Self Sabotage.

Via Ben Ralston
on Jul 28, 2010
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When Your Best Intentions Come Undone.

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away…

… A little girl drove through the city suburbs with her parents. As they passed through the wealthiest area, her mother pointed to the big houses and said:

“You see this—this is where the bad people live.”

That girl grew up into a beautiful woman who somehow never seemed to have enough money!


… There was a very young boy who thought that his father was an all-powerful superhero! He loved his father so much that he lived for the moments when He spent time with him, played with him, gave him attention. Unfortunately his father was A Very Busy Man, and those moments only came when the boy was sick, injured or in trouble.

When that boy grew up, he was unable to see how beautiful he was: he believed that he was only deserving of love, attention and play if he was sick, injured or in trouble. He spent many years constantly sick, injured or in trouble, without knowing why!


… A sensitive, emotional boy wanted nothing more than to play and enjoy his childhood. His father didn’t want a sensitive, emotional boy—he wanted a tough, hard boy, because he thought that the world was tough and hard. So he told his son all the time that he was useless, and he didn’t let him play—his boy had to work all the time so that he would become tough and hard. So guess what? That boy grew into a man who always felt useless, and only ever wanted to hide, escape, and play!


… A curious five-year-old girl was at kindergarten. It was rest time, and all the children were lying down under blankets to have a nap. Our heroine lay on her belly, and began to feel a strange sensation in her abdomen. It was her first experience of sexual energy, and it felt wonderful! She wanted to explore this new gift. Under the blanket she pulled her pants down and began to play with that energy.

Unfortunately the teacher saw what she was doing and whipped the blanket away to expose and humiliate her in front of the whole class.

That little girl grew into a woman who found it very difficult to enjoy sex…

These are true stories which I use here to illustrate how our underlying attitudes are sometimes ‘ruled’ by subconscious beliefs and associations, which in turn dominate our lives. This is what I refer to as a ‘subconscious blockage.’ To be clear: the above four people came to me because they had problems in their life with wealth, health, self esteem, and sex, in that order. Clearing people’s subconscious blockages is part of my work as a healer.

Other examples of very common blockages are those towards success, failure and change.

A blockage towards success might manifest itself as persistent ‘bad luck.’ You might always be just that one step away from achieving what you want—but never quite getting there.

A blockage towards failure might look the same as the blockage towards success (never achieving the results you would like) but it happens for a different reason: because you are afraid of failing, you never really commit yourself fully. Perhaps life without success is simply more ‘comfortable’ than the possibility of failure?

In 3 months, I will be a father. I am delighted and overjoyed, and have been since my wife and I found out. However, the impeding big change also helped me to discover in myself (and heal) a big fear, which I blogged about previously on elephant.

I once saw someone wearing a T-shirt with the words “Your parents f**k you up. They may not mean to, but they do,” printed on the back.

There’s some truth written on that T-shirt!

However, it’s not our parents’ fault—on the contrary: they inherited their issues from your grandparents, who inherited them from your great grandparents, and it’s just a pattern that goes on and on, far back through our ancestors. It’s also not only the parents that do the damage—it can be teachers, other family members, neighbors and institutions (such as a church).

The fact is that our society is really in a big, big mess.

It doesn’t value the heart. It doesn’t value spirit. It doesn’t value value!

Our society does value power, sex and fame. It values quantity over quality; history over truth; appearance over reality; drama, controversy, and sensationalism over harmony. It has been doing this for a very long time. The result? Corruption, greed and ignorance at the very root of our daily experience—at home, at school and in the media.

So it’s not our parents’ fault at all. If they were mis-educated themselves, how could they know better?

In fact, the real issue is not whose fault it is, but what we are doing about it.

It’s time for us to really look at the situation honestly. We owe it to our children to do so.

Can we afford to continue repeating the same old patterns again and again? The same patterns of abuse, aggression, fear, corruption…

Or should we think a bit more deeply about what could be—about our potential as a species—about the possibilities for humankind?

My purpose in writing this is not to frighten the hell out of you, nor is it to make you introspect to the point of gazing at your navel!

The real intention behind all my work is to inspire and motivate people towards the kind of profound, lasting healing that I know is possible.

I have found that there is a new paradigm of alternative healing emerging, based on the unprecedented new relationship slowly being formed between science and spirituality. Those two age-old enemies have begun to realize that they have actually been saying the same thing all along, only in different languages.

Slowly, they are beginning to speak in the same tongue, and the results are really quite astonishing. For example, various spiritual traditions have spoken for many thousands of years about body-consciousness. Science has recently found that the cells of our body carry memory (and therefore consciousness). For a remarkable example, read this article on epigenetics from Time magazine. (It also explains very well what I mean when I say that very often, our blockages are inherited).

This merging of the boundaries between science and spirituality has led to a revolution in healing—that means it is faster and easier than ever before to let go of these old blockages and patterns that hold us back.

We are innately perfect. We are pure consciousness. You are pure, perfect, divine consciousness. You were born that way, and you will always remain that way.

The reason why you sometimes don’t feel perfect and divine is that mankind has forgotten its essence—its divine nature. But the truth is, as is written in the Bible—we were created in the image of God.

So, if we’re really perfect, all we need to do is let go of all that is blocking us from our experience of perfection, and remember our essential nature!

That is what the new paradigm of healing is all about: simply letting go of the blockages.

It means that the old paradigm—which said that healing was hard work, took a long time and could only be done by ‘special’ people—is redundant. It is now possible to transform limiting blockages into unlimited potential.

My belief is that we will not change the world into a more peaceful place until we do this work on ourselves. All the anti-war protests, angry environmentalist blog articles and political posturing do very little to support real, lasting change.

I believe that is why Mother Theresa said:

“…I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations… as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

We need to free ourselves from the violence, greed and selfishness that is within, before we can hope to see our love manifest outwardly.

What do you think—have you experienced letting go, or healing, of subconscious blockages? Please feel free to share your experiences, thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment.

(With thanks to Mark Stivers for the cartoon:


About Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting. He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.


19 Responses to “Self Sabotage.”

  1. I think I have a blockage of letting go of blockages. Work in progress 🙂 Looking forward to more of your posts.

  2. Ben Ralston says:

    Hi Lynn,
    Ha! You’re not alone… actually I think that’s about the most common blockage there is 🙂
    Thanks for your positive comment.
    With love,

  3. helene_rose says:

    Very beautiful! Thank you!

    "We are innately perfect. We are pure consciousness. You are pure, perfect, divine consciousness. You were born that way, and you will always remain that way."

  4. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you Helene…
    Ha! I was going to ask you where the quote came from, and then I realised it was from me 🙂
    With love, Ben

  5. Sidney Cannon says:

    I have never posted a comment on an article or blog until now. Your article is beautiful and inspirational. I will be sharing this article with my children (4), family, and friends. I look forward to reading your blog, and exploring my own "road blocks or blockages" with an ever deepening Buddhist and personal practice. My very best to you and your growing family. Thank you very much for sharing.

  6. Donna says:

    I recently got divorced and took yoga teacher training. During the training, so many old limiting beliefs came up, and I am working on healing them. One major one was a blockage on feeling lovable. A "why would anyone love me" or "there's something wrong with me." I've struggled with being attracted to unavailable men and guess what? The Universe gave me one in teacher training. He is absolutely beautiful and he finds me attractive. He also isn't able to show up right now. Not sure if he ever will. This triggered blockages about rejection and a lot of old fear.

    Because of years of therapy, yoga, and the nature of the training, this time I had so much more awareness of what was happening. From the experience with him I began to see that the person not showing up for me was me. The longing and rejection I felt with him was me rejecting myself. I've realized that I am lovable, and I deserve to share love with an amazing man who desires me. I love myself first and a partner will show up to share that with me, not fix me or complete me. I'm already complete. It's my job to remember it, know it, and live it.

    We are innately perfect. We are pure consciousness. You are pure, perfect, divine consciousness. You were born that way, and you will always remain that way." That is beautiful. I'm going to add it to my affirmations!

  7. Ben_Ralston says:

    Beautiful, thank you for sharing Ginny – your story fills me with hope.
    My wife and I are planning a home birth, and hope raise our child/ren in the same way as you describe.
    With love, Ben

  8. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you so much for your comment Sidney. I know that sometimes it's not easy to leave comments, so yours means all the more for it! I hope you enjoy and benefit from my blog, and thank you for your support.
    With love, Ben

  9. Ben_Ralston says:

    Donna, you're doing great.
    May I suggest something? Often this blockage – being attracted to unavailable people – is due to childhood stuff, but perhaps not what you think.
    yes, it's a self esteem issue. But something deeper can be going on. For example, if your parents (maybe just your Father?) wasn't around much when you were a child, THAT was your reference point for love. Or perhaps your Mother felt that your Father wasn't present enough? So there could be a subconscious association between love, and WANT. So that subconsciously you feel that WANTING someone is what love is about. Then the subconscious cleverly chooses people that you can only WANT, and not have… fulfilling it's need for love.
    Does that make sense? It's late… let me know.
    With love (pure, without association!) Ben

  10. Laurie says:

    sometimes these blockages are compounded by an experience a bit later in life also. My father was abusive and completely unavailable. Not surprising, I was married very young (17) and was pregnant. . Two months afterwards my husband was killed in a car accident – I was 6 months pregnant. I know I made a mess of raising my son from this short marriage. I am now 55, and raising my granddaughters – this son's two girls he has been incapable of raising. Our family has started therapy with a psychologist who bases her therapy on the interplay of mind, body, and spirit. We use meditation, visualization, and nutrition to heal ourselves. My granddaughters are being taught yoga. This article gave me quite a lot to ponder and I thank you!

  11. Ben Ralston says:

    Thank you Laurie, you're doing great!
    It's absolutely true that later experiences compound the blockages – actually, what happens is that the blockage just continues to create patterns of problems… you inherited the blockage from your Father, and gave it to your son. the good news is that when you heal it, as you are in the process of doing now by the sounds of it, it will be gone forever. And healing yourself often heals your children and grandchildren too.
    Good luck! Ben

  12. Herb says:

    Wow. You just nailed me. I am sitting here googling everything I can think of to figure out what is wrong with me and Bam! up you come. The stories that you start off this article with are twisting my stomach in knots. I have ruined my life in every possible way with such beliefs. I tried further google searches for 'alternative healing' and am not getting anything here is the states. Do you have any idea who I can turn to here in New England (Vermont)? I am in desperate need of help. This is the only shot at life I get and I just blew 53 years of it.

  13. Patti says:

    Howdy from Texas Ben,
    Your writing gave just gave me encouragement and insight as to why I'm in a "rut" at present. I've recently quit a catering job that lasted 4 years and couldn't be more relieved, management utilized power that bordered on abusive. I am now in search of meaningful work, perhaps with underprivilaged children. At age 55, it is a later start but that's where my heart is. I realize this is a field that barely provides a living a wage in today's enconomy. I want to make a difference and look forward to my life's work instead of always worrying about the bottom line. So many people around me are so focused on the amount of money they can earn.

  14. Ben_Ralston says:

    Congratulations! I'm sure a path will open up for you that allows you to do both – make a living, and do what you feel called to do. I wish you luck and joy,

  15. session says:

    Wonderful article. Thank you.

  16. Jodi says:

    Hi there – Wow. I totally relate to Donna's comments about not loving oneself. I think that's something I'm working on right now. We're always longing for someone to validate us, to be our partner. Can we be our own partners? Can we be complete without being with someone else? If so, we are we always longing for that other person to share our lives with? I have plenty of friends to share my life with and they are amazing people and I am so fortunate and grateful to them. But its not the same as having a sexual partner to really share your life with? But if we don't have that, can we be "complete" and stop wanting it so desperately somehow? I feel like the only times in life when I've found someone special who I want to be with in that way, is when I get to a point of being ok with it being just me and being ok with the possibility that I might never find that person because I had me and I liked me. Then I get involved with someone who I get attached to and then it ends and then I'm right back where I started. Make sense? Maybe its different now because I'm aware of it, as Donna said?

  17. Ben_Ralston says:

    Hi Jodi,
    First of all I'd just like to say that I think you should give yourself a bit of a break! It's ok to want to be with a partner. It's also ok to feel 'not complete' without a partner. We are animals that have a deep instinctive urge to breed. We want and need company. Yes, it's wonderful to be totally cool with being single. But there's no problem with craving a partner. Accept that part of yourself that desires companionship and life will get a whole lot easier!
    Also, it sounds like your self-esteem issues are causing you to develop unbalanced relationships… so work on loving yourself more generally (and self-acceptance is of course the first step).
    My work is very effective at boosting self-esteem – check out my website, or Reference Point Therapy in general. It's a wonderful, fast, easy way to let go of blockages.

  18. […] times like this, when I have that brief moment of clarity it is then I am given the opportunity to break that cycle. It is the ultimate gift to give yourself. I’ve kept all of my dad’s emails. Even the […]

  19. Cynthia says:

    That text on the t-shirt you mention is actually an excerpt from a Phillip Larkin Poem called "This Be The Verse". It would be nice to see it correctly attributed.