Bright Bright Sun Shiny Day

“The Midnight Show”, 1973 Johnny Nash singing I can see clearly now

I was promised one world and learned something else – it has been messing with me my whole life.

I was around 5 when this aired. This matters because today we are going to talk about core beliefs.

Recently I’ve given a lot of thought to things I believe from my childhood. I have done 3 rounds of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way over the last 2 years. I have written my #morningpages 448 days (and counting) in a row. That is a LOT of introspection, and a lot of decunstructing of my beliefs.

We all have them. Things we picked up either directly because someone said them to us a lot – or just once in a very vulnerable moment. Think things like “you are so lazy”, “you are such a slob”, “you are too sensitive” or if you are lucky “you are smart” “your smile lights up a room”. And other societal beliefs that we pick up more by proximity. Things we see and hear from other people and in the media we consume, “poor people did that to themselves”, “the world is a scary/kind place”, “hard work will get you where you want to go”, “equality is possible”, “racism is evil and systemic”. (Pssst this is how racism ended up systemic, core beliefs we are given often w/o intent as children)

It has been said that we form our core beliefs and personalities by age 7

Now we all grew up in different places and different times. We had parents with their own beliefs, we went to different schools (maybe someday I’ll write my feelings on what catholic school did to me) So we all were programmed, one way or another with a core set of beliefs. Many people don’t examine these beliefs over the course of their life. What they were taught is what they know and beleive and they change very little. But some of us have a sense that something isn’t quite right. Maybe those beliefs didn’t match your own inanate morality, or maybe as you grew up you saw conflicting information and you couldn’t ignore new ideas. What ever it is when we examine those beleifs we can begin to understand who we truly are, what we truly desire, (Luci would be so proud) and that is the beginning of healing for a lot of us. Because if you are still operating from the same place you did at the age of 7 w/out finding out if your coping mechanisms and beliefs are still relevant and true you may be in a bit of rut. It’s quite possible your life has been on repeat for many cycles.

Do you even truly know?

The only way to get out of your loop (Thank you Westworld) is to examine it and see what you want to change. Or maybe see what you want to enhance.

Either way, reflection, questioning, examining, and challenging your beliefs is how we become our most authentic, grounded, peaceful selves.

Wow, this took a different turn. A much more positive turn really because I came here to say this: This was what I heard in my youth…this was the future I was promised —finding out we were lied to really drug me down, man. I want the diverse, accepting, anti-racist, equitable future I was promised.

But I realized something uplifting in the process. My core beliefs are about equity, fairness, anti-racism, diversity, inclusion, feminism, humanism. My core belief system is a big ‘ol 60s hippy that believes in peace, love, and rainbows. And although it is at odds with *gestures vaguely* all of this, it’s a comfort to know that my core being still believes in the messages of hopes and the vision of a diverse and accepted humanity. (this is my plug for how #sciencefiction made me a better person)

I’ll return to my bipolar journey soon. I promise. But in true bipolar nature that part of the story sent me off on a tangent and it might take some time to circle back around.

Until then what are some of your core beliefs? helpful or harmful. told to you or absorbed by proximity. What are some you have changed? What are some you wish you could change? What are some you are glad are firmly entrenched in your being?