Have You Checked In On Your Ingrained Perceptions Lately?
(They May Hold a Key to Degenerative Disease)
Perceptions, especially protective responses to authority figures we developed at a young age, have a tremendous influence in shaping the character and experiences of our lives and our overall health. Recent research, according to author Bruce Lipton, shows that perceptions inform the placebo effect (healing effects due to positive expectations) and nocebo effect (harmful effects due to negative expectations). One third of all healings are from the placebo effect. I see this as part of the equation as the final frontier in creating health and well-being for Family Caregivers and our loved ones.
On the flip side, scientific research is showing that the nocebo effect is often the root cause of disease. In our early years, we form perceptions about ourselves, often based on response to an authority figure (like a parent, teacher, church leader). Such perceptions are beliefs that permeate every cell of our bodies. Ultimately what the body expresses is what the mind has caused the body to believe.
From his cell biology research, Dr. Bruce Lipton in The Biology of Belief, shows that negative perceptions we formed about ourselves (mostly as children) and hold in our subconscious as beliefs, profoundly affect our health at the cellular level. One cell, put in a toxic environment, degenerates. When the same cell is taken out of the toxins and put into a healthy environment, it can return to health and thrive.
Early communications and cultural conditioning experiences lock into a child’s subconscious and mostly remain intact. For most children, their life-negating experiences result in feeling poorly about themselves. Over a lifetime of repetition, they are opening themselves up to disease. Parkinson’s is a classic example of this.
One Parkinson’s patient, through energy healing, was able to feel and express the negative beliefs he had formed about himself as a child. In the session, the comments included:
I am useless.
I am not good enough.
I don’t matter.
What I say doesn’t mean anything.
I am left out and not loved.
I can’t do it good enough.
I can’t do it right.
I don’t deserve.
I have to be perfect to be accepted.
It is all my fault.
I am shameful and feel guilty.
Most of us grew up in a toxic stew of negative cultural conditioning, handing over personal inner authority, and being bombarded with life negating communications. Our own health, along with the health of our loved ones we care for, are profoundly affected by these ingrained perceptions.
Name Your Taboos
In my personal growth journey, I found The Taboo Code of a good girl or woman was the reason I buried my genuine feelings, effectively creating an emotional straitjacket. This “Good Girl/Good Woman Taboo Code,” based on my experience, crosses racial, cultural, class, religious, and ethnic divides.
Here are some of the toxic taboos I grew up with:
*You are to be humble and unassuming.
*You are never to toot your own horn. That is being conceited and boastful.
*You are always to think about what other people want. Any thoughts of what you want are selfish.
* “What will the neighbors think?” It is critical to behave in such a manner that, if the neighbors know what you are doing, they will approve.
*You never speak well of yourself because that is considered bragging and is an insult to others.
*You are responsible for how other people feel regarding what you say or do.
These are the Taboo Codes I uncovered with a group of women. I’ve asked men to tell me the taboos they grew up with. Only two men have ever given me any response. Interestingly, one of the recent responses: For men, it is taboo and seen as a weakness to appear to have (or admit to have) any mental problems. That was why my husband joined me in couples therapy — because it was “my problem.”
One of the most pernicious taboos for family caregivers: “You are always to think about what other people want and need, especially family members. Any thoughts of what you want or need means you are being selfish.” Trying to live up to such a taboo can trap Boomer family caregivers in doing for family members to the detriment of their own health and well-being. (Remember the airlines: “Always put on your own oxygen mask first.”)
Take some time now to reflect and write out your own inner beliefs and the toxic taboo code that was ingrained in you. Which taboos can you release as no longer valid? The only thing you stand to lose is your chains.