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Are you willing to tell the total truth about yourself, even in the face of fear or loss of love from another? Love does not attempt to manipulate a loved one with niceness, diplomacy, white lies, explanations, or complaints to avoid their anger, disapproval, or loss of the relationship. These tactics arise from fear, and since love and fear do not coexist in the same moment, it is impossible to lie about ourselves when we approach the world with an open heart.


Self-Concept & Self-Love (Part 1)

By Nancy Swisher
July 14, 2010

In this article Nancy explains how we literally limit our perception of life and our self by holding onto unconscious self-concepts. We see what we believe is possible.

Driving through the Iowa countryside last fall, I experienced a moment of awakening around the subject of self-concept.  I had been thinking about how self-concept limits us, how many of my clients work so hard to release and come to terms with the false self-concepts they adopted in childhood (all of which boil down to believing you are unworthy). On this day, I wasn’t thinking directly on the subject of self-concept; I was simply enjoying my drive, staring at the fall asters along the highway, noticing the beauty of pink, yellow and purple mixed together, when suddenly, I literally saw something I had not been able to see for three years--
Why was this astounding?  For three years, since I arrived in Iowa, I have held the belief that there are no hills in Iowa.  I’ve spent most of my life living in the mountains—the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts.  At my first party in Iowa, people were talking about how wonderful it was to drive into Iowa and see the hills.  I laughed, “There are no hills here!”  I felt so certain.  I knew for sure that there are no hills here.  I even took time to tell my friends back in Massachusetts how funny it was that people here talked about the hills.  I had a concept for sure.  Not a self-concept, but a concept about the landscape in Iowa.
On this day, as I enjoyed the beauty of the flowers while listening to an inspirational CD, in a split-second I saw the hills!  I had driven on this stretch of highway many times without seeing any hills at all.  Now, there they were!  I screamed aloud to myself.  “I see the hills!”
Not only did I see them, I felt a shift take place in my perception.  I felt a belief drop away, a concept that I had ‘known for certain’ was suddenly gone.  The hills appeared.
I was reminded in that moment of the scene in What the Bleep Do We Know where the shaman looks out at the ocean but does not see the large ships approaching because he doesn’t ‘know’ what ships are. The ships are literally invisible to him because his mind does not have a concept for ships.  He sees the waves, however, so as he keeps staring, eventually the ships appear to him.  Before they appear, however, he must find a way to realize within his consciousness that ships are a possibility.  (Contemplating the waves does this for him.)
Because I held a concept of what hills look like (my visual cortex had known hills to be only a certain size) I literally could not see the hills in Iowa (until I did!)  As the quantum physicists and the mystics alike teach us:  We see what we believe is possible.
Going back to the topic of self-concept.  When we are ‘told’ in childhood that something about us is not quite right:  i.e. too sensitive; too fat; not smart enough; not pretty enough; or when an abusive experience happens that creates the belief that we are unlovable and unworthy, then, this self-concept, which is composed of false beliefs about yourself, is fixed within you and you literally cannot see yourself in any other way.  Have you ever known a person who could not receive a compliment? (Perhaps it's you!)  That's because of a self-concept that opposes it.
How do you know you are trapped in a self-concept that is not who you really are?  Where in you’re life is your self-concept limiting your enjoyment, vitality, creativity?  I’ll discuss this in Part 2 of Self-Concept & Self-Love.  In the mean time, contemplate your answer, and if you haven’t yet watched What the Bleep Do We Know I highly recommend it as an educational tool.
Nancy Swisher is a Certified Inner Bonding Facilitator, Spiritual Counselor & Healer.  She can be reached at 641-233-5072 or through her website at


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