an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
I’ve read that most of our beliefs are pretty much set by the time we are seven. When I first heard this I was floored and pictured myself, at seven, with my green unicorn t-shirt, running my life….forty years later. Fun coincidence that Seven is the name of my memoir.
Writing my memoir was a deep dive into my beliefs about what went down in my childhood. In a workshop I took early on in the memoir process we were given an excercise to write a childhood story. We participants furled our eye brows, because after all this memoir stuff is serious business, and wrote. Then we were told to re-write the same story from another person’s perspective (someone in the story). I chose to write about a fight I had with my mother when I was seventeen. It was the catalyst for my moving out of the house. I had written this story many times, it was even published in my college newsletter when I was in my thirties.
When I re-wrote it from my mother’s perspective, my world, my beliefs, got flipped upside down. I was able, as a writer, to get into character and become her. For that moment I saw myself through her eyes – a difficult, disrespectful know it all. A bulldozer with feathered bangs, too much liquid eye liner, and tight jeans, trying to get her way, which always involved alcohol and boys.
The story between me and my mother, my beliefs about her, really started over ten years earlier, before I was seven. She had moved to the United States to create a better life for herself, and eventually for me. My belief was that she left me, that she didn’t want me. I held on to this and it shaped our relationship. It has also shaped how I exist in the world. It’s my go to belief about myself. If you don’t like my Facebook post or cancel our plans, there is a deep part of me, the seven year old in her t-shirt shaking her head, “See, told you no one wants us.”
In essence I didn’t move out because I didn’t want her anymore. I moved out because some part of me felt she didn’t want me. And she wasn’t the bad guy after all. She was living her life, and trying to manage me.
From a place of clear perspective, of soul knowledge, I ask myself, are there really any bad guys? Or are there simply people living their lives as best they can from their own belief systems? From ideas and thoughts often formed in childhood. A mix of amazing clarity and deep misperceptions.
Here are a few questions to ponder:
What stories are you holding onto about yourself and others?
Are these beliefs serving your purpose and helping you move forward in your journey?
Are you ready to shift and let some of the beliefs go?