Old belief systems are hard to change. It is like going your whole life being called a certain name and then one day telling the world to address you by a completely new set of letters. It changes you and challenges others. Like our beliefs, changing our self image and allowing our truest version to shine through is daunting.
When you first make a change, you may go through a period of nostalgia or hit a deep depression. You may long for the “good old days”. Isn’t it funny how we tend to romanticize the past? Then the change may excite you- this idea of altering something so ingrained, so habitual, so comfortable, and “normal”. Think about your job, your relationships, your hobbies, your attitude, your health. Are there any patterns that you have contemplated changing? Is there anything you’d tweak if you could skip the hard word? Is there something you’re working on changing right now? For me, I made 2014 the “change everything” year.
What I have learned so far:
People may question you- “Why are you all the sudden so bitchy? Distant? Quiet? Loud? Different? And people may also envy you (secretly thinking that they would never have the ability to change this or that habit, or may never even contemplate altering a belief). I think that we keep ourselves so busy that we don’t have the time to imagine a different reality for ourselves.
Some people will refuse to address the “new you”, thinking that you will be “back to normal” before long. A few people will resort to control and manipulation because they are fearful of losing you, or at least the version of you that worked for them. I think when we become comfortable around people, we create an image of them that makes us feel safe.
Somedays you wake up feeling lonely or crazy and you spend hours adding up the people and possessions you “lost” when you started to change. Other days, you will feel like the strangling hold around your neck has suddenly been lifted, liberating you and allowing your first deep, full breath. Anything worth doing should be a little bit scary. Anything magical and wonderful should take time, and teach us patience and poise. Anyone worth meeting will challenge you in some way.
While sun bathing this past summer I often thought about these questions: What if I allowed myself to be the most pure, honest, version of myself? What if I started living my life completely how I saw fit? What would this mean?
Our belief systems shape the way we view the world. They filter our vision in many different shades and they assist us in creating our self image. What we all may occasionally forget, is that we have the ability to change our belief system at anytime. We can add to it, subtract from it, clean it, strengthen it and/or completely change it. I used to worry that my beliefs (derived from my upbringing, my experience, education, sense of self worth) were “unfixable”. I also used to make excuses for my habits saying that my upbringing (hence my belief system) MADE ME THIS WAY.
What I understand to be more true (at this moment) is that I HAVE THE CONTROL over what I want to hang onto and let form my belief system. What if we decided to work on our own belief system– AKA- What we know to be true.
By “belief system” I also mean : What we allow our focus to be on. What we visualize for ourself. What we feel is in our power. What gives us our strength. The way we see and interact with the world around us. The kind of love we accept and give in return. And finally, our ability to forgive.
What if we replaced fear with love? What if we believed that it is NEVER too late to begin again. Maybe 2015 will continue to be my “change everything” year. Because after all, I hope I never stop growing.
What makes up your belief system?
You are beautiful. You are brilliant. You are worth investing in. What is more important than investing in yourself?
Photo credit: R. Moore & myself
Inspiration: Glendale run, late night tea, Antelope Canyon