Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone believed and thought exactly the way we do? If they did, the world would then appear to be a much better place and we could all get along well with each other. Except that’s not our reality.
All our beliefs and ways of thinking differ and that causes us stress because others aren’t living up to our expectations of the way we think they should be. We feel that those who don’t believe, think, or live the way we do are wrong. The thing is those on the ‘other side’ think and believe that we’re wrong because we’re not thinking, believing, or living the way they think we should.
Most of our beliefs are either taught to us by our parents or caregivers from the moment we are young, or they are learned through our experiences. Then as we grow into adulthood, we put those beliefs in a belief box and we wrap them up very tight with invisible duct tape because we don’t ever want to think that we could ever be wrong in some of our beliefs.
I will be the first to admit that my beliefs have changed drastically over the years; therefore, I’ll usually tell people that this is what I believe at this time in my life. Even then, as I grow and gain wisdom and knowledge through Spirit, my beliefs will change again. What I’ve found, though, is that those beliefs are now based more and more in unconditional love for all of humanity and for all living beings, including animals and our Mother Earth. I know that love is the only answer, and I’ll know if I’m truly living my Truth by how love leads or doesn’t lead in my everyday decisions.
There are some people who think I should believe the way they do and will tell me that I’m wrong just because I don’t. Some people will even try to chastise me in public forums. I will never tell anyone what to believe or that they have to believe the way I do. I also will not argue with people over beliefs. If we don’t agree, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
In fact, as a minister and inspirational speaker, my purpose is to try to help people find their own beliefs based on a foundation of unconditional love. I can only plant the seeds and it’s up to God, the Universe, Life, or whatever name you use for the All-That-Is, to see how they grow. I can also only share with others what I have learned for myself. In my talks I always tell people that it’s okay if they don’t agree with me; just take what works for them, ignore the rest, or even just ignore the whole talk. People can even do this with my writings.
People particularly hang onto their beliefs when it comes to their religions. As of 2014, there were an estimated 4,200 different religions in the world, all believing something different. Just within Christianity alone, it is estimated that there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations and organizations in the world, and the difference in those beliefs vary sometimes to the extreme.
Remember that at one time, people believed the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth. People were imprisoned or killed if they believed anything different. Later, we found out that what they said was true. Therefore, even ‘facts’ can change. If you think about it, facts have changed continuously throughout history. Another thing is that anyone can pretty much write anything they want anymore whether it’s true or not. It’s even interesting how many people will believe information from the countless fake news sites on the Internet, and they will blindly believe them without doing their research. Therefore, their beliefs are then not based in truth.
There is so much turmoil in our country and the world right now all over differences of beliefs. These range from unconditional love to outright hatred of others. Billy Graham stated, “Racial prejudice, anti-Semitism, or hatred of anyone with different beliefs has no place in the human mind or heart.”
We are each responsible for what’s in our own hearts and how we treat others, and one day when we cross over, we will all have to answer the question, “How much did you love?” Personally, I would like to answer that at least I tried my best. When the foundation of our beliefs is built on love, it can’t help but raise humanity’s consciousness. As our consciousness expands, love and peace will prevail.
“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” Joseph Campbell
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper November 25, 2016.