Change Your Beliefs; Change Your Life
In writing how our beliefs shape our actions, Susan Smalley, suggests we investigate these beliefs to understand if they are bringing about kindness and positivity or envy and anger to our lives. Not as a moral stance – kindness is good and envy is bad – but because of how we experience life based on our beliefs. Below is an excerpt of her post:
“Joseph Campbell wrote at great length about the power of mythology. I was beginning to see how our beliefs — our mythologies — provide us with a means of understanding the unknown (in my friend’s case, this odd phenomenon of 111). If what we believe generates compassion, love, and helpful actions, perhaps those beliefs are beneficial to oneself and humanity at large. If our beliefs generate intolerance, inequality and hatred, perhaps those are ones you may want to jettison. But we need to examine how we relate to our beliefs, maybe more than dispelling of them as fact or fiction.”
It is the old “is the glass half full or half empty” syndrome. If you think it is half full then your place in the world will be positive and enthusiastic. If you believe it is half full then it will be sad and depressed.
We are all the sum of our experiences and the way we interpreted them. It is important to know who we are and identify the belief systems that we have created for ourselves. It is the only way to affect any change in how we relate with the world even if we can’t change ourselves. What I mean is, if I know I react to certain things in a specific way, when the belief comes up, I can identify it and chose to act in a different way. So I have not been able to change myself, but I have been able to understand it is a belief system which I no longer intellectually subscribe to. I acknowledge its existence but then I change the channel.
“Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them” David Hume.