Personal Beliefs are the absolute internal foundations for each of us. The way in which we look at our world, react to our world and live our lives comes directly from our belief systems. I can’t cover everything about Beliefs in one post, but at least I’ll get started on this very important driving force in our lives.
If our biological parents are the TWO MOST INFLUENCIAL PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES, then our BELIEF SYSTEM is the most DIRECTIVE FORCE of our lives.
Go back to Brain 101. Remember that we get bombarded constantly with incoming data. There is so much information coming at us that we are bobbing and weaving and don’t even realize it. The Limbic system is in constant surveillance and reaction mode.
Do I need to flee? Do I need to fight? Am I so overwhelmed that I freeze up and don’t move? (hence, “fight, flight or freeze”). Is the incoming data something that is important enough to store in long term memory? insignificant so that I can “trash” it?
From the time we begin recording incoming data (we believe this to before birth), we begin creating a type of internal blog, if you will. We sift through the data and begin to create large Categories. For example, one of my Categories would be “I’m a poor housekeeper.” And then the tags begin: dusting, toilet rings, cobwebs–you get the idea. This doesn’t seem like such a big deal until you start forming categories such as “I’m worthless,” or “I’ll never be as good as…”
Since our Belief Categories basically determine our decision-making process, you can immediately see that a “I’m not wanted” Category would lead to a lot of pain and possible personal destruction; whereas, a “I’m smart” Category might give that believer a much better chance to look forward with a positive regard in most situations.
Once we begin to form Categories, we then begin to substantiate them with increasing amounts of posts and tags. We actually begin to attune ourselves to looking for ways to add to our Categories, even the negative ones. Especially the negative ones. At some point, a Category begins to be our persona–our “style”–our refuge or comfort zone, no matter it is a positive or negative Category. It is “home.”
It is amazing at the power that a Belief Category carries. And, once established, we then either add to it or try to subtract from it for the REST OF OUR LIVES.
Here is a minute instance of what I’m talking about:
I’m currently sitting at a sunlight window (yeah for sun) and this is the data that is incoming:
brain to fingers in keyboarding this post, checking resources, catching glimpses of birds, noting the house seems a little warm, our dog just chased a crow out of the yard, the refrigerator is humming, someone just started a car, I need to wash the windows, the coffee table has become cluttered, and do I need to think about dinner?
All of this data is filtered through, tossed out or stored, depending upon its strength of content. I know I’ll store the “poor housewife” stuff and pull it out tomorrow, the dinner info to be put off until later, the mundane crow, refrigerator, and car starting will be tossed. I’ll get up in a few moments and check the thermostat. Nothing of what is currently incoming to my Limbic system has me in any kind of emotional or physical distress. Hence, I do not believe that any of this data will add something NEW to my belief system.
However, that “poor housewife” stuff will be filed in my old parental driven belief of “I’m not a very good housekeeper.” It will just add to the mountain of data that has already determined (by total self-analysis) that I am unable to live up to my mother’s standards for keeping a clean house. (What will those neighbors think who drop by for tea? I can hear my mother’s voice, as if I were thirteen. Hmmm. )
By the way, I just remembered that I have already added to that particular belief file today. There is a dirty overhead light in the dining area. I keep forgetting to clean it. (Now, if I’m really distressed over the need to kept a clean house, why do I put off cleaning when I see it needs to be done?) Hint: the amount of distress from “I’m not a very good housekeeper” does not cause me sufficient pain to want to change.
There are two WORKSHOPS that need to be added. One is about our cycle of BELIEFS. The other is concerning the way in which BELIEFS are formed and become foundations for our behaviors. That’s a BIG WORKSHOP. I will gradually lead up to that one in future posts.
So, we’ve started on BELIEFS–oh what an enduring, never-ending subject.