How do you know that what you believe is really true?
Growing up we were taught belief systems from the people who raised us and those we were around. We were taught that this is truth and reality. Is it? Maybe not… That was their truth and reality. Ours is very different. Their beliefs are from their childhood and from the influences in their lives. They are also based on their gifts and passions. Do you see where I’m going with this? I find myself in situations where I’m led to question what I believe or else I tend to get hurt by what someone else believes. I really do have a choice in those moments. Do I believe what I was taught as truth? Or do I question myself to find what I truly believe about the situation?
My parents chose their reality. They didn’t necessarily choose how they were raised or the reasons they feel how they do about certain subjects, but they chose at some point that they were gonna believe that it was the truth, whatever it happened to be. Those choices influenced my childhood, and will continue on to influence my children, for better or for worse. I get to points in my life all the time where I know that I have a choice in the decisions I am about to make; I can follow what I was taught and continue to make that my reality, or I can discover my own truth.
My best friend has very different views than me on many topics. He was raised different, very different, and his reality isn’t anything like mine. Some things I believe don’t hold as high of value in his life, and vise versa. It’s just not the same. Does that mean one of us is right and the other wrong? Not necessarily. We are different people, allowed to have our different beliefs based on the reality of our life and experiences. He gets his truth by the beliefs that he was surrounded by and the choices he’s made to solidify them. I get the opportunity to understand how his beliefs make sense to him so that I can better accumulate my beliefs for myself and become more open to new opinions.
(I will say, there are some beliefs that should be unchanging in your life, but always be open to understanding why someone else believes what they do.)
I can explain this another way by talking about music. We all have different tastes, correct? I may LOVE pop and screamo, but you may love classic and country. Track with me. There are posts, comments, opinions, and walls up in peoples lives because of what they “know” to be their truth. And it pisses me off. Your opinion and reality is not mine. Just because you can’t appreciate really good music (in my mind, see?) doesn’t mean that it’s truly not good. It’s just not your opinion. And that sucks! Am I right? There are glorious classic and country artists, I’d just rather listen to rock. You tracking? We get so wound up that what we know is what is true but oftentimes it’s really not even right. We are who we are because of our choices and our influences. We don’t have to prove that we are right. We just have to figure out if what we believe is really truth.
I grew up very religious, then became very rebellious. My parents believed a certain reality, and decided that it should be mine. I don’t blame them, it’s what they believed was best and I am thankful for the influence they were and are in my life. I had really great parents who loved me and just wanted the best for my life. (Still do!) That’s amazing. But as we find out in a lot of cases, what we often times think is the best for someone else, really might not be. Our beliefs should be our own, even if we take a harder route to finding that out. In some cases, I needed to be allowed to make my own messes so that I could either understand the reason for their decisions, or find what I personally believed about the situation. Their beliefs determined their standpoint, but it wasn’t always necessarily mine, and that’s what I’m getting at.
We ALL believe we are right in most cases, and for some reason we expect the other person to be so wrong. “How can they not see it?!” Are you kidding me? Try growing up how they did. Oh wait that’s right, you can’t. There is so much judgement in the world, that even I often refuse to talk about what I believe, and that’s stupid. “But I don’t want to offend anyone.” Okay… Well are you sure that what you believe is REALLY true? Cuz you ain’t convincin’ anyone if you don’t believe in yourself.
Be open to accepting everyone regardless of what they believe. In some cases, they ARE right.