Everything you do flows from what you actually believe.
I’m not talking about what you intellectually agree with. I’m talking about what you believe with your whole being, especially your heart.
King Solomon may have said it best 3,000 years ago:
Most modern church teachings exclusively quote this verse around the topic of dating, so we chaste Christians can avoid getting our hopes up when we like somebody.
While I wouldn’t say this is a bad application of this verse, I think it misses the primary point that Solomon was trying to make.
The Power of Your Heart Muscle
Here’s an interesting fact. Your heart muscle has over 40 thousand neurons. It’s a thinking organ. Not only that, it has a dominant relationship with your brain, meaning that if the heart and the brain disagree, the heart is gonna win that argument 99% of the time.
Not only that, but your heart has an electromagnetic field. And it’s about 60x stronger than your brain’s.
This partially explains why we human beings are so much more emotional than logical, no matter what we tell ourselves.
In the end, we’re not driven by logic or reason. We’re driven by emotions. And most the emotions you feel throughout the day are the results of your core beliefs.
How Beliefs Are Formed, and How They Drive Us
Allow me to demonstrate with an example. When I was seven years old, I had a crush on a girl named Ellie. She was in my 2nd grade class, and I was always trying to get her attention. However, Ellie didn’t think much of me, so my affections remained unreturned. When this happened, I experienced the emotion of rejection.
Now emotions are a type of thought, and thoughts are substantive. They aren’t immaterial or transcendental – they are energy, a form of matter. In other words, they occupy physical space in our body, specifically in our neurons.
This is a crucial point, because when a negative emotion isn’t expressed, it can become trapped in our neurons. This is bad, because our neurons don’t exist in a vacuum. They form associations with other neurons and replicate. This is how thought patterns, habits, and skillsets emerge and get stronger. In other words, that negative feeling will breed more negative thoughts.
In the case of my rejection from Ellie, a negative belief appeared and attached itself to that emotion, and it went something like this: “I’m unattractive to the opposite sex.”
Unaddressed, that feeling and belief remained in me indefinitely. Twenty years later, it was still there. When I liked a girl and wanted her affection, I subconsciously re-lived that experience from 2nd grade with Ellie. It didn’t matter that I was now a grown man interacting with a grown woman, and it didn’t matter that I wasn’t aware of what was happening. My subconscious made the association, and my programming took over.
The trapped emotion and belief made those interactions painful, and they led me to make insecure decisions as a reaction to my pain. Worse still, my subconscious association between the belief that I was unattractive and my feeling of rejection grew. My negative belief made me more likely to negatively interpret my experiences, which in turn reinforced the trapped emotion and the belief itself.
This is happening in all of us all the time.
We’re walking around with an iceberg of beliefs attached to trapped emotions, and we’re interpreting and reacting to all of our experiences through their lens. Moreover, we’re always adding links to the chain, programming ourselves to be more like what’s already there.
How to Reprogram Your Beliefs
This is why true transformation requires the release of negative emotions and the negative beliefs attached to them.
If you don’t release the emotion, it’ll continue to poison you and drive you to self-sabotage. It will also make it much, much harder to replace your negative beliefs with positive opposites, because the negative beliefs are connected to powerful emotions that are making them feel overwhelmingly real.
Furthermore, it’s not enough to try to release the emotion without the corresponding belief. If you don’t release the trapped belief and replace it with a positive opposite, then the emotion will simply come back and bring the belief with it.
This is why so many people never change. From conception (and the womb) they inherit a set of subconscious associations and predispositions in their DNA that make them prone to react to their experiences a certain way. Then they follow the natural momentum of their subconscious feelings and beliefs that arise form those experiences, completely under their control.
Meanwhile, those few brave people who even attempt to change their behavior usually can’t, because their subconscious programming won’t allow them to. They don’t like what they do, but they can’t stop. Even when they manage to override their programming here and there, they are miserable in the process and are drained from the energy required.
My Personal Transformation Journey
This was my certainly my experience. As far back as I can remember, I didn’t like myself. Then when I was 23, I decided I wanted to change. I was a hypocritical Christian living a fake lifestyle, and one day I took a hard look at myself and decided I needed to live out what I claimed to believe. Since I didn’t believe I had any power over my bad habits, I started looking for a church that would hold me accountable to higher standards.
At 24, I finally found a church that was as obsessed with behavior modification as I was. Spurred on by the culture and its teachings, I began a lifestyle of religious discipline. I read the Bible every day. I memorized Scripture. I volunteered in numerous ministries and never missed a meeting or an assignment. I even enrolled in a 12-step recovery program in an attempt to rid myself of negative thought patterns such as worry and envy.
None of this bore much fruit.
I got better at religion, but I didn’t become any less fearful, insecure, or ashamed of myself. It should’ve been a major clue that the biggest behavioral change of my life at the time (completely quitting porn) happened before I even found this church and started grinding away at a bunch of “good” habits and programs through sheer willpower and desperation.
After living this lifestyle for three years, I started to get discouraged at my lack of growth. Sometimes I even wondered if I was getting worse. In fact I was, because in the process of obsessing on my flaws, I was actually growing in shame. Looking back this is very clear to me, but at the time I was very confused and discouraged.
After spiraling in this process for far too long, I started going to therapy. This was certainly more helpful, because there I spent time with a very wise and joyful man who knew God very well. In our time together, he challenged my perception of God and myself, usually by quoting the Bible, the very book I claimed to believe was inerrant. He gave me assignments that usually revolved around saying certain verses over and over again to myself throughout the day in defiance of the overwhelming despair, depression, heartache, and fear that I was feeling almost every waking moment. Slowly I made progress, and after about a year, I met the Holy Spirit on his couch.
So counseling was good.
Nevertheless, I knew there had to be a better method.
Don’t get me wrong. There had been a shift in my emotional and mental health, but it had been hell getting there. I’d fought like an animal for every inch of progress, and it had been exhausting.
Now I realize that I was fighting a massive uphill battle, trying to store up positive beliefs into a heart that was already chock-full of their negative opposites, not to mention the trapped emotions that made them feel real. Had I released those toxic emotions and beliefs first, I’d have been able to plant positive truth much more effectively. When I finally discovered Root Work, I started doing this regularly.
Now I’m a dramatically different man. I’ve gone from almost always believing the worst will happen to generally believing the opposite. I experience less stress, greater effectiveness, and clearer thinking. I am vastly more present, and I’m able to actually enjoy good things. Best of all, I’m finding more intimacy with God now that my brain and soul aren’t blocking His love so much.
In other words, I’m experiencing increasing righteousness, peace, and joy, which is the Kingdom of God. You can too. Real change is possible, and it doesn’t have to be that slow.
If you’re interested in checking out this process, shoot me a message below. We can schedule a video call and get you a demonstration.