When you come into this world as a baby, you are a completely blank slate. But are you really? What will you believe?
Those people around you, as well as the society you are raised in, share many things with you. They tell you, directly or not, how to fit in with them in order to survive. And because you instinctively know you need to survive, you do what you need to do. You follow what they do, and you believe what they say. But are there deeper truths buried within you even then? What will you believe?
They tell you that you are good when you do some things and bad when you do others. They tell you that some of your feelings are okay to feel and show and others are not. But now you are an adult. What will you believe?
They show you that everyone does these things in this family, around here in this town, in this country, in this organization, because that’s the way it’s always been. It's a family, community, national, or group tradition. You don't want to feel left out, so you join them in whatever they are doing. But now you are grown up and can make different decisions. Does it feel right to you? Does it really feel right to do what they do and to say what they say? To think how they think and to live how they live? What will you believe?
They tell you or show you that girls and women do this, and boys and men do that. They also tell you or show you that girls and women don’t do this, and boys and men don’t do that. But now you’ve grown up. Do you think that there’s more to it than that? What will you believe?
They tell you or show you that some people get treated differently in society than other people. As an adult, you may have even found this to be true for yourself. But does it really feel right to you when this happens? What will you believe?
They show you what they eat, and you eat it. You may even learn to like it, because it reminds you of them. But now you’re an adult. You can choose to eat whatever feels best for you. You can choose food that makes you feel good in every sense of the word—food that gives you energy and helps you feel alive! What food will you choose? What will you believe?
They show you who they listen to, who they turn to for advice, news, and guidance. They tell you who and what is right, and who and what is wrong. But now you’re an adult. You can decide for yourself who and what is right and wrong. You can even decide if right and wrong are completely subjective realities! So what will you believe?
They show you a lot of what they think and how they feel, every day, by how they act. When you are little, you don’t know this directly, but you do know it indirectly. Sometimes you pick up on how they act and you do those things so you can be like them. You don’t know if it’s good for you, but you trust it is. Because you trust them.
But now, you are an adult. You can see them as just as human as you. You can see that they are also doing the best they can with what they know. You can see that sometimes, just like you, they react to things in ways that aren’t the healthiest. And you can still, always, love them, and you can find deep compassion for them and still choose differently. So what will you believe?
They tell you who they want you to be when you grow up. Sure, they do ask you. But they tell you, too. Because if you grow up and it turns out you don’t want to be like them, or if you want to do better than them, or if they think you are doing better or are happier than them, they get upset. They don’t understand you. They may even secretly be jealous of you. It’s true! But all you really want is to find your own path and be true to yourself, whether that means fitting in with them or not. It’s hard not to fit in with them, but it’s even harder to betray yourself and your deepest truths. So what will you believe?
If you try to do something different, to think something different, to ask them questions, they become afraid. They don’t want to lose you. And maybe they’re afraid of doing something different, thinking something different, or asking questions. So they try to do what they can to shame you, to convince you otherwise, to make you feel guilty and wrong for trying to do what feels right to you. Because they're uncomfortable, and they fear that if you become different from them, you can't love them anymore.
You know deep down in your heart that even though it hurts, you can always love them, no matter what they say or do. If they won’t open to you and your big questions, you can even distance yourself from them and choose your own heart, and you can know that you will always still love them deep down, even if they have tried, intentionally or not, to hurt you out of fear. So what will you believe?
If you do something different around the other kids, and another hurting child sees you, they may single you out and make fun of you. It hurts not to feel included. Maybe you learned to stop doing things that were different. But now you’re an adult. Who are you, really? What brings you alive? What are your dreams? What will you believe now?
When you get older, you have life experiences that are at times brutal. You make mistakes. You learn the hard way. You move in different directions. You experiences loss. You may even lose some of them. And sometimes, when you are really down, it’s so easy to go back to all those ways that they taught you so long ago. To go back to all those things that they did and that your society does, and to do them anyway because you want to fit in. You want to feel included and not alone.
But even if you don’t fit in directly with society or with them, you are never truly alone. You always have yourself. And you are still an adult. No matter what they have told you, and no matter what in life has brought you down, you are still, still full of amazing potential, with the ability to change your mind and move in any direction you want to.
It’s harder to believe that when you’ve been knocked down. But it’s at those times when you can drop down into that deepest part of your heart and know that it’s really true. You will always have yourself, no matter who or what else comes and goes. You are your constant. So what will you believe?
They tell you that once your age matches certain numbers, or once certain things happen in life, you will be “old.” They make it sound like whatever those things are, or whatever those numbers happen to be, that once you get “old,” life is pretty awful after that. They make it sound awful to even think about living out any more of life than you already have. They make it sound like you will have nothing to look forward to someday because the best parts of your life are over, they say.
But what if you want to live out your full life? And what if you want to be happy during your full life, no matter how long that may be, and no matter what they tell you? What if they tell you those things because it’s really they who have given up hope for themselves and want to make sure you join them for the ride? What if they want to make sure everyone they know joins them for that ride of hopelessness and downhill-ness, so that they couldn’t dare to think that they could feel anything else?
What if they’re just terrified because they don’t know what to do next in their life? What if they just haven’t stopped to consider that they are so much more, even than everything they have ever been to this point?
They tell you those things about getting “old,” and often times, those things really do happen to them, sometimes, it seems, almost more and more as they expect them to.
But what kind of life do you want? What will you believe?
Deep down, your heart knows the greatest, amazing truths about who you really are, and all of who you can really be. Deep down, your heart knows that it is meant to live a full life, whatever that means to you, for as long as you exist on this planet. But society doesn’t teach listening to our hearts very well.
To be honest, maybe they didn’t teach you that either. Maybe they never learned it themselves. But your heart is still there, calling to you, however faintly or clearly you may detect it. What does your heart have to share with you? What will you believe?
Your heart knows your greatness. Your heart also knows that your greatness is inherent. It’s always been there, just waiting for you to wake up to it.
Your heart also knows that society is scared of real greatness. Your heart knows that they may be scared of real greatness too. That’s why they may say harsh things to you as you discover and believe in your greatness. It’s because they know theirs too, deep down, and they’re simply scared. Society over many generations has taught them to be.
Even so, your heart knows your greatness. So what will you believe?
Your heart knows your deepest truths, your fullest potential, and your biggest and smallest dreams. What will you believe?
Your heart still loves you, after all you’ve been through, after all they’ve said and done, after all society says and does. Your heart can never stop loving you—it’s your heart. You may stop believing in it at times. We all do. But it will never give up on you. So what will you believe?
And then, dear heart, what will you become?
Wondering what else you may believe that you may not even realize you do? ;) Check out my first book here. I wrote it just for you. :)
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No matter what, always remember this: You are deserving, you are worthy, and you are good enough. Keep being you, keep shining, and keep growing!
With great love,