a statement that addresses an individual’s most pressing issue. The issue could be anxiety over money, applying for a job, or difficulties with a class one is attending. Your set-up statement could be something like this, “Even though I’m really anxious about this meeting, I accept how I feel, and I give myself permission to relax.” The setup statement is repeated as the individual taps through the meridian points. What is key for the setup statement is to honor how you feel. That opens an individual up to releasing it. Repeating this statement sends a calming signal to the amygdala, the part of your brain that initiates that initiates the body’s reaction to fear. EFT has been used very successfully in treating war veterans with PTSD.
The third energy psychology modality, the one with which I am most familiar, is Dr. Bradley Nelson’s Body Code System. I spent time exploring and learning about the body code system and eventually became certified in both Emotion Code and Body Code. This system is one of the most advanced healing systems in the world. Using kinesiology, or muscle testing, the practitioner tests for imbalances in the body and corrects them energetically. The Body Code combines the power of releasing trapped emotions, magnetic healing, and the wisdom of your subconscious mind. It uncovers the root cause of discomfort, sickness, and suffering in the body and spirit. Consider how much easier changing negative neuronal circuits will be if the emotional energy is removed from unpleasant or traumatic memories. I have seen amazing results in my practice. Please see my articles on the Emotion Code and the Body Code on my website, as well as the testimonials.
MAKING THOSE POSITIVE CHANGES
The first step in loving yourself and making those positive changes is a non-critical self- examination of the areas in your life you would like to improve. Ask yourself, “Am I living in a state of growth, expansion, love, trust, and joy?” Or “Am I living in a state of survival in which I am controlled by negative emotions and programs downloaded from childhood caregivers?” All of us have areas in our lives we would like to enhance.
Make a start! Take a step! One small effort every day for a year can add up to big changes in your life! Loving yourself enough to make the effort to change, not only will make you happier, but it will have a positive impact on everyone around you!
Do you have a dream that you didn’t have the confidence to pursue? Is there an unfinished project gathering dust because someone in your childhood told you that you would never amount to anything? Take a step toward expansion! Change your thinking, change your emotions, change your environment! Love yourself enough to change your life! Love the perfect child of God that is you!