Believe. Now there’s a word that can take you down a slippery slope.
The things in which we choose to believe become the filters through which we view our world. They can be like a looking glass, a window or a fun-house mirror. The beliefs we hold most dear to ourselves extend out into the world, which reflects them back to us, sometimes clearly, sometimes distorted.
What we believe often becomes how we behave.
Beliefs that serve us can make our lives better.
Whether we believe in a higher power, a divine being or Cosmic Consciousness, or that there is good in the world and in other people, we will strive to find and celebrate this.
Believing in ourself can give us the wings to take flight, inspiring us to pursue our dreams, building confidence and skills along the way through our desire and perseverance.
“Believe in yourself and all that you are.
Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”
~ Christian D. Larson
The beliefs that serve us make our lives better when they are moving us toward health, happiness, and a lightness of heart. They are the ones that spur us on to grow and reach our own potential, and encourage others to do the same. These are the beliefs that can buoy us when challenges arise or when we feel a lack of support.
Over time, whether we believe in something outside of ourselves, like an ideal or other people, or something within, like our own strength and fortitude, we learn to Trust. Maybe the Trust is given through faith; maybe it is earned based on evidence, experience or observation. Either way, believing helps us to Trust ourselves and to Trust Life itself.
Beliefs that do not serve us become a prison of our own creation.
The things in which we believe can be like fences, especially when our attachment to them prevents us from seeing all aspects of an issue, or an event, or another.
We must ask ourselves: What are we striving to keep out? What are we struggling to hold onto? Will these beliefs really keep us safe… or merely widen a gulf, creating fear, entrenching our sense of inadequacy or superiority, or justifying our own biases?
Maintaining fences is a lot of work; all will fall eventually to the relentless march of time and climate, regardless of whether they are open or solid or have razor wire along the top. Ours too take a lot of maintenance, usually in the form of telling and re-telling the same old stories over and over, of clutching onto our own identities and agendas. Some of the stories have been told to us by ourselves and others so many times that we have become totally unaware of them… yet, we believe them wholesale and our attitudes and behaviors are molded by them. Beware the insidious invisible ties that bind, that hamstring us just when we think we’ll catch a break. We forget that we can Trust in the wonder and miracle of Life; we forget to see the brilliance within our neighbors; We forget that “the astonishing light of our own being” shines ever so bright; we constrict our lives down to the handful of things we think we “know.” How much work and bravery it takes to do the work to find, examine, and ultimately dis-create these hidden beliefs.
Choose carefully the things in which you believe.
“Do not believe anything merely because you are told it is so, because others believe it,
because it comes from tradition, or because you have imagined it.
Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect.
Believe, take for your doctrine, and hold true to that, which, after serious investigation,
seems to you to further the welfare of all beings.”
~ Jean-Yves Leloup
I am not expecting you to believe everything I say… in fact, I would hope that you don’t just swallow it whole! My invitation to you though, is to consider these things and evaluate your own life. I am only writing that which must be written according to the view from my own “chair.” Does what I say fit with your own experience in some way? Doubt is useful, because it can lead you to find and believe in your own Truth. Be willing to change something you believe in when you get more information or come to understand another view. Be scientific about it.
“Believe. Believe. Believe. Anything is very possible.”
~ Lailah Gifty Akita
“Never believe all that you hear. Always Verify the original source of information.”
~ Lailah Gifty Akita
I found these two quotes next to each other and by the same author! This is exactly what I mean.
The choices about what to believe and believe in are yours. I hope they serve you well.
~ Invitation ~
Do we really want to lock ourselves into one way of thinking… or can we keep an open mind?
In what way can we allow for new and different possibilities?
What unexamined beliefs are holding us back from fully believing in ourself?
Are we willing to take a risk? In what ways can we grow?
I am a wife and a mom, a yogi, an artist, and a writer… but not always in that order! I tend to think in collage and have trouble starting my day without coffee (black). I am a contemplative and a seeker on this wonderful, odd trip that is this human life. I love to have adventures and detest fences of any kind. Dedicated to my journal, I blog part-time at www.vignettesfrommylife.blogspot.com