Write about loss and make it the first post in a three part series.
It is unlikely that any of us escape life without undergoing some sort of changes in beliefs. Sometimes, these can be as simple as deciding our favorite ice cream is no longer pistachio, but has rather become chocolate chip cookie dough.
But there are other types of belief changes as well, and some can be quite dramatic. Accepting a belief that is crucial to how one will live their life from here out, may very well lead to the necessity of letting go of the previously held beliefs.
Just how hard it is to lose those old ideals depends very much on the person, and how much they let the things they hold to be true define their identity in relation.
Beliefs that are easy to let go of include preferences, simple facts, things that are of really no consequence to our identity. The ones that are hardest to lose our religious beliefs, indoctrinated ones, and things that have been thought to be true for a very long time.
And how can beliefs define us as people? Well how do we separate ourselves from others in order to be defined? Physical appearances, the way we speak, what we say, in how we act. And these are all influenced by the core beliefs we hold dear in our hearts.
Now, each of us also define ourselves in terms of relating to the group or groups we identify with and interact with as a whole. We may use the believes that we hold most dearly to our hearts to identify ourselves with others who feel the same, because we feel bolstered in verified by the company of others. That is, if they believe this and so do I, we must get along, and have this in common.
Sports teams and fans, LGBT groups, churches, and AA are all examples of such groups. All these create a bond that people use to identify in define themselves. The more we allow our identities to be determined this way, the harder it would be to change.
Therefore, the loss of a belief can be very life-changing depending on how intertwined we are within our belief network, or system.
Even for a healthy individual it can be hard if they do not see themselves as separate from what they believe. Because, now, to accept a new thought as true we have to part with the part of us that is measured by the belief system. Length of belief and age when it was adopted are crucial as well. To reject something that your parents have been telling you to think since you were born is a significant loss indeed.
Torn between the old and the new, our mind wants to accept what we hold to be true, but the brain, which is loath to lose the old, is going to reset over and over again to try to help us forget that which goes against our old beliefs.
A long period of intent is required to make the shift. I will discuss how and why this works in the coming two parts of this series. In the comments section, I would love to hear of your experiences with the phenomenon of loss of beliefs, as well as any examples I may have missed. I look forward to hearing from you!