I believe in the old adage: "Cleanliness is next to
Godliness," but not as a reference to dirt under our nails
or behind our ears. Clean thoughts are what we need to
have in order to grow closer to our own souls.
Do your thoughts leave you feeling fresh and sweet, or do they
slime your self-concept with a brackish film of criticism,
doubt, and shame? Your thoughts are yours alone. No
one can clean them up but you. Exploring the seed
sentences planted within you is a great way to uproot weeds,
clean up your mind, and plant some flower seeds.
Seed sentences are clusters of ideas, words, or scripts that we
all create in order to keep us congruent with our underlying
assumptions and hidden beliefs. If our seed sentences are
self-affirming and supportive, we are naturally self-confident,
creative, and excited about life. These I call
"flower sentences." When sentences are
derogatory, we are more likely to be emotionally vulnerable,
have low self-esteem, and find it difficult to be
ourselves. Definitely "weeds."
Most seed sentences remain unspoken, perhaps even
subconscious. They are bits and pieces of ideas we've
picked up along the way until they form the heart of our beliefs
Seed sentences come from many
sources--parents, mates, TV, movies, magazines, advertising--and
contribute to our ideas of how we're supposed to live and what
we can expect to receive from life and from others. Our
lives, in effect, sprout from seed sentences we carry.
If all of our
seed sentences blossomed into flowers, our lives would be gardens
filled with beauty and grace. Unfortunately most of us have
picked up weed seeds that grow into thistles and thorns, choking
our spontaneity and the realization of our authentic selves.
Some examples of flower seed sentences:
"I am a worthwhile person."
"I deserve to be loved."
"I am lovable."
"I can do anything I set my mind to."
"I am proud to be a woman [or man]."
If seed sentences such as these are blooming in your subconscious,
you probably have a wonderful life, filled with loving
relationships. When you look into the mirror in the morning,
you are happy with what you see.
Weed sentences, on the other hand, sound something like this:
"I can never do anything right."
"I don't deserve to be loved."
"I'm no good at (_______) or (_______)."
"Everyone handles things better than I do."
"I'm so ashamed of (_______)."
Constant use of weed sentences undoubtedly means you feel pretty
down on yourself. When people try to love you, you question
their motives. "How can they love me? They
must not be very bright." Weed sentences go hand in
hand with low self-esteem. . . .
How do we pick up our packets of thought-seeds? People make
the most unbelievably careless statements within the hearing of
children. "She has a face only a mother could
love." Or "You're about as graceful as a bull in a
china shop." Children take such pronouncements as
authoritative, because they come from people who are ten feet
tall. . . .
It pays to sort through the seed sentences you've carried over
from your associations with religion and society. A
remarkable number of my clients come from backgrounds of
guilt-fostering religious environments. Guilt and fear keep
them emotionally vulnerable and prevent them from experiencing
their authentic selves. . . .
Freeing ourselves from underlying assumptions and bringing our
beliefs into harmony with the goal of lovingly supporting
ourselves takes time and doesn't come easily. We need to be
gentle with ourselves and remember that we are called upon to love
our neighbors as ourselves, not to the exclusion of
ourselves. As a natural outgrowth of loving ourselves, we
will learn to love others more fully and authentically.
Become aware of your beliefs and automatic default settings.
Bring them into the light of your present, adult knowledge.
Gently acknowledge that they are what they are. Then accept
that they constitute what you've believed until now, and that you
can transform them into beliefs that allow you to fully express
who you really are. Without judgment, patiently begin
working to change subconscious and limiting beliefs into true
expressions of your authentic self.
Patton Thoele continues her quest to help readers enhance
their self-esteem and tap into their core emotional
strength. Geared to people who too often find
themselves meeting the wants of others at the expense of
their own needs, the book provides necessary tools to help
readers transform their fears into the courage to express
their own authentic selves. By sharing her own
journey and the journey of others, Thoele helps readers
learn to set boundaries, change self-defeating behavior
patterns, communicate effectively, and become a loving and
tolerant friend to themselves.