This I believe

Today I am out of my usual routine, so I thought I would share something that I wrote for a church service this past winter.  I was asked to share my personal credo, my system of beliefs.  Since my religion does not have one specific dogma, we sometimes have services in which a handful of us share our own beliefs.  It is so fun to hear the ideas that govern each of our lives.  So here today is n explanation of my own personal religious beliefs.  I hope something here resonates with you.

My Credo

I believe that I am the master of my own destiny. The life I live is the life I create, and if I don’t like some part of it, it is within my power and only my power to change it. I am the only one who creates my life, every aspect of it. My relationships, my career, my finances, my health, all of it. I create my life even when I am not conscious of what I am creating. The key to changing my life is to consciously choose a better life.

I believe that life is a mirror. I create my life from the inside out. When I stand in front of a mirror, the person looking back at me will not smile until I do. I have to consciously choose to smile before I can see the person in the mirror smile. Whatever I create on the inside is what I will see on the outside. This is very empowering, but can be very scary. I have no one else to blame for my failures, but also, no one else can take the credit for my successes.

I believe there is a positive message in everything that I experience. The things I enjoy show me that I am on the right path to joy and happiness. The things I don’t enjoy show me where I need to work on my inner energy to get back on the path to joy and happiness. Everything that happens is to serve me, to either make me happy, or show me why I am not. Nothing ever happens for no reason or out of the blue. Manifestations take time, and everything I experience has been building up inside of me for a while. I may not have been conscious of creating it, but I did, nonetheless, through my beliefs and my emotions. Suffering because of pain or discomfort is unnecessary, though. As I experience things that do not make me feel good, I can make the choice to suffer or to seek the message in it and learn from it. It is my choice, and one that leads to either more pain, or one that leads me up out of the pain.

I believe that all people are inherently good, even Donald Trump. Every person’s actions are just attempts to feel better. Those whose actions are reprehensible to me are simply trying to feel better, too, but they are in such a state of emotional pain and fear that those are the best things they can find to make themselves feel better. We exist on an emotional ladder, and we are always trying to climb up the ladder. At the top of the ladder are the wonderful things we feel that lead us to do loving actions for our fellow man. At the bottom of the ladder are the undesirable feelings that lead us to hurt other people because we think it will make us feel better. The more horrific a person’s action, the greater the pain they are in, or the greater the fear that they feel. As we climb the ladder to feel better, we gain access to better feeling emotions and behavior. Those who do horrible things to other people deserve my pity, not my contempt.

I believe that emotions are the tools I use to create my life. The more I choose to feel joy and appreciation, the more joyful a life I create. Even in the most horrible of circumstances I can find something to appreciate, even if it is just that the sun will set and rise again on a fresh new day. When I sit in the Emergency Room for the second time in 24 hours because my beloved child has lost the will and desire to live, I am so thankful that my other relationships are strong. That I have wonderful family who is willing and able to pick up all the responsibilities I have dropped in order to sit in the ER in my child’s time of crisis. Counting my blessings is one of the most life-enhancing things I can do, and I have no shortage of them.

I believe that letting go of the beliefs that do not serve me is the hardest work I have to do. Letting go of beliefs of inadequacy, of worthlessness, of disempowerment is very hard. Those are insidious beliefs that I have been taught my whole life, either directly by others bullying me when I was young, or by marketers trying to sell me things as an adult, or by fearful people who think they will feel better if I am also fearful. I need to be deliberate about what I consume, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. The books I read, the shows I watch, the radio I listen to, the people I talk to all influence my beliefs, either consciously or unconsciously. If I want to better my life, I need to only take in and focus on those influences that make me feel better, that encourage me to be the best I can be, that uplift me.

I believe that I am a spiritual being having a human experience, and not the other way around. I like the metaphor I heard of life being a video game that my soul is playing. My higher self knows me better than my lower self does. My higher self can see the whole landscape of my life and is not constrained by time. When I feel a nudge from my higher self, I need to follow it, for my higher self always has my best interest at heart. It can see things more clearly, and knows what obstacles lie before me that I may not yet see. If I will but listen, it will guide me on the most efficient route to joy and happiness, even if it seems like I am going the opposite direction sometimes. Just as with the roads in this rural part of the country, sometimes “ya cain’t get there from here”. Sometimes I have to head east to go west to get around a mountain or to the nearest bridge to cross a river.

I used to believe that the purpose of life was to love others. I now believe the true purpose of life is to seek joy and happiness, to love myself. Loving others is simply a byproduct of that. When I feel joyous and happy, it makes me feel good to share that joy and happiness and to love others. That is not to say that I don’t have conflicting beliefs also, that inhibit my ability to love myself, and that is my work right now: to observe the less than pleasant experiences in my life that show me how I am not truly loving myself so that I can shift that energy and improve my life.

Your turn

Do you have personal beliefs you are comfortable sharing?  What is an underlying belief that informs all of your decisions?  Please share in the comments as we get to know each other.

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