There are many different ways to see and experience the world around us. Building on my post from a few weeks ago, “Woven Realities and the Vibration of Love,” what we believe and how we design our reality is a direct correlation to what and who raised us. For better or worse, we are the product of our environment, and it can be difficult to determine which beliefs help us to be better people and which keep us from growing.
Our social networks have one of the greatest impacts on how we interact with each other and the planet. We long to belong and be accepted, and we often adapt to what’s popular and socially acceptable or celebrated in order to fit in. Factors such as nationalism, belonging to special clubs or identifying with specific schools or sports teams are examples of common ways we bring identity to ourselves in relation to other people. Through this, there are many benefits that can be attributed to these affiliations, such as community, team work, commitment, dedication, athleticism, purpose, health and many other aspects of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
In looking at these facets of our societal upbringings, it’s important to also identify how aspects of these identifications can also negatively influence our world view or sense of identity in the bigger scheme. Often, we submerge ourselves so heavily in these causes or belief systems we lose sight to the ways they may cause us to with-go critical thinking, compassion, open-mindedness or may even lead to overlooking someone’s true character. We can develop blind faith to our causes and community members instead of being prepared to stand up to injustice or behaviors out of alignment with a better humanity.
In our communities, we often develop strong, protective responses around the ones we love (or the ideas and groups we love). This can be beautiful and important. There are times though where this blind love (not the same as unconditional love!) may cause us to overlook important details of what someone is telling us, makes it difficult for us to properly analyze the truth of somebody’s behavior, or we place greater importance on the idea of something rather than the people it might adversely affect. We may believe the stories we are told, a worldview we hear, or a behavior and accept it, rather than doing a bit of proper research ourselves to understand the underlying causes of what we’re being told and why. We might also treat people poorly because someone else’s opinion and perspective swayed our own, or we’re too afraid to lose our place in our community that we choose to remain silent, even though we see something that doesn’t resonate with us. Our mind’s can be changed if it means being accepted by our peers, even if we’re foregoing our own intuition or inner knowing in the process.
Human beings are complex! Along the way, between the worldviews developed from our upbringings, to the variety of experiences that may have hurt us, scared us or made us feel unloved, unwanted and unaccepted, we develop layers of personality to help us navigate the big world around us. Many of us are able to love unconditionally to a certain degree, but how many of us also hold extreme contradictions? The answer is we all do, especially before we begin to awaken to the themes I am referring to here. We are light, but we are also shadow, and without the right tools we may find it difficult to even see our shadow, let alone begin to integrate and heal it.
Often, those closest to us validate our unconscious desires to stay stagnant or judgemental. Why would we grow if no one else is? Why would we think differently when that might subject us to being unpopular or outcasted (or wrong!)? Why would we grow if we are who we are and that’s just how it is (because an old dog cannot learn new tricks, right?). The biggest myth that we are plagued by today is that we are stuck with what we’ve been given (and that includes the beliefs, situations and people that come along with it!). We always have the opportunity to progress, and sometimes that means leaving certain aspects of our life behind, if we find they are hindering us from advancing towards being better people.
I purposely chose to leave this vague and without specific example, as I urge you to strengthen your own sight. How do these themes play out in your life? It may be easier to see these things in others, but the important part is seeing them inside ourself. Others are our mirrors, highlighting aspects of who we are that might be difficult to look at. How do we know if we’re on the right track? We’re more loving, forgiving, kind and compassionate. In every single way. In every area of our life. In every conversation we have. In every thought we think. Every decision we make. Every action we take. Everything else is just a pointer to where we still need to grow. Grow in wisdom, friends.