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How to Identify and Transform Limiting Beliefs

As a follow up to my post on the power of our beliefs, I'd like to share an experience that I had with identifying and transforming a belief that caused chronic anxiety in my earlier years.

When my sisters and I were growing up, my parents were usually too busy making a living to spend much time us, but they made sure that we went to church every Sunday and were well aware of Christian values. My mom likes to tell me that she took me to church from the first week I was born.

The one major belief that going to church planted deep in my belly was this:

If I misbehave, God will punish me, and if live properly, God will bless me.

Though I'm sure that this belief helped me stay out of serious trouble when I was younger, it caused me to live with fear and guilt. I was usually afraid that God would hurt me in some way for my most recent transgression, and I often felt guilty because I believed that God could read my mind, and that He disapproved of some of the things I did when I was on my own.

Believe it or not, I lived with this mindset until I was in my early 20's. If you weren't raised in an ultra conservative Christian family, you might not be able to imagine the magnitude of the fear and guilt that I felt, but I can accurately say that my belief in God's intent to punish or reward in real time was a dark cloud that loomed over me every day.

I don't quite remember exactly when I identified and transformed this limiting belief. But I do remember the huge sense of relief that filled my spirit once I really connected with an alternative belief about my relationship with God. My new belief was in perfect alignment with everything about Christianity and life that made sense to me, and went something like this:

God has designed life so that there are perfect consequences for all of our actions.

Here are some examples of what this belief dictates:

  • If I try in earnest to have compassion for others, and do my best to understand others when they share their feelings with me, people around me will feel cared about, and they will likely care about me in return.

  • If I work diligently and try to improve the quality of other people's lives, I'll feel emotionally fulfilled as I strive to make a living to provide for my family.

  • If I read books and follow other media that enforce positive values like being thoughtful, generous, diligent, responsible, and honest, I should become better at displaying these characteristics with each passing year.

  • If I consistently talk poorly of others behind their backs, I'll become known as a gossip monger and will not earn the trust and respect of those around me.

  • If I put making money ahead of striving to create real value for the people I serve, I won't experience the feelings associated with making a positive difference in other people's lives, which, according to another one of my beliefs, translates to an empty, lonely existence.

  • If I don't actively seek to be the type of person I'd like to see my children marry one day, I'm more likely to allow difficult circumstances to cause me to behave poorly.

Perfect consequences for all of our actions - near as I can tell, this belief applies to every aspect of life, including health. If I regularly eat fresh plant foods, get enough physical rest, work on having healthy relationships, stay physically active, and minimize my exposure to toxins, I can expect to enjoy my best health. If I don't do one or more of the above, I can expect to be one or more notches removed from my best health.

The bottom line for me is this: my belief in there being perfect consequences for all of our actions, coupled with our gifts of free will and conscience serve to make my image of God a loving, omniscient, and truly omnipotent force. I no longer believe that God is counting the hairs on my head, waiting to strike down and cause me to sprain my ankle if I swear on the tennis court. If I'm miserable on the tennis court, God's perfect consequence for my choice to be miserable is poor emotional health and an inability to have fun with something that should be all about promoting good health and having fun. (For the record, I don't swear on the tennis court. :))

Also for the record, if you're most comfortable considering yourself an agnostic or atheist, I hope that you're connecting with the main idea here: that a personal belief that I adopted when I was younger wasn't helping me feel healthy and well balanced, and over time, I was able to replace this belief with one that I connected with on all levels, and that promotes peace of mind that comes from knowing that I'm making the most of my time and abilities.

And the last official note for the record since I know some Christians reading this post are wondering, I do consider myself to be a Christian, but as I think everyone knows, there are all sorts of Christians. I'm a Matthew-chapter-five-through-seven kinda Christian. And throw some James in there, too. That's the book of Matthew, chapters five, six, and seven, which represent Jesus's sermon on the mount, plus the message of "faith without good deeds is dead" from the book of James.

So getting back to the purpose of this post, how can you go about identifying and transforming any limiting beliefs that may be hurting your health and overall quality of life? This may not be easy to do because most limiting beliefs are subconsciously at work, and were likely acquired when we were growing up. But there are a few key steps that you can go through to shed clarity on any limiting beliefs that you may be holding on to.

First, identify an area of your life that you don't feel good about.

Second, ask yourself: Why can't I overcome this challenge? The answer that pops into your head is likely a limiting belief.

Third, think about your limiting belief and ask yourself if you really believe it - are you absolutely sure that it's true?

If you aren't absolutely sure that your limiting belief is objective and true, then try to come up with an alternative belief that fits with everything you know and have experienced, and that makes you feel hopeful about overcoming the challenge in mind.

Once you have identified an empowering belief, stitch it into your life. Beliefs are like muscles in that they become stronger with regular exercise, and in the case of your beliefs, you exercise them by thinking, writing, and even talking about them.

If you have any questions or comments on this post, please consider leaving them in the comments section below. Thank you.

 
 

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Comments

A Matthew 5-7 "Christian" is a salvation by works Christian. Might I suggest that you become a John 3:7, Galatians 2:8-9 Christian instead, relying on the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ alone for your redemption instead of your acts of self- righteousness that in the sight of a holy and righteous God are merely "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).

Good luck Phil relying on someone elses blood to redeem you.

Dave, it's not just someone else's blood, but the blood of Jesus that saved the world from it's sins. I hope you will come to understand this before you leave this earth. Else, it will be you who will need more than good luck.

Dr. Ben Kim has shared a very valuable truth, limiting beliefs are man made, passed down by our parents, grandparents, teachers, priests and peers. We take them on board from a very early age because we believe them to be true. Until we evaluate our own truths, they are our truths and everyone truths are different but never wrong, that would be judgemental and I believe God does not judge.
God is not a vengeful God, he sees everyone as a wonderous shining light, an extention of himself if you will, explorers.
The bible was written by man not God & therefore one of the most limiting belief structures of all time. To find God you seek him within your heart. Everyone's journey is different and an important part of our souls growth.
Religions are based in Fear to control the masses, and God does not want us to be fearful, he wants us to be Happy & Joyful.
Well done and thank you for sharing your experiences Dr. Kim.
Peace & Love to you and your family always. Christina X

Christina, you have a thinking head on your shoulders and feet firm on the ground. I am glad that I did not grow up indoctrinated with verse and chapter. As always Ben Kim writes from the heart. He made a beautiful 'confession' with nothing needed to be added or taken away or judged as 'filthy rags'. I would not have commented have not read some 'very' christian sounding comments. I do not know any christians who would stand in front of a croud as Jesus did. Not in the present day America. The apostols and later misionaries used fear as a sales pitch to...? Shame also is used today: "If you are ashamed of me, mi father will be ashamed of you". Can you see God blushing? High morals and ethics were present in many 'primitive' cultures before the new revelations. I will be redeamed by my own deads and not 'bailed' out. God bless Ben Kim and his like.
David

Who is without sin? It seems living on the earth offers so many opportunities to sin, even with your best intentions. How can anyone risk to live without Jesus as their Savior, I know I cannot and do not. I love Jesus and God The Father and the Holy Spirit. The trinity, all in one. I am so grateful that God sent his only son to save us. I am so weak when I look back and see all the errors I made; and I thank God for Jesus. Jesus, Name above all Names, Beautiful Savior, Glorious Lord, Emmanuel, God is with us, Blessed Redeemer, Living Word.

Phil...I appreciate you sharing this truth.

Correction to a previous writer...God was the author of the bible, not man.

To the author of the article...I understand where you are coming from. I think it is key to know both the love and the justice of God. Fear can be healthy when placed in an appropriate place. I fear crossing the the freeway. Fear can simply place a necessary boundry in our life. Fear is not always evil....but it can be when it stifles you. Balance is always important...in all things. May God's Spirit continue to lead you on your journey.

Glad to hear that you were able to overcome a false belief about God and it has lead to peace in your life. God is love. He loves us all unconditionally and desires a relationship with us. It is sad that there are so many false teachings about God, and so much misunderstanding of Him. Knowing that I am loved unconditionally by my Creator is the most secure and freeing thing. I am free to be myself. I am also thankful that God's Word challenges me to grow and to put others before myself. I know that on my own strength, I can't do the right things all the time, but when I seek God's help the hard stuff becomes easier. Being at peace with God has made my life so much better. There is still a lot of hard stuff in life to walk through, but having God at my side somehow makes it better.

Splendid! So beautifully delivered! Not heavily religious but balanced with sensible references to perfect examples from the bible! So easy to understand and apply without having to be theologian! top marks!

I think the main reason problem here was really an incorrect understanding of what Christianity is all about. It's true that sin leads to negative consequences, particularly eternally speaking, but we were born into sin and cannot do anything to save ourselves. We are born sinners. All religions of the law teach that if you are a good person you will reap benefits, including heaven, and if you are a bad person you will reap negative consequences, including God's displeasure and an eternity in hell. Because of our sin, we would all go to hell, but for CHRIST. He came down from Heaven to suffer in our place--- all the consequences that we deserve He took upon Himself. He also kept the law perfectly in our place. Christianity is not about the Law, it is about the Gospel, the Good News that Christ has paid the penalty for our sin so that we are made right with God and can enjoy eternity in Heaven with Him.

Right on Betsy!!!!

The whole message of the gospel is that Christ died for our sins to TAKE AWAY our guilt.
Instead of all the rationalizing you did Dr Ben Kim, accepting Christ's forgiveness and His imputed righteousness you would have been just fine. I do agreee there are alot of people out there who live in guilt but that is because they haven't accepted His forgiveness.
God bless you all

I sincerely identify with Dr. Kim's thoughtful statements about being a certain kind of Christian (Matthew 5-7 & James), and Betsy's resulting helpful encouragement. In the case of Christianity, Dr. Kim's comment is an excellently balanced clarification of important Christian teaching. Matthew, who wrote there on the greatest sermon ever preached by Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount, and James, written by Jesus' earthly brother, who knew Him very personally -- explaining differing views of otherwise confusing teaching. It all comes together in the concept of grace, teaching that the close relationship with God that we all desire is not earned, but freely given as a gift to all who believe in Jesus. He purchased our permanent reconciliation to God by His sacrifice for us on that cross so long ago. This seeming contradiction resolves itself in God's resulting personal presence in our lives, which encourages us to do good deeds out of gratitude to Him (Ephesians Chapter 2).
Thank you and God bless you!

The spirit of every man knows the difference between right and wrong, and all religions are an attempt to deal with that intuitive knowledge. I do regret that so much of Christianity has corrupted the true gospel of Christ, which is that Christ, who humbled himself and took on the form of a man, offered himself up as the ultimate and final sacrifice for all sin. He is the answer for our sin, our guilt and all of our longings for something more than this imperfect world. True christianity acknowledges that we cannot be 'good' enough, and all attempts to do so will leave us feeling guilty and defeated. In acknowledging the sin sacrifice of Christ for us, which grants to us His perfect righteousness, we receive the answer to our genuine ‘guilt’ and the promise of an eternally perfect future. It is not a 'false' belief in our own natural goodness, or a belief that we are little gods, but a humble thanks to the only One who was ever truly, perfectly good. It turns our guilt into praise, and a desire to help others understand the same unearned grace that we know. We are not co-creators, co-redeemers, or co-anything with God - we are the work of His hands, and the story of the bible lays out from beginning to end His creation and redemption of all that exists. I would encourage people to read it for themselves, rather than relying on what someone else tells them it says, (and, yes, the earlier versions like the KJV are more literally translated and have not been 'politically corrected').
It is sad that so many view christians as unloving or condemning. I believe that the same motivation that spurs many on to share what they have learned about true health is what motivates christians to share the 'good news' they have learned about grace. Sure, people have the 'right' to consume fast food, soda and toxic drugs, and experience the obesity, Alzheimer's and cancer that is sure to result - but my love for others makes me want to share with them what I believe to be true: that eating real food (uncorrupted by toxic chemicals) and pursuing a healthy lifestyle generally frees one from today's too common cycle of poor health and disease. It is this same motivation to spare others from guilt, fear and death that inspires a christian to want to share the reason for his hope. Not because he seeks to ‘condemn’ others for their lifestyle choices, but because he knows that the ‘rewards’ are as temporary as indulging in unlimited sweets – and even more deadly.

Thank you for your comment. As I was reading all of this I knew there was a key aspect missing and you nailed it on the head. Even children understand natural consequenses... it is what God has set up to ultimately protect us and to allow us live in harmony and love with each other. But Christianity is about the gospel, the Good News. There is a way of forgiveness, redemption, and freedom through Christ's sacrifice. Christ came to live perfectly, fulfill the law perfectly, and thus die in our place as a sacrifice for the sin we have committed.

for correcting such a distorted view of Christianity. There's nothing limiting about Christianity. If the Son has set you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:36) To believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Saviour is to be set free from all burdens of guilt, because Christ has suffered for sinners - the Just for the unjust. He is our Glorious Substitute, He has suffered the penalty of our sins in order to set us free to love Him, worship Him, and live for Him. To know the Lord Jesus Christ is to know true freedom and peace.

Dr. Kim: I enjoyed your pod-cast and had a couple of comments to make. I agree with the premise that all actions are subject to consequences. I am intimately acquainted with the Sermon on the Mount and the letter James wrote to the Jews (Twelve Tribes) scattered across the middle east at the time. You mentioned that James states that faith without works is dead and indeed it's true. I would add that contextually (as all scripture should be interpreted), that faith comes first and the works are a sign of the faith. Other wise it becomes circular again; i.e. if we don't keep up the works, we feel guilty. By virtue of our faith, in God, we can relax and have a peaceful calm being - there are still consequences for our actions whatever they may be, but because we have trusted and believed in Him we are safe. You might enjoy: l John 5:13 - I have written to you so that you KNOW you have eternal life. It is His grace and not our works. Thanks for the opportunity to share with you.

Thank, Dr. Ben Kim, for not being afraid to stand up and tell the world your Christian values. I knew that I felt comfortable following your guidelines for health. Now I know why. You are in touch with the Holy Spirit. Yes, I completely agree with you. His laws are put in place simply to protect us. I always pray for Him to continue showing me healthy ways to take care of His temple. I'm glad He led me to your newsletter. Keep spreading the word.

Becky said exactly what I was wanting to say, so I'm writing to reinforce what she wrote with an enthusiastic 'DITTO!"

Right on Dr. Kim, and for everyone who is wants to be free of guilt and fear of a judgmental, vengeful God, I invite you to visit Reverend Ike's website, ScienceOfLivingOnline.com and get a copy of his free e-book, Thinkonomics.

Rev. Ike's Mind Science philosophy teaches that God is Good, God is Love, and God resides within each of us, giving us the power to create the life we desire, by using our mind power (our thoughts and beliefs). If you are still praying to a stingy, judgemental God-in-the-sky, this awesome (and free) book will be a real eye-opener and life-changer.

Bless you Dr. Kim, for your wonderful website. I read every one of your emails and always find useful information!

Judy Adler

Dear Dr. Kim,
This article was one I really enjoyed reading. Fortunately, I grew up with a loving God who gave His Son for us. Your beliefs and key steps to clarify limiting beliefs are right in line with my husband's and mine. We would just add one other book of the New Testament to your favourites - Philippians.
Thank you for all your thought-provoking articles.
Sincerely,
Lennie & Sheldon Taylor

I rather enjoyed the article myself...for a couple reasons. But I'm always amazed that grown adults still believe in mystical beings inhabiting a spirit world. And I wonder whether humanity can ever overcome its superstitions. Just a thought.

I really enjoyed this article .... most of us are limited by the belief systems we were taught either by our parents, our church, our teachers...when we reach deep inside and discover our "real" self we realize that if we are operating from "consciousness" we are going with the universal flow of life and all manner of good things will come our way.

Thank you posting this important topic...I believe "limiting beliefs" are a cronic problem in our society today. For myself, my limiting belief WAS that "as an artist, I would never be successful or accepted (and which I expanded to be unlovable)". Talk about a LIMITING belief!!! Until recently (I am 65), I was still struggling with overcoming this very self-distructive, deprivating, non-accoplishing, socially-financially-limiting belief about myself. It had caused me to loose jobs, loose a marriage, to be suicidal.....and basically,to hate myself. Once bringing this fact into my conscious awareness, I was able to start altering that perspective. Today, I am self-loving, productive, creative, outgoing, love helping everyone....and have never been happier with my life. (My ex-wife is even talking to me!- we've been divorced for 14 years.) It is SO important for everyone to find their way to that self-fullfillment! Turning off those "old tapes" may seem difficult - but it's easier that most people think. I SO enjoy the freedom to me!

Richard S.

Thank you for sharing your beliefs. I am glad that you no longer see God as a vengeful giant ready to punish. Jesus refers to Him as Abba (father). I hope that relationship with Jesus and a desire to honor God and mankind is your main focus. I'm sure you would enjoy the book 'Blue Like Jazz' by Don Miller, if you haven't already read it.

I don't feel that God punishes people. He has made laws for us to live a good life and when we disobey them, we pay for it. You cause your own punishment by disobeying laws that were made for you to have a better life.

You say "when we disobey, we pay for it." I'm not sure about that - consider Stalin who killed about 40 million (mostly innocent and hard working) people, conspired with Hitler to start the 2nd World War, etc. etc. [These facts are almost unknown to Americans, who seem to think that Hitler (who killed far fewer people) was the worst human being ever.]
Perhaps Stalin is getting punished for his sins in Hell, but what consolation is that to all those who, say, suffered and perished in labor camps in Siberia? Why should I be content knowing that this type of person is getting punished?
On the other hand, perhaps, a perfect Christian should only wish mercy to him, for he was a sick man.
So, what was the point of all this horrific human suffering caused by Stalin?
The classical answer is: "to make us better and stronger." Hmm...
What did they get punished for?
At what point in life does a child become responsible for sins as an adult? and why such horrific punishment???
On a theological level, we're dealing with the (unresolved) theodicy: basically, why an all-powerful and all-loving God permits the manifestation of evil? Nobody has a clear answer to that fundamental question.
As we all know, various people get punished in this world, but some do not get punished during their life in this world.
Of course, for the proverbial Stalin you can substitute any other killer, be it small-scale killer in your local prison or even huge-scale murderer including Mao-tse Dong (who killed even more people than Stalin); incidentally, the founder of present-day China (the country still following the constitution he wrote/approved).
Essentially, Christianity is a religion of mercy (and very good values to be taught and followed) - almost/pretty much unique among other religions - but it does not have all the answers.
No religion can logically address all these questions, although, if you intimidate people and threaten them with eternal damnation (or immediate execution), they will accept your theological explanation. In a more open world, we are free to develop our own interpretations of the holy books of whatever religion you consider.
Mona: when you say "You cause your own punishment by disobeying laws that were made for you to have a better life.", you are being very naive.

Thank you for sharing this information of your personal quest for a peaceful, healthful life, based on your belief system. Many people struggle with this (trying to accommodate religious beliefs "drummed into" them from little children). I agree with your reasoning and although I never analyzed it, try to practice much the same tenents.

I enjoy your emails, recipes and articles. I will one day soon, try some of the products that you endorse.

I am sorry and dont mean to offend but nowhere do I see anything other than strict Christian doctrine. You have used the eastern philosphy of Karma to substitute acton with consequences as opposed to good and evil behaviour. In reality the idea of duality (ie. good and bad) still dominates your thinking. There is still a hell and a punishing God. You still have a list of good things to do for your God and a list of bad things called sin to avoid for your God. It's still the same literalist Christianity with only one way of looking at Jesus' words, one way of interpreting those words, one way of expressing a spiritual life, one way of following, one way of hearing it, getting it, living it. Just my opinion and I hope to be able to express it as freely as the next. Thank you for posting it.

Thank you for sharing! May you be blessed!
I love receiving your news letters. They have been a blessing!

I just want you to know how blessed I feel that somehow through this magical world of the internet I was lead to you. I feel so connected to your wisdom and love. I know that I have everything I need inside me but oftentimes I don't connect to it clearly enough. Then I read my emails from you and bingo! You take me home and I can say "yeah, I knew that!" Thank you.
I also want to thank you for sharing a lot of health information I wasn't aware of yet. You really are close to what I want to be when I grow up!! (I'm already 58, but never giving up at growing closer to whom I was meant to be) Again, thank you,Barb

Dear Dr. Kim, I hope that you don't mind for me to reprint several times your article about Sonoma County in California, add to it: Matthew 25:31-46 and give it to everybody who came to my door in name of religion. Very few come any more. God bless you amd yours. Olga

Once you have identified an empowering belief, stitch it into your life. Beliefs are like muscles in that they become stronger with regular exercise, and in the case of your beliefs, you exercise them by thinking, writing, and even talking about them.
Dr.Ben Kim - Terrific article and I copied your summary above!!
Years ago I came to this country and finally was also able to find the "empowering belief" - to take the whole God's Word (all 66 books)and make it my own. Without all the 66, I would go 100 different directions. Eph.2:8-10 might summarize the faith and works. He empowers us to carry out His directions for spiritual, emotional and physical health as we exercise the belief. Thank you

I found what you said to be basically true but I differ in one area about faith and belief. My god in Islam tells me to fear Him but this has stipulations: since you are instructed in ways in which to differentiate right form wrong then each individual is given the chance to do the right thing or the wrong thing, hence, suffering God's wrath or experiencing His contentment is based on your own indivdual ability to adhere to the commands set forth by god to aid and instruct man in methods of how to dwell in the creation, the creation that god himself created. Who is to better know how to live a righteous life than the one who created it?
'God consciousness' in every act that one performs is essential to living a structured life, otherwise, it's every man for himself, which leads to chaos and impinging on others rights to function in a meaningful way. Too much freedom only grows discontent-but how many a person will attribute freedom to discontent?

How simple it is really, but, as I've found and seen, only through devotion, practice and action can any of the qualities that you refer to and the ones I commented on manifest. I'm not sure how they would come to light without guidance and TLC. Some people are born good natured but others, myself included, need spiritual reminders and daily affirmations to bring about constant renewal. And if you didn't have 'God' to thank for the intricate nature of 'all', who would it be that you would thank?

I find that your posts are some of the most beneficial ones on the internet Dr. Ben Kim. You have given me many a insight into better ways to view an already developed world, but you open the doors for more channeled and healthy ways to exist comfortably with a world full of choices that aren't always clear. And you continually give of yourself, you are a true person who knows his calling-through much trial and experience, but none the less-you are good for the internet community-

Peace to you and yours,
Fatari

I have read both the article and many responses. There are many who have been able to resonate with the basic point of the article - follow beliefs that give you hope, not what you have been told to believe. And there are many who, I feel, are missing the point. It is NOT about the particular deity you believe in as there are many religions around the planet. The point is, if you feel harnessed in your ability to feel, express and grow in joy in any manner due to a belief system, simply to reevaluate if the belief is truly serving you in living a fulfilling expression of You and your spirituality. If there is fear about any part of your belief system, then perhaps there is something to look at. In my opinion, God is too big to fit in any one book and too vast to be expressed by the limitation of any one language or particular words. Joy is expressed in many ways. The article simply asks you to take a look at the joy in your beliefs and those beliefs that hinder joy and hope. Change can be just as freeing as believing.

Interesting comments. They seem to fall into three categories:
1. The "self" solution (aka "keep your religion out of my life") - looking at one's own thoughts & feelings in order to decipher who God is, what God demands, or how to satisfy these demands.
2. The "non-Christian" - Some other religion and their list of ways to get past the demands they feel imposed upon them.
3. The Christian - numerous statements that God is seen in Christ and all God's demands are fulfilled in him.

Interesting.

How many conservative Christians, myself included, need to be reminded of why we believe in Christ and what good it is...Indeed, because in Him all God's demands ARE fulfilled...we don't need to worry about being perfect, and we receive His goodness freely by simple, childlike trust! Thank you Dr.Kim for this wonderful podcast, which helps me be more aware of how I communicate God's love and grace to my own children as we raise them with the truths of Christianity... And it helps me check my own beliefs as to whether they are truly in agreement with Christ's teachings.

There is an old saying that sums this idea up perfectly. It is a belief that I have tried to let lead me in all aspects of my life..."what goes around, comes around", what you send out comes back to you!

Religion is an entirely man made cloak that's been wrapped around people's experiences with their own awareness. It's since been used to explain all kinds of things, from birth to death and lightning to sunshine, and it's been used as an excuse over and over again to judge others, from unwed mothers to 'colored' people to gays.

As one of the commenters stated, religion was indeed created to control the masses, and maybe some people need to be controlled by religion, because they have little self control over themselves and how they treat others. But Dr. Kim, you certainly are NOT one of them!

Anyway, I hope that people someday can just look at things the way they are, without the distortion of religions, and appreciate the awesome force that nature puts upon us and simply respect one another!

But that would mean we'd have world peace - and probably unattainable in our lifetimes :)

It is a shame the way some children are taught about God. He loves us before we make a right or wrong decision and he will love us after. I choose to believe in rhe divine whether I listen or not to a priest, rabbi or Buddha. Guilty feelings are good as a guide, but to walk around feeling guilty is not the work of God.

Yes!

Let LOVE be your religion and don't forget to start with yourself.
God IS Love.

Superstition is the belief in supernatural causality—that one event leads to the cause of another without any natural process linking the two events—such as astrology, religion, omens, witchcraft, etc., that contradicts natural science.[from Wikipedia]

I too have (after much investigation) come to the conclusion that religion is indeed man-made and my only regret that I can not live long enough to live in a time when common sense will be the norm and not religious dogma. I feel so much better now that I am thinking for myself and not following along like a lost sheep on a mission that is doomed to fail from the start. When people say things like we are "born with sin" it makes my crazy - what complete mind-control drivvel! I can understand a gullible trusting child believing this but a grown adult.....REALLY?

Peace is attainable, it starts from within. We cannot control other people - that would not be peace. Not sure if peace is a destination; seems to strive for peace within is a good choice and a great place to start. Nancy

I've just closed my eyes and asked myself about the biggest issue causing stress and anxiety in my life - money. In years gone by as a single, childless woman, I earnt reasonable money working in the corporate world, but tended to be rather hedonistic, never planning for the future. Now, I am a single mother of a beautiful 7 year old boy and I have never been poorer. I have no savings, no investments and we rent. We live from hand to mouth and in recent weeks have barely been able to scratch even the rent together. We live in one of the most glorious places in the world, by the sea, the climate is perfect, my son is happy. My challenge is finding work. I ask myself constantly, why is this happening, how am I influencing this situation, what belief do I have that is limiting my ability to find work. My answer: I don't deserve to have lots of money, I must struggle. Somehow, I think I am punishing myself for not planning for the future in the past, and in true guilt punishment form, i must now pay for my mistake. I then ask, if I simply change this belief in my mind, will I start finding work, will my financial situation improve and will we begin having opportunities to live our lives fully? Or is there some experience in this poverty that is richer than the wealth of money?

I just wanted to say to the woman who wrote the comment about being a single mother struggling to pay her bills that first of all- what you are doing is a challenging thing for any woman to do regardless of your limiting beliefs about finances. I just want to acknowledge you for being able to support your son and giving him a happy life over the years despite your level of income. That is something to be proud of. I am a single childless woman with a mortgage and not the best job. I never realized until a couple of years into owning a home how difficult it is to support a household on one salary. I look around and realize that most women aren't doing that- most women I know have a partner to help pay the bills. So I am proud of the fact that I've done it for 7 years even if I have had periods where I barely had money for food.

Sometimes I wish that someone had told me when I was in high school or college how important it is to plan out one's studies and career better, but I don't think anyone around me knew how the world would change, how the financial markets would crash, or how difficult it actually is living on one salary. So its really no use looking to the past and punishing yourself for choices you made because a lot of those choices came from beliefs that came with your childhood experience. You did your best. You can definitely choose a different path from this moment forward.

Have compassion for yourself and your past. Be proud of what you've done so far with what you were given. I find that if I look at it that way, I don't just see myself as someone who has struggled, I see myself as someone who was given a certain circumstance that was difficult and since I am still alive that means I've handled it pretty well and there is plenty of room for more improvement.

So much of what you write is my life history ... especially the part about not saving enough ... and yet I am not a single parent BUT am living exactly as you describe ... although not by the sea which I would love!
In reading your post two things came to mind ... first I THANK YOU so much because you have hit the nail on the head in terms of what I think now is my limiting belief! This is the single most important gift I have received in the last 3 years of severe under and unemployment. It is truly a sign to me that GOD is a guiding force (as are my ancestors) and that they all work to have me open my eyes and see and receive the blessings and assistance right 'under my nose'
Second I think you will probably feel an enormous shift now in terms of work possibilities ... once we feel we deserve something ... money, love, etc. we truly do attract it. And lastly do not forget that there is injustice in the world and the economic situation that exists (and the thievery) while real should not be used as an opportunity to enter into another limiting belief but instead I believe should empower us to fight for this change and/or to somehow connect it to any future work we do ... then we are both being grateful for all we DO have (health, a beautiful child, the home near the sea, etc) and also we are GIVING to others .. either individually or via the world. Believe me my limiting beliefs I think went even beyond yours and actually I stopped myself from having the children I so deeply wanted. NOW I am committed to reversing that belief as well as the one about money ... thank you SO much for your post ... truly YOU have BLESSED my life! Let love be our religion ... and let us begin with ourselves.

Dear, while reading your comment, i realized, how or experience is the same. Except that I'm married, but as a house wife, not working. My husband is quite controlling, also moneywise, i just get some pocket money from him, and having no savings, due to same reason as you in the past. I realized too, my thoughts were that i deserve this because i wasted all money i earned, plus i treated badly those men, who were super nice to me. Our subconscious do makes miracles, i experienced in the past. We must change beliefs for our own and our kids' sake. God bless us in our efforts!

My heart goes out to you. Yes to your last question! If you are seeking the truth in your answers, pray and ask God to reveal Himself to you and He will, May I suggest peacewithgod.jesus.net read/ask questions/talk options are there.

you are most certainly a very brave and honest person who should be naturally enjoying a life of abundance and happiness.But the same is not happening for some reasons,alas.I personally feel that here after you should start imagining a life of abundance where you have enough to earn,learn and enjoy living with lot of returns coming in through your hard work.Do not let the anxieties take a stranglehold over you and just be free of those limiting thoughts and seek the ever present intervention of the God almighty.you will see things improving for you in a big big way.You have our good wishes and May God Bless you enough.

I am just an average person who felt like extending my good wishes to you and your son.I am sure my honest prayers would certainly bring about the desired results.

It's just the matter of comparing laziness to a hard-working person. Be hard-working and I'm sure you can see a bright future. Find a job that can easily suit you, even if pay is low in beginning, prove yourself to be hard-working from there. I'm sure you'll see the better light very soon.

I am not an expert but I think you are over thinking this. Maybe you should have saved for your furture but hind sight is 20/20 right? You learned a lesson here. I don't think you are being punished it's just a bad economy right now. There are programs out there for help. This is what they were set up for people who need temporary help.

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