(May 18, 2015 repost to avoid writing a variation of the same thing in my head today.)
Seems like the older I get, the less I think I ever did know.
It isn’t that I’m losing knowledge along the way. It’s more so I’m realizing that those certainties I once felt about life in general, really weren’t. There are no genuine life certainties to be had; and life isn’t what it once seemed to be in the brashness of my youth. It’s just not that simple.
The sureties and certainties that we repeatedly tell ourselves daily are often indicators of some deeply-guarded delusions created by the egoic mind. They are “deeply guarded” for a reason: we base every facet of our lives on those core beliefs—everything from WHAT we do, to HOW we do it, and most importantly to the WHY we do it aspect.
While this sounds a bit ridiculous to think that we are basing our lives on such serious inner fantasies, it actually means that to us they are NOT fantasies at all because we consider some of our deepest beliefs to be above intense inspection or reconsideration.
Those are the core beliefs that we aren’t going to change our opinions on without ample evidence to their flawed nature, because we’ve already invested far too much thought and emotion into them (as have our parents invested their time drilling them into us from infancy onwards).
We grew up believing in these things—being force-fed these things in some instances, and even now, those beliefs tend to bolster our mental concept of WHO we are as a person and WHAT we want (and deserve) from life—hence that’s why they are considered CORE beliefs.
To CHANGE a core belief is to create before us a sudden swampland-crossing where prior we had stood firmly anchored on solid psychological pavement. That fast-dissolving sense of inner solidity and environment framing, no matter how imperfect it may later be proven to be, made us sure of a purpose to our life and even provided us tangible future goals of creating a better life for ourselves and for our loved ones—i.e.: good jobs, lots of money, quick advancement, supportive families, the GOOD LIFE, etc..
You’ll recognize those swampland-crossings as unexpected illnesses, divorces, deaths, job losses, financial upheavals, addictions, assaults, betrayals, etc.—anything that suddenly shifts your perspective out of the “my life is flowing smoothly” steam of living and into sudden and complete chaos where firm-footings no longer exist.
That’s the point where your core beliefs come under the greatest inspection. If your beliefs help you through the toughest life issues without losing your sanity, they may be solid ones. If not, you will likely be searching for greater solace in a different belief system; and you’ll also be questioning whether your earlier beliefs were in fact, delusions—things you told yourself because that’s what you wanted to believe, NOT because they were true.
I can’t speak for anyone other than myself on this matter, but over the many decades of my own existence my personal beliefs have evolved—sometimes year-by-year. Learning to think for myself from college onwards was a major step in becoming my own person, rather than remaining the person that my parents or childhood authorities tried to mold me into being.
And for many of us, that’s what “coming into our own” is all about—finding our own way rather than being told which way to choose, or how to act, or who to wed, or what to do with our lives, etc. Moving out of our parents’ and authority figure’s shadows is the most important first step that many will make toward establishing their own sense of purpose and destiny.
That being said, there are only a few guideline questions I might suggest if you are searching for the right path for you:
- Is it a path based on love and compassion for yourself, as well as for all others?
- Is it a path that makes you feel happy about yourself and how you spend your time? (NO GUILT allowed on this path.)
- Is it a path that nurtures you, and gives you a deeper sense of expansion and future possibilities in THIS world, not the next one?
- Is it a path that allows you to grow and BE who you truly are?
- Is it a path of FREEDOM—or are you forever tied to the expectations of others?
These are a few questions that I would have found helpful to me when I was in my early twenties trying to decide on my own path to take back then.
If you are so inclined, you might try them on for size and see how they feel to you in YOUR life right now.
Life is amazingly short, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Find yourself (and your true calling) early and enjoy every moment of your life daily.