Are you clinging to your thoughts and believes?

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Lately, I’ve been dealing with a fair amount of people that cling to what they believe in and perceive to be true. They defend those beliefs with such fierceness that, any attempt to make them see things in a different light, is futile. From an early age, we become programmed with certain belief systems. Initially, we adopt those from our parents, followed by the indoctrination of certain belief systems by schools, academic institutions, and churches. Pretty soon we live according to those beliefs without even thinking about their validity. There is nothing wrong with following what you believe in, but ask yourself do you become upset and angry when someone comes around and challenges those beliefs. Do your beliefs keep you from experiencing life to the fullest extent? If so, you are attached to those beliefs.

I grew up in a household where it was believed that children always have to reach out to their parents. I never adopted that belief, because to me relationships, be it with family, friends or partners need to be nurtured by both parties. Unfortunately not adopting the same belief caused a lot of problems, since the one party was always in a state of expectation, which of course ended up causing feelings of resentment in the other. This belief has caused that most of my visits or phone calls were due to a feeling of expectation and obligation not because it was really what I wanted to do. On the other hand, if you did not follow the expectations, there was more resentfulness to follow. Overall, a very unhealthy state induced by a belief, that to this day, I have no idea where it came from. I look back on this sometimes wondering how it would have been, had that belief not existed, or at least if this belief was questioned.

The unwillingness to examine a belief is a huge problem. We never once question where a belief came from or if it is true. We follow it because that’s what we were taught, regardless of truth. In history, so many beliefs have changed. We no longer fear falling off the planet because we no longer believe the earth is flat. The study of epigenetics is now changing our belief that we are victims of our own genes. We used to believe that new neural circuits could only be created up to the age of 35. Remember the saying, “You cannot teach an old dog, new tricks”. Well, it turns out that you can. Neuroscientists have discovered that the neuroplasticity of our brains, which is the ability to rewire and create neural circuits, is achievable at any age.

Most beliefs or thoughts do not serve us and therefore should be questioned. In general, most beliefs we cling to limit us from fully living our lives. A lot of religious beliefs for instance are based on fear. Take for example the belief that if you do not believe in Jesus Christ, you will not receive eternal life. Says who? The Bible, the Pope, the Roman Catholic church? That belief makes no sense since the same Bible, Pope and church will tell you that God loves you unconditionally. Okay, so now you are telling me that His love is unconditional as long as I believe in Jesus Christ. So, according to Christians, the Dalai Lama will go to hell. Are you serious? I am not mocking religion. I am mocking how we blindly follow a belief without questioning it.

Do yourself a favor; examine your beliefs as they arise. If they are in any way limiting like, “I will never amount to anything or he does not care for me”, figure out where they came from, and then try to eliminate them. If a belief demands expectations, illicit fears, or becomes self-serving you need to ask yourself if hanging onto those beliefs is beneficial for you or the people around you.

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