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Taking Risks Helps You Grow AT FORTY FIVE Magazine Issue 2021 08

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  • Programming
  • Beliefs
  • Appreciation
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A magazine for women 45+ who want to own aging with spirit and joy. For those of us rediscovering who we are & exploring what we want next. We want more; health, wealth, happiness, & fulfillment. Join women around the world navigating the best years yet.

Born But Innocent

Born But Innocent Programmed Guilty? New Perspectives / BY SUE DUMAIS We can look at a newborn baby or a baby animal and see its innocence and feel love expanding in our hearts. As young babies, we were curious and wide open to exploring the world through innocent eyes. Not only were we experiencing our own innocence, but we could see the innocence of others. We began our lives with a curious wide-open mind and a soft heart. We would observe the world around us and everyone in it without judgment or preconceived notions because we had no preconceived filter, programming, or conditioning. programs that begin to act like filters through which we interpret and experience our world. Up until the age of five or six, our conscious mind is unable to accept or deny these downloads. Like a sponge, the young mind takes in everything it is exposed to without question. All the programming is accepted and downloaded without our conscious choice or awareness. This becomes the filter through which we interpret the world around us. Imagine for a moment that when each of us is young, our mind is a new computer with very few programs added; it is running smoothly. As we grow, we receive programs and downloads from the world around us. Our parents, friends, family, teachers, strangers, TV, movies, radio, music, and books all contribute to the . If one of our filters is based on fear, we will filter our life through that lens of fear and our experiences in life will be fear-based. If one of our filters is based on love and compassion, we filter our life through that lens of love, and our experiences will be more loving. What we believe we perceive

AT FORTY FIVE MAGAZINE /23 wand what we perceive we conceive. Our minds are programmed to fear or love. In fact, in every moment, we are choosing fear or love. We are either doing this by default based on our programming or we are doing it on purpose. My programming was very much based on fear, worry, anxiety, judgment, and pain. Every experience I had growing up was filtered through this lens of fear and it created an internal hell. On the outside, I was more worried about how others would feel and my fear of being judged was strong, so I pretended to be okay. I wore a mask of a shy little girl who was okay; meanwhile, on the inside, I was in excruciating emotional pain. My mind was an intense relentless storm by the time I was six years old. I blamed myself for everything. I felt responsible for everything wrong in the world; my filter showed me a ton of evidence to prove the world was full of pain and suffering, and it was entirely my fault. I turned to self-destructive behaviors as forms of self-punishment—I struggled with substance abuse, anorexia, bulimia, and self-hatred. At the same time as I condemned myself, I strived to make a difference in the world, partially in an effort to make up for my sins and worthlessness, but also because it was programmed in my heart to be of service, to be a peacekeeper, to inspire others. The problem came when I felt I needed to pay my dues by being of selfless service to others. Yes, I did have a positive impact on the lives of others but it came at a great cost of self-sacrifice. My self-judgment was intense. Here is a glimpse into some of my internal dialogue. "My self-judgment was intense. Here is a glimpse into some of my internal dialogue". Even though I have censored it a bit, it will give you a good idea of the destructive judgments that kept me imprisoned in guilt and shame for years. “I am guilty.” “I am a worthless piece of sh…” “I don’t deserve to be happy. Actually, I don’t deserve anything other than punishment.” “I will spend the rest of my life trying to make up for my inadequacies.” “I am not good enough and I will never be enough for anything or anyone.” “I hate myself and everything about me.” “Nobody loves me or even cares I am here. I might as well be dead.” After receiving counseling for my eating disorder in 1993, I realized I needed to change my thoughts in order to change my experience of life. While I couldn’t control the thoughts that came into my mind, I could begin to challenge them. I remember hearing someone say that we don’t need to believe all of our thoughts and, in fact, most of our own thoughts are not true. That was comforting and I was

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