I have spent a lot of time examining my belief systems and how and if they have benefited me. I have also seriously considered how and if they have damaged me. Sadly, for the most part, I have to side with the latter.
I have strong clear memories of the many times I was instructed not to do things because it was not what other people were doing. I am not speaking about setting fire to the family dog kind of things, but rather things that were expressions of who I was and harmed no-one like wanting to wear my green pants with an orange top. The only damage those types of things caused was to my family and their desire to fit in and to appear as “normal” as possible. Success was measured by how well you could do what everyone else was doing, as long as you did it in the same way everyone else was doing it. Life was one big chorus line where, to be perfect, you danced in sync with everyone else and never, ever, drew attention to yourself. I was to be assimilated, to be part of the whole and not an individual.
This, they assured me, was the path to true happiness.
It wasn’t. It never was and never will be.
The problem with trying to fit in and not being yourself is that you end up with people in your life who can and will destroy you. If I had just been myself there would not have been any ambiguity regarding our compatibility. Those people would have walked a wide circle around me and I would have been better off for it. Instead of spending so much time in complete pain, destroyed by the many unkindnesses from people who were never going to understand me, I might have found people who were actually capable of loving “me.”
Not because those people are bad people, or I am some precious snowflake, but because we both deserved the kind of love and friendship that actually was intended for our lives. Instead, we were all forced into a game of engaging one another simply because we paid the admittance price and once paid, everyone gets a ride. Continue reading →
“We believe and we hold our beliefs to be true and sacred until the day we discover that we were duped. The end of belief is a challenging moment. You feel lonely, unconnected, with nothing to hang on to. Your life becomes empty and aimless. You curse the day doubt entered your mind but you cannot undo the damage. You need to find a new direction for your life, something new to hang your hope on to continue living. And most of the time that thing is you. At that junction in life you will need to believe in yourself to continue living.” Bangambiki Habyarimana
“To remain unconscious of being is to be trapped within an ego-driven wasteland of conflict, strife, and fear that only seems customary because we have been brainwashed into a state of suspended disbelief where a shocking amount of hate, dishonesty, ignorance, and greed are viewed as normal and sane. But they are not sane, not even close to being sane. In fact, nothing could be less sane and unreal than what we human beings call reality. By clinging to what we know and believe, we are held captive by the movement of our conditioned thinking and imagination, all the while believing that we are perfectly rational and sane. We therefore continue to justify the reality of what causes us, as well as others, immeasurable amounts of pain and suffering. Deep down we all suspect that something is very wrong with the way we perceive life but we try very, very hard not to notice it. And the way we remain blind to our frightful condition is through an obsessive and pathological denial of being, as if some dreadful fate would overcome us if we were to face the pure light of Truth and lay bare our fearful clinging to illusion. It is within the dimension of being that Truth reveals itself.” Adyashanti
My life was woven for me. Each stitch catching at pieces of who I was and tearing it away from the whole, isolating and losing it in row after row of a programmed me that could sit and behave and be produced to perform when called upon.
My grandparents gave me a very expensive, beautiful cover, that they constructed, to cover up any trace left of me.
I tried to wear it. I tried, at school, to say and do the things the other kids were doing. I tried to involve myself in the same activities and to not see the things that called to me from beyond the shadows and up on the hills and through the wind. I tried to get married, have kids, go to church, be a good Christian, volunteer at school, and bake perfect bread. I did it all. And I did a lot of it well.
Except that I always felt empty. I felt dishonest. I felt like I stood off to the side, watching the me that I was supposed to be performing like a trained circus seal. Continue reading →
I smile when people say there are two things that one should never discuss in public, politics and religion. It is not the subject matter that is the issue, it is the inability of people to talk about these things with an open mind.
It is the very reason that I examined those two subjects the most.
Why do we guard our beliefs with such fierce loyalty? If we believe them to be correct than surely they can stand up to any discussion? Surely they are worth sharing with others so that they too can find the “light.” The truth is we are afraid they won’t stand up. We are afraid we might be proven wrong and we are afraid of that because we are not as sure as we think we are. Continue reading →
More and more I understand the importance of being open minded, of acknowledging that life is a journey, that we change and grow daily and that holding on to anything and fearing change is a decision to stop life from the flowing energy it is meant to be.
The greater challenge has not been so much about allowing all that for me, as it has been to remind myself it applies to all people. It is not fair of me to judge anyone based on something they did 10 years ago. It is not even fair for me to judge someone based on what they did yesterday. Every moment of our lives change us and that is good, that is positive. If we can begin to accept that we are flawed, we make mistakes, and those mistakes are some of the most brilliant teaching tools we have. If we can allow other people to make their mistakes and graciously facilitate their chance to own their learnings and make the changes they need to . . . I believe we will see the power of love in action. Continue reading →