I was listening to someone talking about their challanges the other day, and it soon became obvious that each problem was actually based upon a judgement. Yes, each problem was just a thought – not necessarily reality! And that got us pondering the myriad of belief systems that we humans have. Each belief is based upon an idea, or an experience, or something we were told when we were impressionable little kids. And these ideas so easily become prisons.
These ideas can be rather absurd, (going outside with wet hair won’t really make you catch a cold) or oppressive (my god tells me to hate you because you’re____ fill in the blank).
Most of us repeat the same thoughts multiple times each day, that inner dialog that can sometimes just be a myriad of judgements and disempowerment.
So, let’s try a momentary experiment:Imagine your most controlling ideas — gone. Give yourself permission to let go of even your longest held ideas. Challenge them. What if you are OK just the way you are and you don’t need “fixing”? What if your religion is just a thought and not absolute truth? What if capitalism doesn’t equal “freedom”? What if your political ideology isn’t always right? What if you can expand your world to one of limitless wonder just by dropping some of that old mental baggage? What if your ideas are just that…ideas?
I once heard of a woman who had agoraphobia ( a fear of open spaces). Her world gradually shrank to just her bedroom; she lliterally was afraid to leave that room. And her mind ran this sad litany of blame and self loathing that went something like, “you’re ugly, you’re uninteresting, you’re too old, you’re too fat, nobody would want to be your friend or lover, etc.” This went on for years, and she found herself nearly living inside her closet(!) — until one day, she had a new idea: What if these thoughts were just that – thoughts. Not facts. What if they were not true?
And that new question, began to free her from a lifetime of negative beliefs. She got out of the house, and eventually was able to not only leave her room, but go outside, begin to socialize, and eventually she became a motivational speaker.
Remember the words to John Lennon’s “Imagine”… and let’s play with making it come true.
Meditation can help you watch ideas come and go. Just observe them come and go… and stay unattached. Say to yourself, “Well, that’s an interesting idea. It’s not necessarily true.” And see what happens.
You might just discover that to be free of attachments and beliefs is to be free to really live, in the moment.