Can You Believe It?

photo by CC

What exactly are beliefs?  When we think of beliefs what is the first thing that comes to mind? Religion, morals, political beliefs?  We often place our beliefs into categories then will actually stand up and fight to defend them, our beliefs make us human.

 What about the other beliefs which are ingrained in our lives?  My parents grew up in the Great Depression when food was scarce and belongings were sparse.  I can remember mom telling me that when she was in middle school she and her sister had one pair of shoes between them and would take turns wearing them.

Because of their circumstances and life experiences, my parents had beliefs that followed them into adult hood, throughout their lives, and they shared them with their children such as:

  • Food is scarce, you eat what is on your plate.
  • You take care of your belongings.
  • We don’t have money to waste.
  • If it’s a “want” and not a “need” then you should think awhile before getting it.
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks.
  • If someone hurts you, don’t forget that.  You can forgive them, but just be aware they might come back and do the same thing later.
  • Keep a steady job and a steady income; it’s not so important what you do as it is important that the bills are getting paid.
  • Going out to eat is not necessary.
  • The fancy China is only used for very special occasions.
  • If you really like something, then you should get more than one because then if it gets lost or broken, you still have it.
  • Respect your elders.
  • It’s important to keep the peace and if you’re told to do something a certain way then you should do it that way.  If you think of another way to do it, then you might be able to bring it up later.
  • Let your imagination run wild, but color within the lines.
  • Books will never lose their value because people will always read.

These are but a few of the beliefs that get passed down, some of them are good, some are not so good, but every single one of them were meant with good intentions.

Through our interactions with other people, television, radio, and ads there is a constant barrage of input that our brains take and categorize for reference later.  What’s more is we unwittingly and unknowingly pass many of these things on to the people around us and our children, good intentions, but not always good advice.

If you tell a child they are dyslexic and have a learning disability.  True, they may have both, but the difference on whether that child uses that knowledge as a handicap and see’s themselves as being far less than they can be is all in how the people around them approach the situation.  If they are constantly moved forward without the struggle to improve, celebrating achievements, and working to get where they need to be, then they will truly be handicapped and waiting for someone to hand them a job, hand them a solution, and be stuck with whatever they get handed. 

 We all have limiting belief systems we have embedded in our characters, but the things we see as limitations often aren’t, they are simply beliefs that need to be either adjusted or thrown out.  We have the choice on where we set our own limitations and whether we will continue to believe, things like – “there’s not enough money,” “don’t throw that away because you might need it later,” or “don’t take unnecessary risks.” These are truly choices that are up to us.  We don’t have to listen to those tired voices repeating the same old patterns; we can rewrite and reset our limits as we go and create new patterns more in tune with who we are at present.

 Cherry Coley ©


Keep It Simple!

Simplify.  “Keep it simple” is something I tell myself quiet often and it is the way I want to live.  I realized last night that I have been feeling somewhat out of sorts because I have strayed a bit from doing two things that are vital to my well-being.  Those two things are keeping it simple, and meditation.

I look around my cluttered (still in the process of unpacking and sorting) house and realize I have been emotionally unpacking and sorting which is not a good thing to do.  I have boxes that came from my parents’ house with my mom’s china, some crystal, dishes, blankets, baby clothes and shoes, pictures galore, but going through all of that is making the whole process really slow.

My parents were the type of people that saved everything because you might need it later.  In their defense, they grew up in the Great Depression Era where most people had little or no possessions and you simply didn’t throw anything away because there might not be a way to replace it.  I get it. 

No one should ever keep everything.  I am speaking to myself as well as all those people who get emotionally attached to things.  I’ve been there, you pick up souvenirs with family, friends on an outing of some kind and it becomes your link to memories and good feelings.  You become emotionally attached.  There’s nothing wrong with souvenirs so please don’t think I’m saying that, but if you collect and collect and collect then pretty soon you are building new bookshelves to hold the nick knacks, filling up the garage, and even renting extra storage space to hold it all.

I grew up in a house with people who loved to buy treasures and keep them, now as a result, there are a LOT of treasures to go through.  One thing sorting so much “stuff” will do is make you realize, there’s really no rational reason to keep all the “stuff.”  No one needs that much stuff.  You can’t use it all, can’t look at it all, it’s taking up space, and can you really enjoy it if you suddenly find you can’t really clean up because there’s no space to put things?  Sorry we can’t have people over, the house is a mess.

Keep it simple, is what I’ve come to repeat to myself a lot lately.  If it’s not useful, hasn’t been used in X number of months (for me it’s now 3 months), and doesn’t add beauty to the home, then it needs to go.  This sounds easy doesn’t it? It’s not always easy because of emotional attachment.  Luckily we have something that will make letting go easier – photographs. 

Photos are easily accessible, can be stored in a number of different ways now including: on-line, CD’s, Flash Drives, and of course printed out.  They don’t HAVE to take up any room at all AND they can be easily shared with any number of people. 

Tonight I’m going through again and sorting the “letting go” areas of our lives.  We have a lot of old Barbie’s and Brat dolls to donate among other things.  Other children will enjoy them, and those toy chests can be used to store extra blankets or other items we use.  Yes, we might take pictures of the toys because memories are memories and photos help to remind us. 

 Cherry Coley ©