Here it is: Because of a decision I made when I was six years old, I have been living my life as if that decision is Truth. Before entering the 2nd grade, I came to a conclusion that would determine how I showed up to my life, from that day forward. One or two small events, at that malleable, delicate age, caused a shift in my whole world.
Whether you realize it or not, we all have early 'memories' or life events that caused us to make a decision - about ourselves and what we are capable of, what makes us valuable, what to expect of others, and so forth. And despite the fact that these conclusions are incredibly outdated and were formed by a young child, we act them out in our adult lives on a daily basis. It's deep programming that has hijacked our pure, authentic consciousness and convinced us of falsehoods.
In my case, I had decided that in order to be loved and accepted, I would have to be in service of everyone else. I had to please others at the expense of my own wants and dreams, because that's the only way that I would be loved and valued. That's what "good girls" who don't want to be "selfish" do.
The memory is so clear. I can remember exactly where I was and how it felt in my body when that learning took root. The 'Truth' that love would come with sacrifice. And that the sacrifice would have to be my desires and my intuition. I learned to please, in fear of disappointment. To overextend myself, for fear of being selfish. To deny myself, for fear of losing people. To be anything that others needed, but to put myself last. To white-knuckle my way through, for fear of perceived negligence and laziness.
That moment set the rules for my relationships (romantic, familial, and personal). It affected how I showed up at school (where, not surprisingly, perfectionist and rule-following behavior was greatly rewarded and earned A's). It blanketed all areas of my life. Left and right, I would give up things that were important to me to appease others and "win" their approval (love).
But, this week, I went back to visit that 6 year old girl, right before the event happens that informed this conclusion about self-sacrifice and self-denial.
I explain who I am, what is about to happen, and assure her that I am never, ever going to leave her. I, her future self, tell her that I am always going to love and protect her, including in this approaching moment. I remind her that she's innocent, perfect, strong, and (most importantly) in control. In trance, I go through the scene with her, little Tiff, feeling the old emotions swell in my body as I experience what she felt when she was first told that she was selfish and learned how good it felt to be praised for her agreeable, obedient behavior. But, this time in the memory, little Tiff is in control. She can change the scene - how it plays out, how she reacts, and how she walks away from it. As I watch her from across the room, keeping her in my heart and sending her encouragement, she decides to let the words roll off. She understands that the words and judgments are coming from someone else's insecurities and have nothing to do with her. She is unaffected. She reminds herself that she's not "selfish" - she's just excited and enjoying herself. She has gratitude and she expresses it. And she will never be alone, because she is consciousness - she is infinite.
At the end of this exercise, six-year-old me and present me become integrated. There is no separation. And all of the energy and intention and expectation around that old belief disappears. Because it never was planted.
I walked out of my session feeling incredibly light and with the new conviction that I will no longer seek permission from others to live my life the way that I want to. No longer will I put myself last or take on too many commitments to prove that I care and that I am worthy of receiving. Because the notion that I am selfish/not caring or unloved/unloveable is gone.
And on my drive back to work, it came to me. "I'm not careless. I'm carefree." My new mantra.
I hope that you feel inspired and encouraged to dig up your old stories - the ones that you still live out as Truths even today. Clear them out. They don't serve you. Choose freedom.