There is this idea we have that everything we believe is true. And it must be true because then why else would we believe something if it wasn’t true? Am I right?
Even if truth and belief do not match, we find ourselves with the firm intention of defending our beliefs. This is it. This is truth. And that’s that, right?
There is the fact that perception is not truth. Perception is only true to us and our belief is altered by opinion and emotion. To me, my truth can be changed and altered to fit what I believe.
But this is how self-deception works. This is where the deception of our perception tricks our belief system into following a matrix of ideas that keep us from our best.
Don’t believe me? Okay, then read on.
I heard a friend say that belief is rigid and truth is changing. I thought about this. I thought about my belief in myself and the belief (or the lack-thereof) in others and the biases we have. I thought about the restrictions from my past thinking that limited me from thinking freely.
What is a belief anyway?
I will paraphrase here and explain how the dictionary defines belief as an opinion, a confidence or a conviction, a principle, doctrine or that belief is a truth or existence of something that is not immediately susceptible to proof.
We talk about the difference between failure and success. We talk about our personal and emotional attachments to evidence, whether real or otherwise to prove our case. We have our ideas of what success is and what failure means and it is this attachment that keeps us rigid. It is our belief system that can keep us from being free.
By not allowing any sort of relativity and by remaining in a sense of polarity to either good or bad, right or wrong, then we will always be defined by this process of thinking; therefore, we can never feel better than we think or live better than we believe.
Consider the ideas of catastrophizing. Think about the way our mind works and how we can jump to conclusions without regarding proof or considering facts. Instead, we work under the guise of emotional opinion. Think about the directions of our thinking and how thoughts can move in habitual and trained patterns. Think about sayings like, “Why do things like this happen to me all the time?” and then try and regard our placement in this.
I have met beautiful people who believed they were ugly. I have witnessed the work of genius minds who believed that they were otherwise stupid. I have seen brilliance yet this came from people who believed they were incapable.
I can remember a letter that came in the mail. I remember the fear of opening it. I remember the fear of rejection and anticipation of bad news. Put simply, I believed this was a letter that was going to support a lifelong set of trained ideas and beliefs.
It was this belief and system of thinking errors that kept me from going back to school and graduating. It was this level of thinking that dampened my ability to reach my best possible potential; therefore, I could only be as healthy as I believed. But more, I could only be as smart as I believed.
I suppose it took me a good twenty to thirty minutes before I eventually opened the envelope. I can remember the flush of emotion that I felt beneath my skin. In fact, I can feel this now. I can feel the blood flowing through my arms as I regard the mental vision of me unfolding the letter. I can remember the expectation of failure and the idea of this starting out with something like, “We regret to inform you.”
It was in seconds that my belief was disproved by fact, which is that my capabilities exceeded my belief system. I was more than I thought I was. And yes, it was always me that held me back.
What came next was a series of tears. I can see this in my mind’s eye. I can see the room and where I was sitting at the time. I can feel the gravity of the moment and the true weight of everything I thought about myself. I cried because I was free from an old belief that held me like a slave to a lifelong lie.
I have seen people believe in lies. I have watched people blindly forfeit themselves to a supposed truth because of a lack of personal belief in themselves.
I have watched people sabotage their lives, as well as their friends, and their relationships with their family all due to what they thought and believed was true.
But worse, I have seen people who are more beautiful than they could possibly imagine and to me, they mean the world, but to them and due to their beliefs, they seem to misplace themselves on the scales of priority.
The mind gives into these constructs of belief yet truth has nothing to do with this. Logic has no place in this. There is no fear in strategy and truth is unafraid.
There is no fear in truth and truth can change; it can alter and evolve into new shapes and temperature. Truth is neither in favor or against us. Truth is only true. Perception and opinion have less to do with truth and more to do with our emotional attachments.
I was told to stay out of my head. I was told to stop playing those movies out in my mind, and that they never end well, and that my ideas and my belief can perpetuate a supposed truth into becoming true.
I think about the limitlessness of beauty. I think about the fact that true beauty does not come in a specific shape or size and that this can change and be ever-flowing. On the other hand, beliefs are less malleable. Beliefs are not free to bend or change, they are stiff in their own constructs.
I have learned that freedom comes when we allow ourselves to detach from the beliefs that limit us and catastrophize and brutalize us with anticipation for default.
I write this in a sense for myself and as a mission statement to which I choose to adhere to. I have to allow myself to mold and form. I have to allow myself the freedom to challenge my beliefs and assumptions. Otherwise, I am stuck in the matrix of my own limited thinking.
If it was up to the old version of me then I would never try. If it was up to my old limitations then I would never be anything but who I was. I would be stupid. I would be uneducated. I would have never dared to try anything outside of the scope of my belief system. Put simply, if it was up to the old me, the new me would have never evolved.
My friend Mike once told me, “It’s okay to try.”
He said, “And don’t worry about it. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to not believing in yourself at any time.”
Belief is contagious by the way.
This is why I choose to keep people like you in my life. This is why I stay with people who believe in me instead of put me down or tell me what I can or can’t do.
My friends are not fluent in sarcasm as a second language. I do not surround myself with people who limit me but instead, my friends are the reason why I am here now and getting ready to start the day.
Above all things, my friends have taught me that I can do anything. And if I can’t do something, I don’t have to worry. I have friends who can help me see a new belief and together, we can make things so.
Keeping better people in my life has led me to believe in better things.
I don’t have to worry anymore. I don’t have to hide or “Watch my back.”
Once the threat was gone and I didn’t believe I had to protect myself, my belief was allowed to change.
I call this being at peace.
Or better yet, this is what it means to be free.