What's Belief got to do with it?
For those who have been tuning in for a while, you know that I have a morning practice of meditation and visualization. Over the past week, I have begun to listen to a guided meditation that explains what beliefs are in a way that I find juicy. The speaker says, “What you believe shows itself to you over and over again. Not because it has to, not because it must, not because it’s inevitable, not because it’s right. What you believe shows itself to you simply because you believe it. A belief is just a thought you keep thinking…Most set out to argue the perfection of their own beliefs against the imperfection of others, which is not what you planned to do at all. You came to embrace the diversity because out of it comes your clarity of what you prefer.”
I have conversations about beliefs with clients, often. I do this because when we can understand where our beliefs come from and how they shape how we experience this world and, that they are unique to each individual, this is a game changer. I often say that beliefs are the lens, or the filter in which we experience this world, mostly without our awareness. Your beliefs are based on your history and have been with you for quite some time.
I don’t know about you, but not too long ago I really had no concept of what beliefs were. First of all, I didn’t even realize that the beliefs that I had were different than other people’s beliefs, I thought everyone basically had the same. I also didn’t realize that trying to get others to believe what I believe is not the goal in life. I had very little room or patience for other people to believe other than me. It wasn’t in a brash, get in your face kind of way, it was more like in a judgmental way. I think the narrative in my head was something like, “If only you could know what I know, then you would understand why I know the right way to do or think about this subject, scenario, person, etc.”
Now, I realize this sounds arrogant, but I assure you that I had no idea I was doing this, which I have found to be a key component to arrogance, and, maybe you can relate? See, in my old life I thought that there was a right way to do just about everything: drive, raise children, do your work, become successful, treat other people, invest, save for retirement, lead people, believe politically, clean, cook, insert any daily activity. Now, I realize that there are a million ways to believe and create any outcome you desire. I also realize that "my way" is merely one and it is neither right or the only way to be in this world.
So, why is this something you might like to strive for? Well, there is freedom in this, the freedom to focus in on what matters to you and allow all others to do the same. This is compassion for self and compassion for others, and honestly it freed up a lot of energy that I had spent on trying to change other people to my way of thinking. This energy I can now spend focused on my purpose and meaning and it has created a lot more fulfillment in my day-to-day life. Are you feeling like you might want to free up some energy spent on overthinking, stating your case and trying to recruit people to your side, and/or telling people in traffic how to drive so you can feel better? Let's discover how, given your unique circumstances, together.
Erin "free to be you, free to be me" Mac