Healing Your Life
Below you will find the text for Step Eight of the Healing Your Life Course. You will also find a link to the video of Paul Ferrini teaching this step. Please read through the text and then watch the corresponding video.. Then, when you are ready, answer the homework questions in the journal that follows. When you have finished, save your answers so that you can refer back to them in the future.
Surrender the False Self
Goal: Give up Limiting Roles and Beliefs
Strategy: Drop Your Story
As I said before, you aren’t going to change your belief by saying a bunch of affirmations that you don’t really believe at a gut level. To change your belief, you have to love yourself radically and realize that you bought into an untrue story about who you are.
Your archetype of self betrayal – the sub-personality you adopted to get your needs met in life – is the essence of your story. You chose to be the martyr or the bad boy or the perpetual child because when you showed up in that role you got acceptance and love. But that role was just a role. It was not who you are.
Understand that you felt unsafe and unsupported in being who you are. That is why you chose to be someone else. You were smart enough to see what others wanted or expected of you and you tried your best to become that. Perhaps you succeeded. Maybe you had a good mask and played your role convincingly.
Or maybe your mask wasn’t that good, nor was your performance. You know to what extent you bought and sold the story about you. If are good at acting out the story you might believe that the role you play is who are. You might believe in your own lies and pretensions. If so, it will be harder for you to see how the story sells you short. As long as you and those around you believe the story, you aren’t going to feel the pain and self-betrayal around it.
But sooner or later, the story about you is going to self-destruct, because it is untrue. It can’t be sustained forever. The mask begins to crack. The role begins to be uncomfortable. The self betrayal becomes palpable and the story is questioned, perhaps for the first time. You ask “Is this who I really am?” or “Is this who I really want to be.” And the answer is “No!”
If you are wise, you realize that Humpty Dumpty is about to come off the wall and you get some therapy or join a support group. It’s hard to watch the story crash into hundreds of pieces when those pieces at one time seemed to belong to you. Often, it’s even harder for your husband or wife to watch your life fall apart, because they probably still believe the story you told them about you. Even your friends, your kids, your co-workers and fellow church members still believe that story.
The revolutionary fact is that while they may all believe it, you don’t believe it any more. Don’t make the mistake of trying to turn to any of them for support and understanding. They are invested in the “old you.” The “new you” is unpredictable, maybe even terrifying. They might even suspect that you are a bit daffy and try to get you to check into a loony bin.
Don’t blame them. They really can’t help it. They want the “old you” back and they don’t realize yet that the person they used to know – the one who played her role so impeccably – is gone forever.
Find a healing community that will support your transformation. Find people who will support you in becoming authentic and telling the truth about who you are. Take some time off from your old roles and responsibilities. You have a hard time showing up for them anyway. You may even find it impossible to continue with them. Your
heart just isn’t in them anymore.
So take a break. Make time for your mid-life crisis. Your values are shifting. It is not possible for you to betray yourself or give your power away any more. It is not possible for you to put on your mask and go to work or put on your smiley face and cook dinner. Those days are over.
Understand the signs of crisis and give yourself time and space to go though it. Otherwise, you will experience excruciating pain. When it is time for the shift to come, you need to cooperate with it. Life is a much better mid-wife when you create a gentle supportive space for the baby (your True Self ) to be born.
You need to understand that this is serious business. Your life is on the line here, so don’t blow it off. Don’t ignore the warning signs. When Shiva rises up to smite your life and bring you to your knees, please cooperate. Don’t try to hold onto your old life anymore. Surrender. Get on you knees. Let the old be taken from you so that is no longer a burden to you.
You are like a caterpillar going into the transformational sac. Once you enter the birthing chamber, the old you is gone. You can’t turn around and come back out. Those sixteen legs that used to carry you across the ground have been absorbed into the amniotic fluid. They don’t exist anymore. There is no way to resist the process. You must go through it. So please relax. Let the False Self die and the True Self be born.
When you emerge you will have brightly colored wings. You will no longer have to labor tediously on the ground. You will spread your wings and fly. All the masks will be gone. The roles will vanish. The archetypes of self betrayal will be transmuted into archetypes of transformation and empowerment.
The truth is that the time of the second birth – the spiritual transformation – comes for everyone. Not all decide to heed the call. Some stay in self- betrayal and never grow their spiritual wings. They are difficult learners. They don’t know how to trust themselves or anyone else. They will be reborn as caterpillars and take the journey a
second or a third time. That’s okay. Patience is a virtue. We all have to learn it. But those who know that the story is a lie must drop the story. It has served its purpose. It is no longer needed. Like an old skin, it needs to be dropped. The new skin is grown organically as the old one is cast away. The new story with its new empowering beliefs cannot be written until the old one is disproved and discarded.
Birth and death go hand in hand. Like the Phoenix, the True Self is born out of the ashes of the False Self. The dazzling light of love incarnate is experienced at the end of the dark night of the soul. Out of pain, comes wisdom and understanding. Out of self-betrayal comes the True Self who can never be betrayed. S/he lives in all of us.
And when all that is false has been rejected, S/he is spontaneously born.
Each one of us is a shining being with great love to give and a great purpose to serve. The True Self knows how to give and receive that love and fulfill that purpose. That is why her birth into the world is of paramount importance.
The Christ Self, Buddha Nature, Essential Tao It does not matter if you are inspired by Moses, or Christ, or Krishna, or Buddha or Lao Tzu. All of the great wisdom traditions talk about the birth of the True Self.
What is important is that you realize that the True Self is not about somebody else. It is about you. You are the bringer of love. You are the anointed one. You are the one who arises as the light in the darkness. You are the voice in the wilderness. Lest you come into the fullness of your power and purpose, redemption does not come to the world.
Jesus came to show us that. So did Buddha. So did all the masters. Your awakening, healing and empowerment is of paramount importance. Please do not think that you come here without gifts to give or the power to give them. Like
all human beings, you are here to be an instrument of love and forgiveness. If you need another purpose than this then you do not understand the great journey you have taken. You don’t understand why you have suffered and learned from your mistakes, why you have fallen down and risen up. You don’t understand that you are here not just to awaken and heal, but also to lead and to serve.
The earth grows dim without the light of the sun upon it. The Spirit is hidden away and forgotten without the presence of the light-bearers. They have come as you have to light the way for God’s people. But they could not play this role had they not discovered the light within themselves.
Once you discover the light within, you carry it forth into the world. That is why you are here.
The Good News
The good news is that you are not here to be a caterpillar crawling on the ground. You are here to be transformed into a brightly colored butterfly drinking the nectar of the most beautiful flowers. That is not just true for you. It is true for everyone.
Please do not underestimate the power or the purpose of the journey. Understand that when the time for transformation comes it must be honored. Step eight tells you to drop the past so that the old can die and the new can be born in your life.
Sometimes it is scary to let go of what is familiar. But holding onto it does not work anymore. If you try, things become more difficult. So you learn to let go, because letting go advances the transformational process.
Let the old definitions of self fade way. You must come to know yourself all over again. You are like a newborn babe. You don’t know who you are yet. You must take the time to find out who you are and what you care about. This time, you are your own parent and guide. No one else is going to be looking over your shoulder or
telling what to believe or what to do. You are both the witness and the participant, the one who speaks and the one who listens.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life.” The same is now true for you.
The way has been cleared before you. The truth about you is revealed. And your life is unfolding. Your job is simply to honor what is true, what feels right, what happens spontaneously and without struggle. You are here to let the Great Way – the Tao – unfold through you.
Tao moves confidently like a river flowing to the sea. It circles around branches and boulders, accommodating and dancing with all of the obstacles, until they cease to be obstacles and re-join with the flow of the river.
When the True Self is born, the personal life and the impersonal one join as one. Now you are fully yourself, individuated and unique and you are also ready to play your part in the collective journey.
Until you individuated and dropped your story, you could not play a role in the healing of human consciousness on planet earth. You might have tried, but until self –betrayal falls away all attempts to serve others
inevitably fail. One who is wound-driven cannot help others heal their wounds. But now that self-betrayal has come to an end your purpose as a healer and a light-bearer can be revealed.
You do not need to figure any of this out. Step eight tells you just to drop your story. The new story will unfold by itself. It cannot and will not be imposed from the outside. It will evolve in its own leisurely time from the inside out. When you are ready, the call will come, and you will answer it, even if you don’t know how.
All that you used to do for yourself and by yourself will now be done in a different way. Spirit will make its Will known within your heart and your hands and feet will move with its bidding. The words that you need to speak will be upon your lips when they need to be spoken. And actions of Spirit will flow through you as the water flows in the river bed, playfully and with confidence. For the True Self is charge and the False Self has fallen away.
Step Eight Teaching Video
Homework for Step Eight
Important Questions to Ask Yourself
- What false beliefs about yourself are you still holding onto?
- In what way are you still clinging to my past, with all its pain, lack of authenticity, and repeated self-betrayal?
- What is the payoff for holding onto the past?
- What is the core belief you want to question and shift?
- What roles or archetypes of self betrayal result from this belief?
- What is your story in a nutshell and in what ways is it untrue?
- When did you realize that your story was untrue and it was holding you back from living a fulfilling life?
- Can you drop this story and be naked and unfettered?
- Are you going through a transformational death/rebirth process right now in your life?
- Are you getting the support you need to stay centered as you move through your dark night of the soul?
- Can I let go and trust the process? Can I let your False Self die and your True Self be born?
- What is your Core Belief about yourself?
- What sub-personalities have you developed to confirm this belief?
- How do your sub-personalities limit you and prevent you from stepping into your power?
- Please connect the dots between your Core Wound, Core Belief, your reactive behavior and the sub-personalities that comprise your False Self.