Writing 101, Day Four: The Serial Killer

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!

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2 thoughts on “Writing 101, Day Four: The Serial Killer

  1. Wonderful approach to the assignment! I almost wonder why I didn’t come up with it for this was part of my life for quite a while.

    I grew up as a protestant minister’s daughter and left church two years ago, after many years of indecision. Church and the christian beliefsystem hadn’t been a part of my life for several years back then, but it still was not an easy decision, as it was such an integral part of my childhood. It was reading Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” that made me realize that there actually was a community and a path that incorporated everything I felt so deeply within myself even as a teenager. Still, I wouldn’t really describe myself as Wiccan for I have a huge problem with the concept of religion, but a lot of the elements of that speak to me. I celebrate the rituals and do a lot of energy work and connecting with nature itself, but I don’t have a coven as such.

    It is the thought of everything being connected, of an entity that is not exterior or male or female and actually not really an entity but just “the spark of life”, the energy within and between everyone, that spoke to me. Of nature being holy and sacred. Christianity never “felt” true. The exteriority of everything that is holy is something that I never could comprehend or agree with.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing that part of your story with me. I really understand where you are coming from, as my parents pushed the Roman Catholic faith on me my whole life. I too felt like those religions push some people away and don’t incorporate the true feeling of a loving, ever present, accepting higher power. I had faith, but not the kind of indoctrinated religions.

      When I was 16, I told my parents I would rather not go to church with them because I wanted to become Buddhist, which of course is not a religion, and I was subsequently grounded.

      Because of that it took me a long time of total disbelief to get back to the point of spiritual development. I have actually begun energy work as well, Reiki healing, and channeling. These have helped my belief in one universal energy.

      Sometimes I still call it God, but I prefer the term Spirit. I have never educated myself on the practice of Wicca, although it is something I have thought about. What you have said has me more interested already.

      I too find it hard to “identify” myself with any denomination, but I do find those concepts from each belief system that speak to me like you do.

      Personally, though, my number one requirement for my higher power is one that accepts any other person and their beliefs. The thought of there ever being a Hell really irks me and it kind of hurts to know my parents believe in such a thing, because it is so meaningless and cruel.

      Thank you again, though, for your thoughts on this. It was one of the main ideas that brought me to write this article, although I don’t remember stressing these matters, so you must have just picked up my energy through that!

      I wish you the best in your continued search for meaning. 🙂

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