WHO AM I?
As an adult, have I simply become an accumulation of what I believe? Or am I more than that?
Could I move into a radical change of ideas and beliefs and still remain myself? Or are there parts of my psyche that cannot change and I’m set for life?
Was I born with attitudes and a disposition that shaped my behavior and personality? And if yes, does that mean I came into this world with preset ideas, confidence and security? Or insecurity?
Did I invent my persona in prenatal growth? Or am I reincarnated and my mind existed in another form before this one?
Do these questions even matter?
Do they matter? They do to me, which is why I guess, I’m writing this post.
Right now, our America, our society, is cracking apart into a political and ideological polarization of ideas. I have never seen the gap so wide, so opposing and so confrontational. The United States is fighting a mental and emotional civil war, and I’m emotional as well. Opposing beliefs have become hateful missiles launched everyday. People are getting scared. And I am baffled by the way this country has split into such opposite paradigms. How can we be so different when we’re living within the same borders?
I ask this question because I too am engaged within our war of ideas, and I’m defending my own. The way I see the world makes perfect sense to me, and I can’t imagine why everyone else wouldn’t see it the same way. How can my neighbors relate to our circumstances with an entirely different set of assumptions and truths? How can that be? We’re all looking at the same events. Why are we not arriving at the same conclusions?
The answer is simple: We CHOOSE to believe, what we WANT to believe. And we’re all choosing different things.
And we choose certain beliefs, because they makes us feel safer.
We move though our days clenching conceptual “constants.” These constants we fix in our mind to feel anchored. They are assumptions about good and bad, right and wrong, and what is true. And we learn to trust these “truths” by validating them, by making them permanent. They become irrefutable, never to be doubted. Only then can we feel there is certainty in the world. And that makes us feel secure.
But really, are we any more safe believing truths are constant and must be defended? Actually…no.
TRUTH IS RELATIVE. NOTHING IS CERTAIN. NOTHING IS SECURE. EVERYTHING CHANGES. So why aren’t we?
The most important denominator that defines one person from the next, is the will and desire to QUESTION what one believes to be true.
Stated another way; some people continue to reevaluate their beliefs. Others don’t. And that causes the pool of ideas to diverge.
Furthermore, as we separate, as we choose to believe what is true, within our minds it becomes true! We’ll always find proof to back up our assumptions. We’ll look for it in print or on TV or within the words of people speaking to us. And if we can’t find it there, we’ll produce it the form of a personal experience; like loosing money or a job, or gaining both, or finding our soul mate or getting betrayed by the one we love.
We get what we expect, what we believe to be true. And the affirmation of that mindset chimes back to us all the time.
“I knew it would happen!”
“I told you so!”
“What did you expect?”
“Next time you’ll take my advice.”
“Why didn’t I listen to my inner voice?”
Yep. We pretty much get what we believe we deserve. And what we believe, are IDEAS about reality, ideas WE create. But is THAT reality? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. In either case, it’s still just about ideas. Yet everything we do in our lives comes out of them.
So for me, it’s important that I question my ideas because belief is about survival. I don’t mean that figuratively. I mean that financially, socially, biologically and mentally I must know enough to avoid screwing up. I don’t want to make foolish mistakes. I don’t want to hurt anybody, including myself. I don’t want to create an enemy if there isn’t one. I don’t want to live in fear. But I don’t want to live with false confidence either.
So to hold on to a decent quality of life, especially in these times, I seek information that will keep it that way. And that information must be cross-referenced and vetted. Because who knows what’s true anymore? The only way to know if something approaches truth or not, is to find enough people who agree with it, and even THAT doesn’t make it true!
Consequently, the only place I find truth, is inside myself. Does the idea “ring true” in my soul? And if it does, I put that concept on hold, on probation, and let it simmer until other ideas join it that can build into something positive.
Bottom line: Does the idea harm me? Or does it nurture me?
Does the idea make me angry and fearful? Or does it bring me peace of mind and confidence?
Does the idea bring me physical dis-ease? Or does it generate love inside and out?
Do I feel lonely and alienated?
Am I depressed?
WHAT ARE MY IDEAS DOING TO ME?
If I cannot live in peace with my thoughts, no one else will either! So I must change them!
Somehow I must! Even if it takes a lifetime, I must make peace with my thoughts. And when I do, WHO I AM will change with them. And that’s good.
That’s called evolution.
It’s growing up.
It’s the reason for living.
This post was originally published on CuriostyQuills.com.