“A belief is a thought you keep thinking” Abraham Hicks
I have chosen to be happy because it’s good for my health…~Voltaire
But are your beliefs real? Truthful? Unchangeable? Infallible?
Have you ever noticed two people can be involved in the exact same event and come away from it with totally different experiences, feelings, memories, and beliefs?
For example, you and I might attend the same concert, sit next to each other in the same row, and while I’m standing up singing and dancing, you’re covering your ears to block the ‘noise’ coming off the stage. I come away from the event exhilarated, you come away with a headache!
Same concert; different experiences; different belief; different realities.
I was recently at a restaurant where, as I was completely absorbed in the aroma and taste of the marinated morsels of lamb on my plate, a woman from another table brought her meal back to the counter declaring, “I can’t eat this…it’s too greasy.” I was puzzled; she was adamant.
Same meal; different experiences; different belief; different realities.
Two people can be involved in a conversation with each other about an event, and while one is hurt or angry, the other may be unaware of why the other person is expressing such a strong reaction.
Same event; different experiences; different belief; different realities.
How can that be?
Isn’t one thing, one event or one conversation, supposed to result in the same action, reaction, feeling, or emotion…for everyone? After all, it is what it is: music, food, or conversation. What’s so difficult or different about that? How can the experiences be so different when it’s actually the same thing?
Is it possible that you create beliefs as a result of an event and then consciously or unconsciously build your actions, reactions, emotions, and memories around those beliefs which in turn become your reality?
For example, if your parents divorced when you were a child because, as you were told, they “just couldn’t agree on anything”, is it possible that when you and your spouse don’t agree on something then you jump to the fear or conclusion that you should or will get a divorce too?
If you love what you do – you’re going to have a great life!
Then, if that’s what you have decided what is going to happen, or should happen, is it possible you start to pull back a little bit in your marriage relationship, treat your spouse a little differently than just a minute earlier? After all, why invest in something you believe is going to end?
Meanwhile, your spouse may not have any notion of a divorce, or believe not agreeing on something is even a problem. They move on to the next minute or the next day, without even a passing thought about what you didn’t agree on.
You’re stewing over something…filling yourself with fear, doom, gloom, and all sorts of negative beliefs…creating your reality about your marriage, while your spouse is wondering which wine to uncork for dinner!
Crazy to think about, right?!
We see/experience an event, then we create an interpretation of that event, and from that interpretation we create a belief….and even an expectation of what should happen next.
And yet…two people can experience the exact same event and have a completely different interpretation, experience, belief and reality.
How is that possible?
“Envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief, in their own gifts.”
Because our reptilian brain wants to protect us.
We have an expectation of what should or should not happen based on what did or did not happen before, and when things line up and seem to look exactly like that thing in the past, we make a connection.
We drag around baggage from the past into our present reality.
We convince ourselves, “because this feels just like that ‘thing’ from 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years ago, then it must be the same and the end result will be the same”. Because that’s the way it’s always been!
However…what if the way it’s always been isn’t the way it always will be. If the way it’s always been isn’t the best possibility. Or, what if we only THINK it’s always been a certain way when, in fact, it never was.
I know, now it’s starting to sound like I’m talking in circles…but stick with me.
While there are many ways to consider this puzzle, let’s look at a couple of things:
Learning the Lessons of Life
When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything ~Stephen Richards
Have you ever heard that Life keeps handing you the same challenge until you figure out how to resolve it the “right” (aka healthy) way? Now, keeping that in mind, think about any recurring emotion or reaction you have to a certain type of event. It could be anything: fear, greed, anger, jealousy, or any negative reaction. Maybe it boils up when someone cuts you off on the freeway, when a phone call is not returned promptly, when your spouse doesn’t help with the household chores, or when something is said that makes your feel small, angry, hurt or scared.
Why do you keep feeling like that?
Then…what would it look like if you chose not to feel that way but instead, chose to look at the event in a completely different manner?
Maybe the guy who cut you off on the freeway wasn’t trying to demonstrate his superior position in life, but instead, didn’t see you or was distracted. Rather than get angry, why not just bless him and hope his day gets better;
Rather than be annoyed because a phone call wasn’t returned and attach some sort of meaning to it, why not just call the person again if it’s important or just hope they are doing something really fun and will call you back when they have time;
Rather than sulk because you believe your spouse expects you to be his/her personal housekeeper, why not just ask them to help with a specific chore and then step back and give them room to do it…even if they don’t do it right away or in the same way you would;
Rather than internalize words and form negative beliefs about the meaning behind the words and the person who delivered them, why not just let it go and move on? Often, their words say more about them (and their past experiences) than it does about you. And, when a clarification is needed, have a conversation with the person, tell them what you heard and how that made you feel so you can learn more about the event. Then, let it go!
Keep the Wedge Out of Your Life (and Key Relationships)
You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making
The Wedge is the most dangerous thing in a marriage, your important relationship, and even your own personal happiness.
A “wedge” is the ‘thing’ (real or imaginary) that comes between you and your spouse. Very often, that thing may be a past event, a fear (real or imagined) or a hurt that has nothing to do with your spouse, and yet you’re allowing your belief about that ‘thing’ to interfere with your happiness and your reality.
I heard something recently, which I thought was really beautiful:
The only place you can truly be in the presence of God, is in the present…
If you carry around hurts from the past, you are putting a wedge between you and God; if you are worried about the future, you are putting a wedge between you and God.
The only way you can truly be in the presence of God and experience his light, peace, and grace, is in the present moment.
Right now. In this space. At this time.
Think about how that could feel?
How would your life look if you lived in the present moment? No wedges. No real or imaginary negative beliefs. No worry. No Fear. No unhappiness.
So…How Are Your Beliefs Shaping Your Life?
To change your life, you need to become aware of who you are
Why not give yourself permission to let the bad feelings go…and allow the positive feelings to grow.
But, but, but….you may protest. It hurt me, it was mean, it wasn’t right, they should have done this or they should have done that or this should have happened, etc. etc. etc.
And you may believe that all of that “should” have happened; however, don’t live a “shouldy” life!
If you want to be happy and successful in life…right now, in the present – then why would you hang on so tightly to something from the past that makes you so unhappy? Why would you fear or agonize over what might (or might not) happen tomorrow?
Why spend all your time worrying about what other people are doing? Comparing your life to theirs. In fact, you probably should, instead, be worried about why you’re so curious about other people’s lives!
What would your life look like if you turned off the “reality” TV and lived your own reality? If you stopped scrolling through social media feeds looking at other people’s lives and instead just lived yours…fully….unapologetically…beyond the camera lens and without seeking validation?
Because you should already know you were put on this earth to do something…perhaps something amazing….perhaps something you have been given gifts so you can accomplish it.
Why not invest the time to discover what that is, and then do it?
The more you embrace YOUR life, YOUR present moments, and identify (and then throw out) every single belief that forms a wedge between you and your happiness, you and the present moment, you and God, the closer you’ll get to discovering the beauty of the life you have.
And you will be happy. Promise!