It is interesting to note that most of society is free. There is a percentage of the populous that is incarcerated for crimes against society. So too, are there people who live in political cultures that do not value the freedom of its’ people. Nevertheless, the majority of the people in the world live in relative freedom. They can choose whom they marry, what they do for a living, and where they live. Most societies allow their people to move around freely without restraint. As long as an individual is obeying the laws, that person has wide latitude in conduct.
The freedoms offered by governments are physical freedoms that all its’ law-abiding members enjoy. However, many operate in a “prison-like” atmosphere regardless of what they are given. This prison does not exist on the material plane. Rather, it is a creation of the mind. It is manufactured from an individual’s belief system. These beliefs become people’s jailers.
Most will tell you that they can think for themselves. To suggest that they are incapable of creating their own ideas is met with an overwhelming attitude to the contrary. All their success, experiences, and intelligence give a sense of independence. They mistakenly believe that their belief systems are of their own making. Unfortunately for them, it is not.
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A fundamental concept to creating the life that you desire is to create a belief system that works for you. Contrary to what most think, our beliefs systems are shaped by the influences around us. Teachers, parents, friends, co-workers, and institutions all have input into the beliefs that we live by. Have you ever noticed how children’s ideas often reflect those of their parents? This is so common that political organizations poll school children during Presidential elections because they accurately reflect the sentiment of the adults.
The governments of the world are masters at shaping the belief system of its’ people. Through the use of propaganda, public opinion is swayed based upon the desires of those in power. This is often done in the name of nationalism. A group of people is established as a threat to society. Events are shown to validate this viewpoint while creating the emotional dislike towards that group. Thus, the government is free to act as it sees fit with the full support of its people. Unfortunately, most people do not have firsthand experience to form a solid conclusion. Of course, they will defend their belief even though that is not certain where it came from.
It is common for people and organizations to manipulate others’ beliefs for the sake of control. The government is one example. Some religions throughout history have acted in a similar manner. They used the threat of an angry Deity and eternal damnation to control the masses. There were numerous instances where the Church of England was the most powerful organization in Europe. With a following that is under control, it is much easier to maintain influence. Naturally, there are many denominations where this is not the case. So, too, are there many people whose lives are enhanced by their religious affiliation. Unfortunately, this is not true in all instances.
The key to belief systems is creating one that works for you. As an adult, you have the freedom to believe anything that you desire. Spending time questioning where some of your beliefs came from is healthy. It is also effective to determine whether they still work for you. If they assist you in being happy, joyous, and free, then they are worthwhile. However, when they instill pain, perhaps it is time to rethink them.
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Ironically, the beliefs that seem to cause the most chaos in people’s lives come from those who love us the most. Many individuals suffer from psychological disorders due to the influences of their parents. Things such as low self-esteem, abandonment, and sexual issues all come from our upbringing. Typically, one who suffers from any of these was made to feel guilty and shameful. Their worth was shown to be tied to their performance which never was good enough. Mistakes were not forgiven but something to be used as a weapon to make the other feel worse. All this was done as a form of control.
Leap forward 20 years and you find that a person who grew up in this atmosphere often still carries these beliefs. Even though recent experiences will prove to the contrary, the individual still hears the words of the parent. It affects the relationships with friends, lovers, coworkers, and oneself. Without some help, the person is often incapable of healthy interaction with others. There is a degree of sickness in all that is done. Thus, the individual turns to other things to fill that void that exists whether it is drugs, alcohol, sex, or food. However, if the belief system was viewed as insane, the person might be apt to change it. Simply altering a few of the basic beliefs one holds regarding oneself miraculously changes life.
The more that we can accept that it is likely that what we believe came from others, the better our chances are of attaining freedom. There are many things that were taught to us by others growing up which serve us well. This is especially true if we were raised in a loving home. However, society being as selfish as it is, there is much that stands in our way of happiness. Analyzing our belief system gets to the root of what motivates us. A system that contains a great deal of fear will cause one to often act out of that fear. The opposite is also true. To create ‘our’ life begins with creating ‘our’ own belief system.