This major change of loss rocked my world. And my beliefs. It made me step back and look at my beliefs from a completely new perspective. I never even considered that my core beliefs could change. Or some could even be false. Wow- this is eye-opening! The dictionary describes belief as an opinion or conviction. A feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true.
Many of our beliefs come from our culture or go back to our childhoods. Our beliefs help make our daily decisions. But are our beliefs always correct? Our ancestors thought that the world was flat. Then sailors were brave enough to keep sailing and sailing and proved it wasn’t true- the earth was round. What about eating a watermelon seed? Will it grow a big fat watermelon in your tummy? Nope, that seed passes through the intestines just like anything else. Or maybe being hit by a penny thrown off the Empire State building will kill you? Nope, pennies can’t gain enough force and are not heavy enough to hurt you badly. Or we are only using 18% of our brain. Not true. Scientists can look at your brain and see it is using most of your brain. No, you won’t grow 2 hairs out of each pore when you begin to shave. But there are some beliefs that can’t be scientifically proven such as, is there a God?
Beliefs shape your life and can be changed-just like your clothes. As I grew and experienced life in a completely new way, my beliefs did begin to change. I studied psychology to help me figure things out and now believe that everyone sees things from a different lens. Cultures have different beliefs and people make choices based on those beliefs. I didn’t realize that many of my beliefs were given to me by my parents and the culture I live in. Now I look at each belief and consciously decide what I believe. I am open to new ideas and aware that I get to decide what I believe now.
What are some of my new beliefs? I believe that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have been given. I used to look at people who made bad choices and think, €œWow, they must not be very smart. Now I can look at them and think, maybe they weren’t taught this. Maybe she didn’t have a good example at home? Maybe she didn’t even have someone at home? Maybe this is a lesson they needed to learn. I give people the benefit of doubt. If they are driving slowly- I choose to wonder if something happened to them. This happened to me the day I had the most devastating news my husband died- I wondered why everyone around me is driving so fast- don’t they know the world just stopped turning? I choose to believe that my life is a gift and each and every day I live as if it is. I believe in energy we can’t see and there are laws of the universe I had never heard of. I believe having a positive attitude can change everything.
I believe in respecting people’s opinions. They probably see life from a completely different lens- I like looking at life through my rose-colored glasses.
Many people feel angry at God. They wonder what they did to deserve this. Is this a punishment? Maybe if they had been a better person, this wouldn’t have happened. In childhood we may have seen that punishment was a result of a mistake, so we connect that to our loved one’s death- we must have made a mistake to receive this punishment. I don’t believe that is so. The God I believe in doesn’t work that way. Actions have consequences, but I don’t think He punishes. If you believe in the Bible, in the Old Testament there are stories of a punishing God, but that all changed with Christ where it was no longer an eye for an eye and He didn’t punish. I believe that after a while even what could be considered a punishment can be turned into a blessing and an opportunity for growth. I believe that what isn’t growing, is dying. (But could God let me grow by taking a class or reading a book?)
I wasn’t angry at God. I have always felt His love for me. Though I did wonder about religion and the culture surrounding me. Religion, like many things, didn’t feel right or normal anymore, but I felt very spiritual, probably the most I had ever felt in my life. I started looking into the difference between religion and spirituality and the beliefs within each of those. This is what they mean to me now- Spirituality is the connection with my soul and God. Religion represents an organization. Organizations give us a connection with others.
It is easy to believe or expect that we will live a long life and so will all of those that surround us. Now we know, all too well, this isn’t the case. Death is part of the cycle of life. Those beliefs have changed and each day those around me will know what my priorities are and how deep my love is. Life certainly has become a blessing and I don’t take it for granted one second because I have seen death up way too close. I know that death is a part of life and we are all going to die one day. But I don’t believe in living a life of fear.
I believe Einstein when he said, There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
What are your beliefs? Have you seen them change?