Psychotherapy

Meaning Defined Through Beliefs

“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe The words of Goethe are simple, yet profound. Belief defines who we are and is at the heart of our core existence. In working with people whose beliefs about themselves are often skewed by life circumstances such as trauma, addiction, mental illness and painful life situations, I have come to realize that belief in oneself can easily direct and oftentimes create a perpetual, self-sustaining cycle of negativity and self-fulfilling prophecies. Our tendency to blame others for the way we feel, react and interact with the world around us is an illusion. And although it is true that early life events can have a profound impact on the way we view ourselves, it is not, I repeat, it is not necessary to continue to view life from that damaged perspective. No one, either living or deceased can hold such power over us that allows us to continue to suffer under the assumption that I am no good, worthless, unlucky, doomed or any other negative adjective we can find to describe ourselves. What we view as reality, regardless of how true or untrue our perceptions appear to be, they are still just that, perceptions. We can therefore proceed through life as a victims of circumstance, or as an individuals who can transform suffering simply by changing how we view ourselves and what we believe to be true. If for example, you are frequently inclined to say, “I am so unlucky,” then you will find examples in life that support this belief, thus perpetuating a cycle of inevitable circumstances of poor luck. Ask yourself what you believe to be true about yourself. Belief gives rise to meaning and meaning to purpose. What we choose to believe about ourselves defines our meaning and sense of purpose in this world.

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