Our belief system is a powerful part of our being. It decides who we are and what we become, both mentally and physically. The belief system is formed by perceptions and acceptance. When these perceptions of ourselves, whether false or true, negative or positive, are accepted as truth by our subconscious mind, they drop into our belief system and become reality. I’m sure many of you remember the famous line from the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” I would like for you to remember this: “If you believe it, it will be.” Any way you do the math, it still comes out the same: perception + belief = your reality.

When we are first separated from our mother’s womb, we become like a tape recorder, and our subconscious mind is like a blank tape, waiting to be programmed. As the analytical part of the mind is not fully developed until around age thirteen, the subconscious readily accepts and believes whatever it hears and sees as truth.

Young children have no concept of who they are. Their self-image is formed by what they’ve been told by others and how they perceive things to be. It can even be formed by things they’ve overheard. “Ooo … He’s so bad!” “You look so pretty!” “You’re so strong!” “You don’t listen!” “She’s not good at math.” Think about it, what self-image are you helping to form in your child? Is it good, or is it filled with negatives? Children will live up not only to their own perceptions, but also to yours.

I recall a visit to the doctor a few years ago. Seated across the room from me was a mother with a little girl on her lap, no more than three or four years of age. Another woman leaned over and told the child that she was pretty and asked her name. The mother told her and the woman said, “That’s beautiful. Where did you get that name from?” The mother replied, “My husband named her. I certainly didn’t want any more kids; I had enough. So before she was born I told him that my job was to have her, and he could name her.” The child was just sitting there absorbing all this information and I shuddered. What kind of self-image could she be forming? From such a simple statement, recounted over and over, a child could develop low self-esteem and the feeling of not being wanted. I can’t stress enough the importance of what we say to children and around them.

If you were to tell a very young child that his hair is green, he would accept that. Then, anytime anyone would ask him what color his hair was, he would answer, “Green.” That is, until he began to analyze and rationalize that information for himself. He might then say, “Mommy, you said my hair is green, but it’s brown. Was it green when I was a baby?” That false perception would still be part of his belief system. Other examples of this are Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. A child will believe in these until the analytical part of the brain is developed to the point that the child can analyze the information given and question their existence.

When my granddaughter Stephanie was four years old, she suffered from a bad upper respiratory infection. She was so badly congested that she was unable to sleep well, which caused her to become extremely irritable. Her crying only worsened the congestion, and my daughter was frustrated because the medicine the doctor prescribed didn’t seem to help at all. She called me late that evening and asked if I could come over and see the child. When I arrived, my granddaughter was lying on the sofa and I sat down next to her. Her breathing was labored and she started to cry. “I don’t feel good, Grampa.” “Would you like to feel better, baby?” I asked. She nodded and I told her, “Well, you can. Do you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to give you a magic hand.” I then took her little hand and cupped it within my hands and gently rubbed it. “Now, if you take your hand and put it like this, over your nose, you’ll be able to breathe better, and you’ll breathe so much better that you can go to sleep. Here, let’s try.” I took her little hand and placed her thumb on the cheek on one side of her nose, her ring finger on the other, and the two fingers in the middle went on the center of her forehead. “Now close your eyes. And as you hold your hand there, you’re going to find it easier to breathe. Every time you use your magic hand, it will not only make you feel better but it will make you breathe easier. See how good it makes you feel?” Her breathing became easier, and my daughter and I went into the kitchen and left her lying there with her magic hand over her nose. When we peeked in on her a couple of minutes later, she was asleep, and she slept through the night. The next day, she placed her hand over her nose several times throughout the day and night, and her condition continued to improve.

The key is that she believed in her magic hand. She believed in it so strongly that whenever she was hurting, whether from a skinned knee or a stomachache, she would put her hand over the boo-boo and it didn’t hurt anymore. Whenever anyone in the family didn’t feel well, she’d try to comfort them with her magic hand. She even tried to give a magic hand to each child in her kindergarten class. As she grew up, whenever she had a cold, you would see her sitting there with her hand over her nose and her eyes closed, and it always seemed to help her.
Just recently, while visiting my daughter, my granddaughter complained of a runny nose. I told her, “Why don’t you use your magic hand?” “It doesn’t work anymore, Grandpa,” she said. It took me by surprise for a moment and I realized that, at age fourteen, she had lost some of that childlike faith and belief and it saddened me. Up until that point she had perceived that she had a magic hand, and she believed in it so strongly that it created a reality. It wasn’t until she began to analyze, or perhaps someone told her that there was no such thing, that she lost that belief.

As children, our faith is boundless. Anything is possible and we can do anything. But something happens when the conscious mind fully matures. We become skeptical and fearful. We begin to set boundaries to our imagination and limits to what we can do. Yes, it’s sad when we lose our magic hand.
Her magic hand worked for her because she believed in it so strongly. This is a prime example of the placebo effect.

Author's Bio: 

Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Author of the book, "A Journey To Inner Healing" (Understanding the mind, body, spirit connection.)