One of the things that keeps us protecting our early mental models is that they conceal chronically endured pain that is linked to a central issue in our life and is kept out of our awareness by our habits and behaviors. In essence the thoughts and behaviors that keep anxiety at bay are at the same time the blinders that keep us from seeing and accessing the enormous untapped potential that we can offer ourselves and others. Self-knowledge starts by “doing the harder thing”, learning to tolerate greater levels of anxiety without evoking our usual ways of reducing it, and facing the truth that we have feared our whole life. It is said that “the truth will set you free”, and that is because the light of reality is never as punishing as the terror of concealment. What we have most feared and allowed to direct our lives is simply a child’s concept of what it means to be lovable based on the ways his early life unnecessarily restricted his or her capacity to give and receive love.

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