Beliefs and Filters
Every belief we have creates a filter that impacts how we process, view and experience the world. Our worlds view, how we perceive our reality, is simply a reflection of our beliefs. Have you ever pondered on how much your beliefs play a role with your perspective on life and the world? Have you ever challenged yourself to see beyond your beliefs? If so, what did you notice? What did you experience?
When I was 20, I went on a journey to Sweden to visit a high school friend. At 20 years old, it was my very first flight and I was going international by myself. I grew up on a farm in a small community, so the experience of traveling by myself and staying in Sweden, really opened me up to a different reality. This was before the internet so times were very different. It was a journey that started an inner reflection around my beliefs and how they impacted my life.
My experience in Sweden
It was beautiful to see the sites and experience the cultural differences. The hiking was amazing, the mountains, the forests, were all breathtaking. As I connected with the locals, there was a mutual curiosity in how we lived. This led into conversations around our worlds view, how we each viewed life and the world. I was brought up with christian beliefs, under the notion that you had to be a christian to have happiness in your life. I also picked up things such as shame, guilt, and fear as part of my belief system. I remember being very confused in some of the discussions, because most people that I talked with were genuinely happy, but did not share the same beliefs. In fact, almost everyone was either atheist or had a completely different belief system. I remember asking several others how they could be happy without religion or faith, and was startled in their response. I saw a vast difference between being religious and living by faith. I found much appreciation in how they lived, as they seemed more present and connected to their natural state of being.
Beliefs, double edge swords
Beliefs are like double edge swords. They cut both ways, working either for us or against us. They can serve us or limit us. For example, the belief of success leads to success. It might play out slightly differently than planned but the end result remains the same. If we believe something to be true, our judgments come into play and we think it’s true. We don’t realize that it’s only true at the level of the belief. If we’re attached to the beliefs, then anything we see will be filtered through a lens that validates the existence of those beliefs. So everywhere we look, we find evidence to back our beliefs, not realizing that they are the result of the belief manifesting itself into existence. For every belief will find validation of its existence. It all comes back to the belief and intention being played out.
Beliefs and our identity
When the beliefs we attach to are challenged, we find ourselves emotionally triggered. This is due to the ego and its attachment to the beliefs as a part of our identity. When the beliefs are threatened, we lose a part of who we believe our self to be. For example, if we are defined by our story and our story is no longer seen to be true, it threatens our entire existence. But this only occurs when we are attached to the story! As we question and reflect we begin to see what is serving us and what is limiting us. In that, we find that many of our beliefs are the result of our conditioning, often mirroring our parents beliefs. Life is always changing and evolving, yet for some reason we cling onto old beliefs that have been passed down and unquestioned for years. We see this in almost every school of thought. As we inquire, question and look beyond, something else occurs within us. We find freedom, and cease to be defined by our past stories or fixed ideas. We no longer look outside the self for validation as a means to measure our self-worth. We become more fluid and present with life which deepens our connection to all that is.
Fully embracing the moment
As discussed in The Power of Presence, when we are fully in the moment beliefs no longer apply. We find ourselves living from a meditative state of being. Its like dreaming in the waking state, but with complete awareness around everything that is. A daily practice of embracing silence will aid your ability to live more presently. Present living requires daily effort at first, but in time it becomes automatic. A practice of present living changes the mind, in how we view and process reality. It also strengthens our intuition.
When you’re so present that you shift beyond the interference of thought, your intuitive voice can be heard.
By living each moment fully with a present mind, we become able to view the world from multiple perspectives simultaneously. This is powerful, because we are no longer in resistance to what is. We find ourselves with more empathy and compassion for others, realizing that it all mirrors back within the self. In this, we become more self-loving. We find there is a lot of gray to life with an infinite number of perspectives available to us all and there is much beauty and freedom in that. Try it out for yourself. Get so present that it would require effort to think. Get so present that you can feel everything around you before you begin to see with your physical eyes. Get so present that you feel the spark that ignites your very being. Notice what happens within yourself.
Until next time,