Doesn't that just sound good! One sentence that totally justifies our every wrong; it's my story and I'm sticking to it! It's called, Motivated Reasoning. This mindset is prevalent within most cultures, politics, religions, prejudices, anything that segregates us into different camps; right=winner vs. wrong=loser. The whole arena turns into a blame game. It's also easy to see in authoritarian management, political and ethical debates where either side are somehow never wrong. But it’s harder for us to see it in ourselves.
For many broken reasons it was important to me as a young adult to be right which in my mind I equated to 'knowing what I stood for was the same as knowing who I was'. I was fierce in my opinions and would cut you off at the knees if you dared disagreed with me. Being right meant that I won and others lost therefore I was better than they were which in turn seem to make me feel better about myself. But in truth, I was as close to 'finding me/knowing me' as I was to the moon. Many people called it a stage but a stage infers that it will be over at some point soon and it took me several decades to be ready to change. My high opinions of myself and of others that shared a different point of view were actually extensions of my self-protective mindsets. Who knew?
It was not having the information that I just presented that started my journey toward change. It was realizing that ‘something’ had to change and I had enough experience behind my belt to know that, that usually meant me. I could not change anybody else, but I could change myself. While Madonna was turning the acceptance levels in the Music industry upside down, I reached for Self=help books. I was critized heavily from the religous organization that I turned to for help. They told me I was being self-indulgent and I only needed to 'have faith'. That never rang true and I knew that I wanted freedom more than I wanted acceptance, consequently I lost many people that I thought were friends. My first two books that answered the burning questions, 'Why does my life seem to be on repeat?' How do I stop the cycle and not pass all 'the mess' to my children were written by Melody Beattie.
The Beauty in the Journey
I will not say that the journey to freedom was an easy one, nor is it over. It was full of flaws which taught me much and full amazing discoveries. In my stance against everything I knew, I lost much but gained even more. I experienced my first spiritual awakening, my first haunting, my first opportunity to help others within my community. I discovered that even though as a single mother I did not have money to give, I had my time, my passion and my love to give. I discovered that each day is a precious gift; and that thankfulness for the hardships and the good times brings a peace that money nor status can buy. I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin even through the stretching’s that continue. I've learned that tomorrow is never promised, the past does not hold its grip unless I let it and that I only have today. But most importantly, I’ve learned that there is always hope, always change and that peace is always available.
The journey centered around changing my powerfully negative mindsets and changing the ground hog effect into breaking new ground, having new outcomes which included changing my thoughts and how I viewed life into positive experiences. How did I want to see the world? Did I want to see it clearly or did i want to hold on to the same negative outcomes?
I challenge you to find something that stretches you, that rips you from your comfort zones and endure and enjoy the journey.
Listen to Julia Galef's historic rendition on Motivated Beliefs. Answer the question, what do you yearn most for? To defend your own beliefs or to see the world as clearly as possible. What stimulates you toward growth? Feel free to let me know. Visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4RLfVxTGH4