Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Letting go

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting." -Buddha

In the last few years, I've grown a lot in my thinking and philosophy of life. Of course we all grow and change and this must be good for us. Just like how water gets stagnant if it has no flow, it seems to be the same way with people. A body of water must have new water flowing into it and a place for water to flow out otherwise it will get stagnant and start to stink. People also seem to do better when they have constant inflow of new information so they don't get stuck, bitter and lose the zest for life that they once had when they were younger. People who, in the past, have adopted a view that they have everything all figured out and decided down to a perfect personal philosophy of life seem to lose the ability to see the wonder of the small things presented to them today and learn the lessons contained.

Maybe their philosophy has come from a book like the bible or other religious books and they have chosen to put their faith in a specific doctrine contained or one that has been sold to them by some so called religious authority. This may make one a bit black in white in their thinking and I've come to realize that so much of life is not black and white but instead, many shades of grey. People can get stuck and stagnant in their thinking and beliefs and just like the pond, be unable to embrace the inflow of new life that is trying to flow into them. It seems that many of the rules and beliefs we adopt for ourselves earlier in life can use some ratification, amendments or even sometimes be discarded all together. You have to let go of the old to be able to receive the new. It takes faith to be open to the new, especially when one has been conditioned by others to think and believe a certain way. Maybe even fear was used as a motivator to keep us stuck such as "do this or that and or you will be punished by God" This can make one fearful, always wondering if they are good enough or have done enough good deeds to cover the bad ones. That's no way to live.

It also takes courage to choose to think for yourself and decide for yourself what you believe and what is right for you. It takes faith and courage to come out from the flock, quit being a mindless follower dismissing your rational mind and choose your own path. You might have adopted the philosophy "if it aint broke, don't fix it." That's fine if your beliefs are working for you, but the question I have to ask is "Is what you believe really jiving with reality?" If not then you are probably dealing with some internal conflict as you realize like I did, that reality is not exactly like they told you it was. Not exactly like the message they preached to you. You can choose to hold tightly to those aging beliefs though they are proven "not valid" or you can let go of them and grow. I hope you have the courage to let go of the old beliefs and welcome the new. Even if if it is uncomfortable at first, you will still be embracing more of the truth and this is a good thing. It's a good thing because now you can see the picture more clearly, no longer through the clouded glasses of your old beliefs that distorted your view or reality. You can now make better choices accordingly which will lead to a better life. Holding on to old beliefs although they may bring comfort, comes with a price. Ignorance of the truth may be bliss for a while, but in the end it's rather costly. The price of holding on to anything other than the truth is choosing to live in a fantasy.

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