Where do our beliefs come from?
Most likely some are taught to us directly, while others we seem to absorb without knowing when or where they came from.
Then there are beliefs we choose for ourselves with intention. If I think about my life, there are beliefs I hold, both because they have a strong appeal to me and ones, I’ve chosen in reaction to what others attempted to force upon me.
Choosing our beliefs may take quite a while. We might feel it’s important to spend the time to sift through all the fiction to find the facts. And even then, it can be overwhelming because certain facts feel very slippery. What is undeniable one day can change over time. Add to that, that the experts don’t agree, and that new research is always occurring and our comfort level with the beliefs we’ve chosen may decline further.
There are other difficulties in the process. Here’s just one simple example.
Have you ever been to the doctor’s office and seen the height chart attached to the wall? You’re asked to stand with your back against it, while the nurse or doctor determines your exact height. There is an underlying assumption that the chart was correctly installed. But suppose that it wasn’t? If it was placed an inch or two above the floor, your height measurement would be wrong. If you’re fully grown when the measurement is taken, you’re likely to live the rest of your life believing an inaccurate measurement.
The same can be true for all your beliefs. If the basis for them is incorrect, the conclusion is incorrect.
I’ve observed that forming my beliefs spans quite a breadth. It’s not all about the facts of life. My beliefs run the distance from intellectual to physical to emotional to spiritual and beyond.
I have to remind myself that sometimes what I’ve been taught is merely someone’s opinion. It’s their perspective and not something I want nor need to accept. That feels very important to me.
At certain times in my life I’ve been told, either out loud or by another’s actions, that I am not very smart or capable or worthwhile. It becomes my decision to accept or reject these statements and believe what I choose.
It’s everyone’s right to challenge beliefs they already have or are in the process of forming. For intellectual decisions it seems reasonable to learn all the facts we can, from as many sources as possible, then choose what appears to be the best answer, while keeping in mind that what we choose needs to be flexible. It feels wise to recognize, that as new facts become available, we can alter our beliefs and that nothing is cast in stone.
When considering emotional beliefs, I’ve found it wisest to ask for input from those I trust most, but to also rely on my feelings and intuition, which can be wonderful guides, alerting me to truths that lie beyond the facts.
As for spiritual beliefs, I rely on my relationship with (god) for all my answers. I believe that each of us is directly connected to the divine, who is always available, waiting for a chance to be present in our lives. Going within ourselves gives us an opportunity to discover truths we can not find in the world around us. Time and time again, by calming my breathing, quieting to silence the outside world, and opening my heart, a way forward will appear. There are of course times I need to be patient, but a part of my truth always comes to fill me.
I believe that you can be filled too, should you decide to open your heart to your inner world.
2 Replies to “Searching for Beliefs”
My spiritual beliefs evolved over a period of about five decades of pondering, reflecting, and soul searching. I had to find what felt right to me, and before I could do that I had to know and accept who I am.
Holding onto a belief against an expert opinion (such as a doctor regarding health) is another matter altogether. I’ve had to stand my ground against medical advice many times over the years, particularly regarding my cholesterol levels. Generally, high cholesterol levels cause plaque build up in the arteries, which leads to heart trouble. I’ve been checked twice in the past ten years and there is no evidence of any plaque at all in my heart or my arteries. Yet, doctors insist on pushing statins on me to reduce my cholesterol. I’d rather not take statins if I don’t have to because of side effects and because of how they make me feel physically.
A word of caution: it’s not a good idea to lightly dismiss doctor’s advice.There is a lot of evidence to support the fact that heart trouble is due to plaque in the arteries. For whatever reason, my body is not producing plaque despite my high cholesterol. If it were, I would take the statins.
I trust your inner wisdom and know you’ll make good decisions. Standing our ground feels very important to me too.