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Curtis with the curious tale

A ridiculous problem?

Maybe you will think Curtis' problem was ridiculous or wonder how he could have thought that way. Think again. How many of us are trying to prove something? How many of us believe that we're not good enough, not smart enough, not lovable enough, or not whatever enough?

Curtis' problem

I had my first session with thirty-six-year-old Curtis on December 16th of 2021. When I asked him, "What problem or issue do you have that if we could have a big impact on in the next hour, would be life-changing for you?"

He said, "How to get forgiveness."

Not understanding, I asked him to say more. Curtis grew up with his sister and brother. He noticed his mother treating his siblings with love and caring. But he didn't feel that he was loved like they were. Whatever he tried to do, he could never feel the love he desperately wanted from his mother.

Trying to solve this problem at that young age, Curtis decided, "It must be my fault that she doesn't show love to me." Custis concluded that he wasn't good enough and that he somehow didn't deserve things that other people got.

 

He told me about how a very nice girl wanted to be his girlfriend. But he turned her down because he believed he wasn't good enough and would just disappoint her. He had also declined several great job opportunities for the same reason.

Are you thinking, "How could he believe a stupid thing like that?"

When people decide they're not good enough, not smart enough, not lovable enough, or whatever, then how that expresses itself in their life can take various forms, not just the way it had in Curtis' life.

He was so successful trying to prove he was good enough

I had another client who was and is very successful. He typically makes well over $200,000 USD per year. He was driven in his job, working long hours, in order to prove to himself and others that he's good enough and he deserves their love and respect. He also became a master at "looking good," so that he felt loved and accepted. But, of course, a part of him always knew that they loved and respected his mask, not necessarily who he actually was.

Trying to prove that you're good enough (or whatever) is a bottomless bucket

The more you try to prove it, the more you believe it, the more you have to continue to try to prove it. Even though it might seem that Curtis wasn't trying to prove that he was lovable, he was showing consideration to others by not putting himself in a situation where he might disappoint them. That made him a good person who deserved love. Only a kind and considerate person would do that, right? Also, since he had already concluded he was unlovable, by not taking the risk that this belief would be confirmed again if he gave someone the chance to reject him, he took care of that by repudiating himself first. Of course, that behavior continued to reinforce the original belief. 

There's no light at the end of that tunnel!

Believing what isn't true

In dialogue with Curtis, step by step we examined the evidence he thought he had that he wasn't good enough and that he wasn't lovable. We found that all the "evidence" was invalid. Then we created a new possible belief of, "I'm okay and I've always been okay." Custis was able to come up with several reasons and pieces of evidence to support that belief. 

The benefits of the false beliefs

Next, we looked at the benefits that the old belief "I'm not good enough" had provided to him, namely that he didn't have to take the risk of someone rejecting him or being disappointed in him. He also could avoid taking the risks of being disappointed by his own expectations of something new would turn out well.

 

Most importantly, he saw that, in taking on the truth of the new belief, "I'm okay and I've always been okay," if someone did reject him or was disappointed in him, it didn't mean anything about whether or not he was okay. 

After he used the Undoing fear process and he understood the four steps of choosing courage, he saw they he would not necessarily need that "benefit" of avoiding someone's possible rejection or disappointment or even his own disappointment in something not working out. He was ready to start choosing courage in his life, step by step.

OMG! Curtis inspires me!

In my next session with Curtis, he told me something he did that he would have never done before. His boss offered him a new position with a significant raise at the place he works. He told me that before he would have never accepted this offer because "I don't deserve it and they might be disappointed in me." This time, however, choosing courage, he said, "Okay, let's try it and see how it goes."

An auspicious beginning

Custis has created a new portal into another world, a world that was not possible to him before. Yes, like all of us, he will have the choice again and again to continue, or not, to step further into that world that will leave the old world behind as just a curious memory.

What are you trying to prove? 

That you're good enough? That you're always improving? That you're lovable? That you're smart enough? That you're tough enough or strong enough? That you're kind? That you're a good person? That you're a good husband or good wife? That you're a good parent? That you're a good son or daughter? That you never give up? That you're independent? That you don't waste things? That you belong? That you're a giver, not a taker? That you're a person who gets things done? That you know who the good guys and the bad guys are?

What are you trying to prove? 

It's never enough

As long as you're trying to prove something, there's no freedom. You will have no peace. There is always something to defend. And, no matter your "progress," you'll always know it's not enough. You're always "below zero." Although you may think you're "getting better," ultimately you're just reconfirming the belief that you're not enough in whatever flavors you're attached to. Whatever you "achieve" will not be fully satisfying. You'll remain like the Roman god Sisyphus who was punished in the underworld by the god Zeus, who forces him to roll a boulder up a hill for eternity. Every time he nears the top of the hill, the boulder rolls back down.

Join Custis in opening and deepening the portal to your new world

This world is the world of play. This is the world where you're always okay and the world's okay...it's exactly the way it is at any given moment and that is how it should be.

Love the games first, love winning in the games second

It's a world where you get to choose and play the games you like to play, games in which you will "lose" or "win" in any particular hand, but you're always winning because you're loving the games until you're not and then you're playing another game. The games can include the games of work, of relationships, of health, and even including computer games if you like! See The fisherman meets St. Peter. This world is already heaven...as long as you realize there's nothing to prove.

When you dance with reality, reality dances with you

Yes, as with any game, there are benefits and possibilities. Costs and risks. For now and for the future. For you and for others. No good. No bad. No right. No wrong. Just reality and loving the games that life is and life contains. We can bring our creativity and intelligence to bear, not only in making choices but also in how to increase the benefits and possibilities that exist among the seeming choices, as well as reducing the costs and risks. And having fun with that too as another game. Games inside of games inside of games!

Full acceptance and let's make it different!

This is only fully possible to the extent that you're willing to see and accept reality as it is now and how it might be in the future. And for that, you must let go of any idea that reality should be any different from the way it is. In no way does this conflict with the idea of playing games for some aspects of your reality to be different in the future. In fact, the opportunity to play those games is an important part of the way reality is.

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