By Olga Sheean
When I was growing up, I used to dream of running away from home. I’d jump out the window, climb over the front gate and then belt down the road as fast as my little legs could carry me. In my dream, I was always caught and brought back home. I varied my route each night, in the hope of evading my faceless pursuers, but they always found me. As soon as I was old enough, I did run away from home. I left Ireland and kept on running—to Scotland, to Italy, to Switzerland; I ran all over Europe; I ran to Canada and the States, the Caribbean, Mexico and all over Latin America. I ran to Kenya, Bali and the Seychelles. Over 35 countries and 26 years later, I’m back in Ireland, breathless and dizzy.
My globetrotting opened up a whole new world of awareness. I realised, of course, that it wasn’t home I was running from; it was me. And then I realised that it wasn’t me, either; it was all the things I’d been taught about myself that had created a frantic web of angst and insecurity. I’d been running from what I thought of as the truth—that I was not good enough, I was an imposter waiting to be found out, and I didn’t deserve to have the love or life I wanted. I was driven by generations of negative programming that created struggle, anxiety and disappointment—the inevitable product of an oppressed, religious nation that preached penance and unworthiness.
Fortunately, my worldwide marathon led me to some deeper truths. I delved into the human psyche, exploring the subconscious dynamics that drive our relationships, our health, our economy and our world. What I discovered was a reality that transformed my life, bringing love, enlightenment and lots of laughter lines. But it’s a reality that’s hard to grasp. When I tell people that our negative beliefs literally determine our circumstances in life, and that we all attract particular people, challenges and crises as a result of how we’ve all been subconsciously programmed, their eyes glaze over and they’re back to worrying about their Visa bill.
Ironically, the programming itself (the beliefs, fears and limitations we absorb from parents, teachers, the Church, etc.) is the very thing that gets in the way of us realising that it’s the very thing getting in our way. In fact, it’s probably the ONLY thing stopping most people from living their ideal life. It doesn’t just determine the way we think, how we perceive the world or what we imagine is possible for us; it determines how much love, money, ease, success and fulfilment we have.
Finally, I’d begun to make sense of my world and to understand why I (and a few billion others) was driven to behave a certain way, to believe certain things, to expect certain outcomes—and to attract exactly that. I realised that the root of our problems lay buried in our subconscious minds and that changing our negative programming changed everything.
It’s not the loss of our booming economy that we need to address; it’s the loss of our self-worth, our emotional freedom and our ability to see beyond the negative beliefs that keep us stuck. Those beliefs keep us from seeing our true value, having healthy self-esteem, having loving relationships, being healthy and whole, fulfilling our dreams, boosting our bank accounts …and being happy.
Of course, the miserable Irish weather doesn’t help. If I could just hire a massive tug and haul the whole soggy island southwards about 1,000km, I think we’d all feel a lot better. Failing that, the single most effective, powerful thing we can do is address the negative programming that’s stopping us from being all that we can be.
Our negative programming sets us up for a life on the run; we’re either chasing something, in the hope of a payoff, or we’re running away from whatever seems to be causing us grief, burying ourselves in denial with alcohol, cigarettes, soap operas, anti-depressants and yummy dark chocolate. Only when we understand what’s really driving us can we finally stop running and come face to face with the deeper truth: we’re powerful, we’re creative, we’re worthy and, yes, we’re Irish.
Olga Sheean is an author and counsellor-cum-catalyst who teaches a unique system of self-mastery. She’ll be writing a regular column for us on how to transform your programming and create more love, money, ease, success and fulfilment.
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.olgasheean.com