Doubt is the lie you told yourself

by | Aug 1, 2020 | Healing | 7 comments

In Hawaii, we have relics of ancient healing temples called heiau. They can be found in various and unlikely places all over the islands –in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, at a beach, or next to a busy hotel – small groupings of volcanic rock, usually, arranged in a pattern of rooms varying in height. These temples are from a former time, a time before Christianity replaced the Hawaiian religion of poly-theism. We recently traveled to Kauai, and right next to the Hilton in Kapaa, a heiau. This particular heiau was devoted to granting amnesty and forgiveness. Those who visited and spent time at this temple were granted sanctuary and absolution by temple priests- protection from wars, forgiveness of crimes, and even karma. It was said, that for those who once stayed at this temple, the past would be released. All wrongs would be erased, made right. A clean slate.

I thought about what perfect timing this was, for me. This was Divine Orchestration at work, sleeping each night next to a Hawaiian heiau of this nature coincided with the feelings I’d been having, of wanting deep release. I’d been wanting to let go of the way the past still has a hold over the perceptions of myself, ready to even more fully step into my own compassion and self-gentleness. Sleeping here surely meant I would have healing dreams.

Writer Anais Nin wisely once said: “We don’t see others as they are, but how we are.” Yes, sometimes. But try this on: We don’t see our self as we are, but how others taught us to see our self.

If you have been raised by an insecure, unstable, abusive parent, one with Narcissistic tendencies, one who gaslighted you, it leaves a mark. This applies to romantic partnership, too, where this kind of abuse is not uncommon. If your lover turns from Casanova to tyrant, caring to cruel in a nanosecond this is what I’m talking about. If in one breath they say they love you, and in the next tell you how “wrong” you are…

It is bound to affect you.

It comes out in the subtle, critical, thoughts that whisper so softly in your head:

I’m not enough.

I should be different than I am.

Maybe I really don’t know what I’m doing.


The doubt. The endless self-questioning. The doubt, the doubt, the doubt.

It is not innate to who you are. It is not a weakness or a character defect. You were taught to do this. It is the way you learned to survive a person who would punish you for your certainty, honesty and strength.

The way you learned to:

Make yourself smaller around them, to make them feel less insecure. Doubt yourself, because your confidence caused them to be demeaning and threatening toward you. Hide Truth, because they would criticize, contradict or insult you when you spoke it. Endlessly question yourself, because you wanted to finally get it Right with them. Think that if you feel bad, it must be your fault. That if you have a problem, it’s your problem, because that’s what they tell you. Tell yourself you must be wrong because that is the only control you have in this situation. Become overly responsible and perfectionistic in your life in response to feeling out of control and never enough…

Doubt is the lie you told yourself

Sleeping near the healing temple, I had a dream of ancient ghost-like figures who shared their regrets, sadness. In the dream, I hugged them, offered them my compassion and perspective. I could see both the limited vision they held for their selves, and the Truth they could not see, their abundance, gifts, the way they shone so brightly. In the dream, they could not see what I could – their self-perception of their self was limited. I knew I was dreaming of pieces of myself, both my Human and my Divine Self. Later that week, this phrase came to me:

Doubt is the lie you told yourself to survive.

What became sparkling clear to me is the “lie” part. We don’t choose to think these untrue thoughts; they are a survival strategy, a way of coping with living with someone who is deeply insecure — and capable of making your life feel dangerous and unsafe. I had felt powerless to the thoughts of self-doubt that wandered, unwanted, into my mind, just as I was once powerless to the parent… until I understood that ALL forms of self-doubt were ways to protect myself, stay alive, survive an unpredictable person. It was easier to be wishy-washy. Easier to doubt, self-question, than to inflame and infuriate the person I depended on for my survival.

Compassion. So much self-compassion.

Then, I could focus on the fact they were lies. In the Light of Truth, the self-doubt disappeared. Forever. How do I know this misperception is gone? To think otherwise would be a habit of doubt, and a perpetuation of the lie.

It has been a summer of retrogrades, In planetary language, retrograde means “appearing to move backwards from Earth’s perspective” -apparent being the operative word. Because Mercury, or any other planet moving backwards, is not actually moving backwards, just more slowly. From our perspective, planets appear to go backwards, but for Mercury, it’s actually a play on perception, a trick, sleight of hand. Maybe even a lie.

I now know, deep in my bones, that I will never “believe” the lies of self-doubt again. This is nothing less than revelatory for me, since its been an off/on again issue I’ve carried with me since childhood. I wish healing resolution for you, should you need it. If you have ever wondered why you think negative thoughts about yourself, consider your teachers, the people whose survival you once depended upon, and how those same thoughts may’ve once helped give you a sense of control within an unstable, unsafe, reality. If you have ever wondered whether you have been gaslighted, I recommend watching the 1944 movie Gaslight. You will never again be unclear about what gaslighting is. If you wonder whether you have been raised by or with a Narcissist reference this checklist.

The role of self-compassion, when addressing these very difficult thoughts and feelings, cannot be overstated. Yet for things to clear they must be fully felt and acknowledged, and for many of us, it is time. Whether acknowledging we have been abused and the mark it left on us, or acknowledging we are being abused, we can heal. Sometimes simply saying, aloud, truthfully, from our center: “This is abuse. I have been abused.” is the powerfully honest catalyst we need (it is important to feel safe; sometimes the only person we need to say that aloud to is ourself). TRUST: When the patient is ready, the healer within will always appear, to help, to guide into our authentic unfolding. When we are ready for healing, answers WILL arrive — maybe even in the writings we come across. 🙂

I share this, in that Spirit.

This summer: May all that you are not ever so gently fall away… to reveal the Light, Brilliance and Beauty of YOU.

From my heart to yours…xx


Doubt is the Lie I Told Myself

Doubt is the lie I told myself, to survive

It is the way I made myself feel better

When my certainty threatened you


Doubt is the lie I told myself, to survive

The onslaught of criticism that surely arrived

The moment I stood in my Truth


Doubt is the lie I told myself, to survive

The epic waves of your insecurities

As they crashed upon the calm shores, wrecking everything peaceful


Doubt is the lie I told myself, to survive

That fuzzy blanket of wishy-washiness was safer

Than the abuse I would endure for being direct, insistent, determined, confident, strong


Doubt is the lie I told myself, to survive

To not make you angry, to not set you off, not trigger you, or start a war

A white flag of surrender waved, before ever starting


Doubt is the lie I told myself, to survive

The way I shaped myself to fit the nature of your sickness

All you refused to see in yourself that I was forced to adapt to, for so many years


Doubt is the lie I told myself, to survive

An “I don’t know”, “I am not sure” became so habitual

That it bled everywhere, onto my skills, gifts, inner knowing, my gentle peace


Doubt is the lie I told myself, to survive

A coping strategy, a conditioning, a way to make it to the next day

…to survive living with someone too insecure, too sick, to let me be in my Light


It wasn’t my fault

It wasn’t my fault

It wasn’t my fault


Now when I hear that voice in my head, I say:

Doubt is the lie I told myself, to survive

A lie. It was always a lie.

I no longer lie to myself


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  1. Selenia

    Oh my. This hit home. Thank you thank you thank you for writing. I love you.

  2. Debbie


  3. Raven

    Fantastic, Jessica, beautiful ~ your writing gives me hope and the pervading sense that SO MANY of us are or have been forced to deal with these horrible, self-centered narcissists FOR TOO LONG. And it’s HIGH TIME to STOP. To end them.

  4. Amy

    Thank you, Jessica, this is perfect!

  5. K

    I’ve been re-examining the beliefs and patterns I inherited and knew growing up; this was so timely and helpful. Thank you.

  6. Laura Grolla

    This hit me right in the power chakra. What a well-written, timely piece to read as I reassemble myself from a recent family shattering. Your very exact descriptions of those inner litanies has given me permission to see this. It is a truth that will set me free, I can tell.

  7. Anonymous

    How absolutely profound your sharing is for me ..Deeply felt in the most Subterranean parts of myself . It clarifies something that has been bubbling up in me . I hope you combine these brilliantly insightful entries in your next book. Much Gratitude for your willingness to to be vulnerable, real and sharing the transmutation of your old conditioned self .And much thanks to the
    spirits of the Healing Place that your slept near. .ALOHA. RhiONA

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