I don’t listen to the News much, but when I heard the term “alternative facts” it resonated with me. Not because I think it’s a way to live as an authentic human, but because I realized how my I tell myself alternative facts every day: “I’m not good enough.”, “I’m not lovable.”, “I’m not worthy.”, “I shouldn’t cry because I’m a man.”, you get what I mean.
We blame these internal attacks on us as coming from our “inner critic” and find ways to shut him or her down typically by numbing ourselves to Reality. But is the critic actually doing something wrong? I mean it, why is the inner critic saying all these terrible things about us and to us?
As I’ve mentioned in the last blog when we’re born we have free expression of our feelings, emotions, physicality, whatever, but as we grow these aspects, these qualities of ourselves become an annoyance to those around us and society in general. So we have to shut our unique qualities and essence down so as to conform to the family and society. If I continue with the free expression I get chastised or shamed, so instead of having others tell me these things I start to tell them to myself. All this shutting down closes off our hearts which feel too vulnerable and tender at such an early age to bear the brunt of this external denial of ourselves.
So we tell our mind to create ways to protect our hearts – we close our hearts and give control to the mind. Now the mind is very creative so it says to itself: “Hmm, Jim wants to protect himself from accidently bringing his unconditional love out into the open, so I’ll develop some defense mechanisms that 1) push people away when they want his love; 2) distract him from searching for that love, and 3) I’ll repeat in his mind that he is not lovable.”
This is a lie, this is an alternative fact, but it was necessary for my survival. The reason I know as an adult it is a lie is because I have to keep repeating it. The mind only holds on to the truth. When it experiences the truth, it makes it a visceral/body-felt experience and is there when I need it. Repeating a phrase over and over again needs to happen otherwise the mind will drop it. It does not represent truth, but we haven’t told the mind to stop doing it, so it continues to play the same loop of dialogue over and over again until I realize it’s not the truth. Unfortunately the mind isn’t designed for this type of control and over time it fractures and we become insane.
How do we work with these alternative facts? Listen to what they are saying. If the critic tells you that you are unlovable, then you should realize that you are hiding your love from the world – a beautiful quality of your Being. The words are there to remind you that you are not supposed to go to your love. When you begin your inner work though you look at the words and say, “Wow, I’m hiding my inner love from the world. Thanks Mind for keeping me safe, but I think it’s time we let my love come out again.”
The hard part about this is that typically a huge emotional charge was placed with the original shutting down and the defense mechanisms, so now you’re going to have to go through some emotional discharge. As a child this charge was so huge that you thought you would die if you expressed it, but as an adult you realize that that is also an alternative fact. Every time you release “the lie” you gain back your inner authority, your energy, your essence and it’s one less thing the mind has to keep track of. Trust me, the mind doesn’t want to be telling you lies. It would rather use its creativity in more constructive ways.