Why is it so hard to believe that we are good and capable and trustworthy?

Perhaps it is because when we were very little, we came to believe that when we were freely and merely being ourselves, we were bad and thoughtless and, well, "broken". Yes, that something was actually wrong with us.

These beliefs may have been first communicated by well-intentioned, albeit unhappy, parents frustrated over one more toddler’s mess ?"What’s wrong with you? How could you do that?" Or by over-controlling teachers, relatives, and/or other adults conveying a string of messages implying that "Little Janey just can’t ever do it right." Whatever the origins, they add up to the same thing; A child growing up seeing the world through the eyes of someone who "isn’t okay" - a happy child growing up to be an unhappy adult, and generally not knowing why.

And, of course, the messages are enhanced by the constant and agonizing comparisons we endure throughout school, and continuing afterward by the belief-making machine of Madison Avenue. For a woman, if you don’t look, smell and live like "this," something is wrong with you. And for a man, if you don’t have this much money, these particular things or experience this brand of success, you are "less than."

But rather than running from the pain of living and feeling sub-standard, like we often do, why not turn around and actually confront the belief itself? That’s right, question the pain and the unhappiness and get to know them ?discover where they came from and whether the belief that fuels them is still true.

There is a process for doing just that. It is called the Option Method; a wonderfully gentle, respectful tool for exploring the issues that we struggle with and tracing them back to the offending beliefs that ‘lie? behind them.

It seems these notions and beliefs that we acquire early on in our lives just sort of "hang on" unconsciously, draining us of our joy and confidence, in much the same way outlived government programs can, unnecessarily, drain our country’s resources. The Option Method helps us re-discover what the old beliefs are and reassess their value for us today. In most cases, what happens is that the beliefs that keep us stuck and miserable are found to be untrue in light of what we know now. And the great news is that once we find that out, the belief disintegrates, along with the feelings and behaviors carried with it. We get to remember the truth about ourselves -- that we were "okay" all along, maybe even much more than okay.

I have been teaching and practicing Option for 15 years now, and it continues to amaze me how powerful a process it is in helping individuals reclaim their lives, their power, and their joy. It certainly woke me up from my unhappy trance years ago. Now my experience is that not only have I stopped limping through my life, but most times I skip, and sometimes I even fly.

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