“Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effects, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.” – Norman Cousins
“Thought is cause: experience is effect. If you don’t like the effects in your life, you have to change the nature of your thinking.” – Marianne Williamson
Last week I talked about playing with the idea of being at cause for our experiences in life and I’d like to move a little further on this topic of cause and effect. Cause and effect is usually talked about in terms of immediate cause and immediate effect: I stub my toe and I feel a throbbing pain and want to scream obscenities (haha). But what about ultimate effect? What about the effects of years of thinking the same level of thoughts about yourself and your life?
What about these effects of such well developed thought patterns and structures? These not only have immediate effects but also have ultimate effects. If I repeatedly think thoughts of worthlessness such as “I’m a loser” or “I never do anything right” or “things never work out for me” then the immediate cause of those thoughts will usually be that I feel crappy and worthless. Then those crappy and worthless feelings will lead me to dysfunctional actions that don’t serve me and those actions will cause an ultimate effect that I experience in my life. On another level, just wading around in those low level thought forms will create an emotional energy or vibration in me that brings in low level experiences because of their vibrational match.
So, if as Marianne Williamson says, the level of cause we need to look at is our thoughts then we don’t need to waste our time trying to fix our feelings or our behaviors or our outer experiences. Let’s go right to the source of it all and deal with our thoughts. It’s not like we woke up one day and decided we’d like to think and feel a whole bunch of self-defeating thoughts and feelings. We would never choose that for ourselves consciously, would we?
Here’s the thing: when we were young developing minds just learning about the world and how it works and our place in it and what we mean to the people around us, we all had a variety of experiences in our homes, schools, etc that we had to interpret the meaning of so we could understand who we were. Unfortunately, a lot of those interpretations were not ones that were to our benefit. If we had parents, teacher and other adults who interacted with us from an assumption of our greatness and unconditionally loved us to the point where they could teach us that our mistakes made no mark on our innate perfection, then we may have grown up learning how to think very positive thoughts about ourselves. Those thoughts would then lead to very good feelings which vibrate at a high energy and our life experience of success, healthy relationships, etc would be the ultimate effect. If you were like me, however, you grew up very opposite of this and were forced to interpret the fact that your parents didn’t light up when they saw you and were always looking for where you went wrong so they could punish you for it. Or worse, they ridiculed and teased you and physically abused you. What does a child interpret this experience to mean about themselves? And remember, most of our subconscious program (engrained thought patterns) are formed by the time we’re six years old. Well, if you were like me, you’d interpret it to mean things like “I don’t get to be loved”, “something is wrong with me”, “I’m not good enough”, “men are scary and intimidating”, “I’m not safe”, etc. If this is the level of cause you’re working with, what kind of ultimate effect can you expect to experience in your life? You get the picture.
The good news is that once you uncover the level of cause you’re working with in any area of your life, your awareness of it allows you the opportunity to change it. I’m not saying that it’s easy to just think a whole new way about yourself and life (although it can be), but I am saying it’s possible to change the level of cause which will then change the ultimate effect you experience. Just like those thoughts were conditioned and practiced over time until they became hardened beliefs, you will need to recondition and retrain your mind to new thoughts until they become solid beliefs. As Abraham always says, “A belief is just a thought you keep thinking. It’s not any big deal. It’s just a habit.”
Another way to look at this level of cause is to say that beliefs that are aligned with the flow of Divine energy running through us all tend to be positive beliefs and beliefs that are not in harmony with that flow tend to be negative and limiting. So our task is then to create a habit of beliefs about ourselves that are synced up to the vibrational nature of God, Divine, Source, Universe, etc. We don’t have to worry about not thinking the negative and limiting thoughts about ourselves or our lives, we only need to practice a new thought enough for it to become habitual (a belief) and it automatically replaces the old limiting one. We must reprogram ourselves at this level if we hope to experience something different in our lives.
Affirmations are one of the best ways I know to do this. An affirmation is just a thought you would like to think about yourself that is the opposite of the negative one you’ve been thinking. You practice it regularly just like you did your multiplication tables until they become second nature. How do we teach or learn anything and get it into our long term memory or our subconscious? Through repetition. Say an affirmation 50-100 times a day for 30 days and see if you don’t find yourself more in the feeling place of that new thought in a way that seems much more natural than it ever did. Better yet, say them just as you’re drifting off to sleep when your brain is in theta waves and let them seep into your subconscious. At my most intense time of transformation I was doing 4-5 different affirmations 100 times each every day. I heard someone liken it to reps in exercising and building those new mental muscles.
What do you think? Are you ready to change the level of cause you’re living from? Let’s get to excercising!
If you’d like to learn more about affirmations and how to use them or continue this conversation, find out more about what I do here.