Monday, February 26, 2007

Why Do You Believe?

One of the most important parts of my journey to better health was the challenging, and sometimes changing, of my beliefs. What you believe, and consequently what you think, determines your life experience. Even beliefs that result in pain are useful, at least for a while. They teach us what doesn't work. But once they have imparted their lesson, their usefulness has expired, and they become toxic.

I grew up in a religion that teaches unless you believe certain things, you will not get into heaven or God will not be pleased with you. It was considered heretical to believe otherwise. Pardon me, but that's pure BS.

God didn't give us a brain for us to allow others to do our thinking for us. So, when I began to understand that my life wasn't working because I wasn't working it, I paraded my entire belief system before my mind and challenged all of them. I understood that if a belief was worth keeping, it would stand the test.

Some of the beliefs that didn't work for me were there because somebody I trusted had told me they were facts. But why did they believe that what they were telling me was true? Often, because someone else they trusted had told them it was true.

Others were there because of my own experiences and observations. But how could I know they were true? In some cases, I could see that the manifestations of these beliefs and they withstood the challenge. In other cases, I could see that my perception may have been skewed by my own filters and baggage from my childhood when that belief was formed.

Here's the deal. If a belief is serving you and helping you live an abundant, joyful, loving life, then it is worth keeping. If it is destroying you, chipping away at your self-image, keeping you from joy and abundance, get rid of it. Why would you choose to keep drinking poison?

Do you think for one minute that a loving Creator would want you to believe anything that is destructive to you?

I used to believe in a God who was all about keeping certain rules. And I believed it when I was told there is only one right way to come to God. It never made sense, I just believed it because I believed in the people who were telling me it was true.

Now, I believe that our Creator wouldn't create a world full of people and favor certain ones or certain races. I believe that there our differences exist because our Creator is so infinite that there is no way God could be expressed in one or even a few types of people. I believe that there is no way God could ever be fully expressed, because "fully" implies a limit. And I believe that there are infinite ways to experience God, perhaps as many as there are expressions of God.

Many people fear opening their minds because they have been taught that if they don't follow certain beliefs or tenets that they will experience judgment and punishment. My question is, why would you love and serve a god who would give you a brain and then damn you eternally for using it and coming to a different conclusion than the next person?

Far be it from me to tell anyone what to believe. But why not at least test your beliefs to see if they are really true for you or if they are part of the problem in your life rather than the solution? What can it hurt to question a belief? If it is true, it will stand. If it is not, why would you want it to?

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