Believing is Seeing


The longer I practice psychotherapy (40 years now), the clearer I am that we create our experience based on our beliefs. We think we observe reality, but we don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve for creating powerfully. What we believe, we notice around us. But we don’t acknowledge that we are the crucial creative variable.

We practice different states of consciousness, each anchored in its own belief system. Our Overachiever values only our Controller who says, “Forge ahead, vulnerability be gone!” Our Doting Parent says, “Whatever you need, dear. I live for you.” Our Star says, “Look at me!” We have many parts to us, each anchored in its own beliefs. The Powerless Victim in us denies the truth that the Wise Person knows. We each encompass many parts with different beliefs and we move among them. 

We can identify our beliefs by knowing our feelings in the second we feel them. We detach from our feelings and we observe them. When we notice our feelings, we can discern the belief that underlies them. When we identify that belief, we can choose to maintain it or we can change it.

We always have this choice. It doesn’t matter how long we have carried a belief, we can always change it. The longstanding beliefs that seem to live in the marrow of our bones we adopted as children. Most of us don’t do anything else in our daily lives the same way we did as a child, but we don’t question our beliefs. Early on we learn our role and we practice it endlessly.

Until we stop, we move into our Observer, and we wonder why we choose to live with limitations. We can receive more today only if we release our limiting beliefs from the past. Why should that be problematic? Why would we resist owning our power and living large and celebrating ourselves? What could be better?

But we have learned to settle. We think we are being mature to not want too much or expect too much from life. We don’t experience disappointment, but we lose some aliveness. We fit in with others, but we lose our souls. And we don’t even feel bad about diminishing ourselves!

What will it take to reclaim our vitality and our joy and our creativity and our wonder?

We need to realize that at our core we are far less limited than we have always thought we are. Our thoughts and beliefs keep us small. The good news is that we can change thoughts and beliefs at the time we think them. Simply moving into our Observer, noticing our practiced thoughts and beliefs, allows us to release them. We can start again any second. We just need to pay attention.

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Ruth Cherry, Ph.D.
Ruth Cherry, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice in San Luis Obispo, CA. Her specialty is integrating psychological and spiritual dynamics. Her latest books are Open Your Heart, Accepting Unconditional Love, and Living in the Flow: Practicing Vibrational Alignment. Visit


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