We live in a world flooded with coercive manipulation as socially accepted persuasions and selling techniques: whether through spiritual life, corporations, politics, consumer choices or today’s biggest influencer: social media.
This gets packaged as helpful tools or self-development techniques to improve the quality of our lives. Frequently we buy into this manipulative, repetitive, fear-based message. Why are we such easy targets? Do we need to look a little further: back to where we come from.
No, it didn’t begin with you. Those coming before have had a much larger influence on your life and choices than you realize. We can look to our parents and earlier generations foe who we are. There are key family and cultural beliefs that become embedded in our core identity.
It can track back as early as conception or uetero. These implanted inherited pieces including those from early developmental times to around seven years old can feel like they are placed in concrete. They feel absolutely who we are and represent a key piece of our identity. But is this real? Or, is it simply part of the unspoken family belief system that is carefully handed down from generation to generation.
In our families there are beliefs that have a brainwashing quality to them. Families may not use same processes as cults, corporations or the media to indoctrinate us but there are similar qualities. We are not speaking of healthy families who encourage critical thinking. Where: individuals are supported to ask questions, test boundaries, foster exploration to discover your own identity under the guidance of tribe or family.
I am referring to unhealthy, dysfunctional, wounded family systems. They can be driven by excessive fear and control that worked to supress your own uniqueness and creativity. Brainwashing can be defined as extreme thought, behaviour, emotional control and obedience with the spoken or unspoken threat or fear of withholding, punishment, or retribution.
Some ways of thinking have been handed down families lines for centuries and are beliefs resting on a foundation of fear,
REPETITION Messages repeated over and over are believed. Research shows this to be 90 percent effective. A glitch in our brain where the interaction of repetition and assumption makes us form beliefs around whatever is most familiar. A highly effective marketing vehicle for corporations, and media and could have been a covert tool that was unconsciously accepted within the family.
MANIPULATION Through ongoing and repeatedly abusive, demeaning, belittling language there is a desensitizing and disassociation that may occur for individuals to survive the situation and continue to function in the world.
FEAR Guilt and fear of real or perceived physical or verbal retaliation, being rejected are effective instruments to control and keep someone compliant. Think back to your own childhood: was there some kind of message you repeatedly received that might have inadvertently been adopted as your own belief?
It may have been subtle or even subliminal or it may have been a brutal in your face experience. Both have the effect of unknowingly becoming fused into your identity. That is how it can be unintentionally passed from one generation to the next.
Emerging to Wholeness
It’s not merely making the decision to leave the past. There is more to reclaiming yourself. First, consider that some of what you think may not be coming from your own belief system. Who you thought was you, maybe it is not you.
Remember anything learned can be unlearned. This was something you experienced, not who you are. What a fabulous survival system you have that allows you to be who you are and where you are so change can take place NOW.
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