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  • Writer's pictureGuylaine Richer de Lafleche

Out with the Old and in with the New: Learning to Let Go of Limiting Beliefs

Many years ago, someone that I considered to be a good friend, had strongly projected her opinion about childhood teddy bears onto me. It was in her belief system that childhood teddybears or security blankets should be taken away from a child at a young age, otherwise the child could grow up to be an emotionally immature adult. I expressed how absurd I thought this was and responded, “look at me, I grew up with my childhood teddy bear and I think I turned out just fine!” My friend replied with a smirk and sarcastically said “mmhmm.” She was intentionally trying to hurt me.

My sister (left) and I (right) having a tea party with our teddy bears, Winslow and Buddy.

Anyone who knows me well, especially those who grew up with me, know about the relationship I have with my teddy bear, Buddy. I cherish and love Buddy with all of my heart! He has been the subject of many sleepovers, tea parties, show and tells, and teddy bear picnics at my local library. Buddy was gifted to me by my Nan and Grampy the day I was born. He came to me as a fat, fluffy, white teddy bear looking for love, and that’s exactly what I gave him, unconditional love! Today, Buddy doesn’t look anything like the bear he was when I first got him. Over the years he has been loved so much so, that he no longer has fur, he wears over 100 stitches, his eyes are chipped, cracked and falling out, and his stuffing is so condensed he can barely hold his head up! Buddy is an extension of me so what this friend had said hurt me greatly and I took it quite personal. This would mark the day that I inadvertently adopted this limiting belief into my subconscious.

Limiting beliefs are always showing up in our dreams, however, they’re one of the more difficult themes to interpret. Our beliefs are where we feel comfortable and safe - they’re what we know! - and because we’re so attached to them, more often than not we’re unaware of the ways they're limiting us in our growth. Although our limiting beliefs simply aren't true, we’ve become so dedicated to justifying them, that our mind is now programmed to believe them. This is why it can be a challenge to recognize and let go of our beliefs, both in our dreams and in our waking life.

Now, flash forward to 2018 — I’m preparing for a big move to a cabin in the countryside. Since this living arrangement is temporary, and the place is small, I've opted to put many of my belongings in storage and take only what was most important to me. It hurts me to write this today but when it came time to pack Buddy, I picked him up and thought, “storage or cabin?” I can’t believe I even questioned storage as an option but the truth is I did. I did this because I worried about what people would think of me. I worried people would think a 30 year old that still has their childhood teddy bear is less of an adult. Really, all I was doing was judging my true self based off of a limiting belief I had adopted. Sure enough, I chose not to care. Buddy would come with me to the cabin and sit right where he belongs — on a shelf next to my bed — and anyone that would judge my relationship with Buddy, is not a person for me. It’s as simple as that. Of course, it’s never actually as simple as that… had I really let go of that limiting belief? No, but this is where my dreams come into play. Exactly one month after moving to the country, a dream came to my service urging me to realize it was time to let go and move on...

‘My Neighbour, The Intruder’

It’s the afternoon, I am sitting in bed (current) when the neighbour, a middle-aged man with a big gut, pops his head into my room through the window. Suddenly he is standing in my bedroom. I notice his head made a giant hole right through the screen window. I am so uncomfortable. He looks at my bed and reaches over and grabs Buddy. He says something but it’s hard for me to make out because his speech is very mumbled and child-like. I politely ask him to leave as I gesture him towards the door but rather he climbs back out the window. I am very threatened by him.

“It’s the afternoon, I am sitting in bed (current)…”

This element of the dream is extremely important. The dream takes place in my current bedroom, which tells me it relates to the present moment. The bedroom — a place that can represent relationships — is a clear indication that this dream is associated to my relationship with Buddy and my masculinity (the neighbour).

“a middle-aged man with a big gut… reaches over and grabs Buddy. He says something but it’s hard for me to make out because his speech is very mumbled and child-like.”

When I read this, I feel saddened for this dream character. Such a sweet and innocent man who is clearly looking for acceptance and love but my dream ego (myself in the dream) is more threatened than anything. My neighbour, the middle-aged man, represents the limiting belief I adopted from my friend many years ago. He signifies a part of my masculinity that I have repressed… because it isn’t very masculine to have a childhood teddy bear now is it?! He is an older, unhealthy man, who is so child-like he can hardly speak. Does that sound familiar to you? The theme of the belief that I adopted was about adults who grow up to be emotionally immature.

“I notice his head made a giant hole right through the screen window.”

Why would this dream figure bust through the screen window and not the door? Well, if we think about the purpose of a screen window, a screen helps to provide air flow in our homes while acting as a barrier to keep the unwanted things that belong outside, to stay out. Saying that, my dream figure bursts through the screen because he doesn’t want to be left outside anymore. In other words, he’s done being filtered. He knows he isn’t welcome through the door but he’s gotta get in some how!

“I politely ask him to leave as I gesture him towards the door but rather he climbs back out the window.”

My dream ego, trying to be polite, suggests the man exits through the door but rather he chooses to go out the same way he came in. Our door is a place where we welcome guests — we would never tell our guests to enter through a window, of course! Because my dream figure is offended by my fear of him, he decides to go out the way he came in. He has yet to feel welcomed or accepted, so he’d rather not use the door.

“I am very threatened by him.”

I’m very threatened by this masculine figure that is just looking to hold my teddy. He’s not here to hurt me, he’s here to love a part of me.

This dream is telling me it’s time to let-go of this limiting belief because it no longer serves me purpose. It’s time to accept the part of myself that genuinely loves my teddy bear and welcome him back into my life, and by doing so, I will truly be moving forward on my path of individuation!

If you’d like to explore your limiting beliefs, ask your dreams for guidance! Set the intention to dream of a belief that no longer serves you purpose. Trust what your dreams have shared with you, even if they don’t make sense to you at first... and don’t forget to record your dreams the following morning! If you’d like to dig deeper into your dream, you can book your dreamwork session with me here!

In the meantime, I’d love to know what your beliefs about childhood toys are. Share your perspective with me in the comments below!

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