This Week's Post
May 24th, 2013
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” Buddha
I have to admit that I am always challenging the truth. I seem to have been asking questions my whole life. I also confess to having an aversion to “authority figures”—I seldom accept anything I am told on face-value. I always want to check on the information, get a second opinion, or just use my own common sense as a guide to understanding stuff or making a decision.
Perhaps this skepticism I have about what I read or am told, originated from that place deep inside me— home of the tiny voice—which offered it’s not true, when I was bombarded with negative messages as a child.
When I recall my childhood exposure to religious tenets, I remember my fears which turned ultimately to disbelief, about a God who was judgmental, controlling and punishing. I chose instead to believe in a loving, forgiving, supportive, powerful and creative God instead. It’s a belief that resonates with a greater ring of truth for me—it feels better.
And I remember, when I began my search for peace so many years ago, that I had no idea how my beliefs would change. It is surprising to me that what I thought was true caused me so much pain and suffering, yet it took me a really long time before I realized what I was doing to myself.
Now I realize there was a reason for the pain. It carried with it the message that there was a different, more joyful and peaceful way to live. It was pain which led me to examine what I believed and it was the impetus for changing those beliefs. Pain helped me understand just how energy-draining those negative thoughts and beliefs were; to discover how much better I felt when I replaced them.
Yes, I eventually let go of the pain which comes from believing things should be a certain way;allowing emotions to control me; holding on to anger and wanting to be right.
Why believe life should be fair, when the reality is that it just is? What is difficult about seeing that situations or people are not “good” or “bad”, they just are? How does it feel when you are irate, unforgiving and judgmental—is it the same as when you are compassionate, loving and forgiving?
In observing the way we feel, it becomes easy to change what we believe. Life can be perceived as a painful burden or a blessed gift. Beliefs affects our thoughts, words and actions.
Unlike Buddha in the above quote, even though I have a tendency to tell others what to do, I try very hard not to do this. For the most part, I don’t want someone else telling me what to think or what to do. However, other people telling us what they believe is true about us can help us learn and grow—it took someone else telling me I had a logical mind, before I believed it was true. Developing self-love and knowing I am loved, came to me with the help of loving words and insight from close friends, so I appreciate the loving intent in Buddha’s words.
When I picked up my first spiritual awareness books and read about other people’s beliefs and experiences, I began to learn and grow. If I experienced a tingling “energy” feeling or a deep sense of “knowing”, I realized that some part of me (my soul-self) recognized what was true for me. When, in some instances I felt mystified because information seemed ridiculous or did not resonate inside me, I knew this was not my truth.
Changing my beliefs came from finally understanding who I am and acknowledging responsibility for myself—that I am in control of the way I feel. Because I know myself better than anyone, I am comfortable knowing it’s my understanding of something that counts the most.
I have never felt the need for accoutrements—candles, crystals, stones, runes—to help with awareness. Early on in my spiritual journey, I began to feel energy—to sense it in me and around me—and realize all I need is within me. Energy is what I felt in the words I read, about the people who wrote them and it’s that which I now sense in everyone and every living thing I encounter.
There is so much guidance available to us—those who are looking to know ourselves and change our pain-filled beliefs. Books, workshops, websites (like this one) c.d.'s, radio and television shows all offer to share with us the truth—to help us with what to believe. But perhaps it is the connection to our soul-selves and knowing what actually feels true and good to us, which is our ultimate guide.
Sometimes I have shared my thoughts and experiences with others, only to be told that my idea of what is meaningful or true for me has no value to them. And that is fine with me. I am not looking to persuade anyone that what I believe should be true for them, or that I am right. As my sister said to me recently, ultimately we are on our own. Our beliefs are our sole or is it soul choice!
Love and peace,