Saturday, March 27, 2010

How our beliefs affect what we see

I really like the entire passage posted below. The point that a belief is a considerably more than an idea is so true and it is also very powerful. I'm also struck by the observation that our experiences of judgment and shame have a lot to do with our beliefs:

What we believe about ourselves can hold us hostage. Over the years I have come to respect the power of people's beliefs. The thing that has amazed me is that a belief is more than just an idea--it seems to shift the way in which we actually experience ourselves and our lives. According to Talmudic teaching, "We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are." A belief is like a pair of sunglasses. When we wear a belief and look at life through it, it is difficult to convince ourselves that what we see is not real. . . . Sometimes because of our beliefs we may have never seen ourselves or life whole before. No matter. We can recognize life anyway. Our life force may not require us to strengthen it. We often just need to free it where it has gotten trapped in beliefs, attitudes, judgment, and shame.

-- Rachel Naomi Remen

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