It’s important to understand that our beliefs filter our perception of the world. It’s like wearing gray sunglasses, everything seen is not truly as they are except the filter is in our minds. Beliefs directly impact how we interact with others and how we choose to see the world around us. It impacts our thinking and actions.
For instance, if you believe that people are prejudice towards you because of the color of your skin, then incidents will happen clouding your judgement in order to confirm your belief. Let’s say one night you’re in the car stopped at a traffic signal. You notice the driver next to you is trying to get your attention. When you look over you see he’s pointing towards your car and making a fist and then opening it with fingers spread apart, and keeps repeating it. This immediately sparks anger in you because you take his behavior to mean that he’s trying to pick a fight with you because you’re African American. While the whole time the person was simply trying to notify you that you’re driving without your car headlights on. The closing and opening of the fist was his way of signalling you to turn your car headlights on. As author Gina Lake likes to say, beliefs are a self fulfilling prophecy.
Take a few moments now and write down 3 or more negative beliefs you have about yourself, others, or the world. Things like “I am not pretty enough”. Try to not think about them too hard, and simply jot down what comes to mind right away. You can set a time limit of 5 minutes for this task.
Below are some of the negative beliefs I had. See if you can relate to any of them.
- People don’t care.
- The world is a dangerous place.
- I don’t like being or doing something wrong.
- I can never do anything right.
- Being me isn’t safe.
- It’s hard for me to finish things I start.
- People are mean.
- I am lazy.
- It’s hard to make new friends.
- I am a bit of a snob.
- I am stuck up.
- I distrust people.
- I don’t like to be taken advantage of.
- I am always angry inside.
- I will lose the love once I find it.
- I’m afraid of losing love.
- I don’t deserve love.
- I’m afraid of letting love in.
- I am angry that my connection to essence is so subtle.
- I am not good enough.
- It seems that I will never get rid of the pain in my side.
- I have hurt others.
- I can’t connect with essence.
- It’s hard for me to lose weight.
- I am special.
Now write down 3 or more positive beliefs about yourself, others, or the world. Once again, do not think about them too hard, and simply write down what quickly comes to mind. Set a time limit of 5 minutes for this task.
Below are some of the positive beliefs I had about myself. See if any of them seem to resonate with you.
- I am a kind person.
- I am considerate.
- I am loving.
- I am sensitive.
- I am a healer.
- I don’t lie.
- I am better than other people.
- I care about people.
- I help others.
- I am a generous person.
- I have no ego.
- I work hard.
- I show affection.
- I share my feelings.
- I am patient.
- I am special.
I hope you’re done with your positive and negative belief list. I will soon ask you to examine them.
I hope that you would agree that when something is not 100% true that it’s a lie. That if it’s not true all the time, then it’s a half truth and still a lie. For instance, if I say that I don’t like brussel sprouts, is that a true statement? Well, it’s true for me at the present time. If I keep this belief it will cloud my judgment about the vegetable, and I may never try to eat it again in the future. If I say that I will never eat brussel sprouts again, is that a true statement? Again, it may seem like a true statement at the present time, but since I don’t know what will happen in the future, it has to be designated as a lie (because it’s a half truth). If I suspend or let go of my belief about the vegetable, I may very well try it again and grow to like it in the future. Also making my earlier statement that I don’t like brussel sprouts as false.
So beliefs seem to also have a time factor associated with them and they could change constantly. You’ve probably read where one new pharmaceutical drug comes out on the market and is praised as being good for you. Only later it is deemed bad for your health and could even cause cancer.
Please examine the negative beliefs that you wrote down. For each belief, ask yourself is this true 100% of the time?
If I examine one of my negative beliefs, let’s say “people are mean”. Can I honestly say to myself that really is the case all the time? Of course the answer is no. People are not mean all the time. Another belief, “I hurt others”, yes I have done that but all the time? No, I do not intentionally hurt others or go out of my way to do so.
You will find that your negative beliefs are not true or false. One of the easiest ways to release a belief is by seeing that it is false.
Now look at your positive beliefs you wrote down. Are they true 100% of the time?
When I examine the positive belief of “I am a kind person” about my self, I know that I haven’t been kind all the time, so that’s false. Also, “I am patient” is certainly false since I know at times I can become impatient.
You may be surprised to realize that even your positive beliefs are also not true. Both the positive and negative beliefs cloud our judgment in every moment or situation.
I have the belief “I am special” on both my negative and positive lists. Is it a negative or positive belief? Is it true?
What is right and what is wrong?
Who or what dictates what is right or wrong?
What is good and what is bad?
Who or what dictates what is good and bad?
Is there really such a thing as right, wrong, good, and bad?
Doesn’t it seem that these things are influenced by laws, religion, country, nationality or ethnicity just to name a few?
When we suspend or release our beliefs, the sunglasses come off and our internal world is forever changed for the better. When there’s no longer a filter in our mind dictating how we should perceive things, we are free. Our everyday experience becomes very different, filled with presence, understanding, acceptance, and love.
The ego likes certainty. Try and live without beliefs and it’s alright to not know. Let your life be lived with the uncertainty of what will happen next, through direct experience of who you really are, and deep intuitive knowing.