We all look for validation of our beliefs and opinions in people and experiences — we're hardwired to notice who and what supports our world-view.
At times, we challenge the people and things who don't validate our beliefs and opinions; we seem to prefer conflict over curiosity. What if challenging OUR beliefs, opinions, and attitudes through self-inquiry engender harmony?
We each have a filter that our experiences pass through on their way to becoming beliefs, opinions, and attitudes. These are our interpretations of experience, not absolute truth, yet when someone opposes our interpretations, or paradoxically, validates our negative bias of them, it often causes strong feelings within us. And strong feelings often produce strong reactions.
We may blame, deny, judge, project, withdraw, neglect, distract, or rationalize to pretend we don't play a part in the disconnect and discontent within our relationships. We assume that others should read our minds and that we all live by the same rules. We become attached to the idea that we're right, and the other is wrong. We might believe that the only resolution is if they (the source of our feelings) pay a price and admit their error. We become stuck and at the mercy of our feelings rather than seeing that we are in charge of our feelings — feelings and reactions don't just happen, we choose them. As Cardinal Newman said, "We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe."
We all have a responsibility to be mindful of OUR intentions and interpretations. And, if we take responsibility for OURSELVES we won't need to reform others.
How are you validating your beliefs by creating and interpreting familiar or comfortable experiences? How does this enhance your connection with others? What possibilities might arise by questioning YOUR attachment to a belief, opinion, feeling or attitude?
Non-attachment to our beliefs, opinions, and attitudes and remaining receptive to these attributes in others creates spaciousness in relationships. Letting go of the idea that beliefs, opinions, and attitudes define each of us provides immunity to insult and cultivates tolerance.
Accepting the imperfection and impermanence in us all opens up an expansive, refreshing, and dynamic world!
Where can you nurture positive beliefs, opinions, and attitudes today?
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