Core beliefs are found at the hub of every depression and can be thought of as nuggets of self-hatred. They develop as a result of experiences that you believe define who you are. In brief, all your suffering is caused by identification with experience. As an example, picture what happens when a child is raised by psychologically immature, alcoholic parents. They elect to spend their time going out drinking in the place of raising their child. The child makes meaning of that experience as: “I am unlovable, that’s why they rebuff me”. However the truth is that the adults are responsible but do not have the emotional capability for parenthood nor the inclination to develop it. To misunderstand and personalise an incident instantly creates a core belief: “This experience means I am…”
In order to become liberated from depression, it is necessary to fracture the link between identity and experience. There is a dual reality: 1) you are who you are and 2) you experience all sorts of occurences in your life that have nothing whatsoever to do with who you are. Saying so long to depression forever means internalising that wisdom deep into your gut, heart and soul.
Core Beliefs Have These Traits:
=> You are convinced they are real
=> They feel intense and real
=> They contain “I am” affirmations
=> They do not portray actual reality
Levels of Suffering
Core beliefs, although false, are so painful that numberous strategies are used to avoid and reduce them. Like the layers of an onion, they evolve in cycles of reactivity with each strategy used to handle the pain that the previous strategy caused.
However, the more strategies you produce, the more the core belief feels like the real deal. Although unconscious, it actually takes a lot of energy to develop and preserve all these strategies which clarifies why a symptom of depression is low energy. In contrast, when the core belief is let go of, there is a free flow of life force energy throughout the body which brings about a natural, easy feeling of contentment.
In this example, notice how one belief builds upon another until the original belief is buried beyond all recognition:
=> I am basically seriously flawed => Therefore I’m hideous => Because my body is too obese => I have to conceal it by smiling a lot => If I got overlooked, it was only because I failed to get it right => Trying harder will make John love me.
The names of the strategies may well be:
=> Core Belief => Conclusion => Rationalisation => Compensation => Pressure To Be More / Better => Masking by Pleasing & Placating.
But the truth is:
=> As a human being I make a great effort to understand all the complex feelings I have => Human beings come in all sorts of varieties, all of which is unique, just like me => My body is typical in that it is different from every other body => When I smile but I’m being phony, it puts others ill at ease. => When I’m not being myself I feel ill at ease. => I am so worn out pretending to be something other than I am that I have no energy left over to just be.
To recover from depression it is necessary to become consciously aware of self-judging and invite yourself to notice your experience objectively, just as it really is. Obtaining peace and healing is as simple as selecting reality over your core beliefs. But you must remember to NOT JUDGE THE JUDGING! Learning a skill called “mindfulness” in therapy will give you a deep experience of melting away those self-destructive layers. At Henshaw Consulting, Psychologist Perth, you can learn more about mindfulness and recovering from depression by downloading our free E-Book at: www. HenshawConsulting. com. au.
Dr Henshaw is a highly experienced clinical psychologist in Perth who can help you work through your depression and anxiety. To
learn more, visit: http://www.henshawconsulting.com.au