Beliefs can be powerful. When we adopt powerful beliefs and choose to live by those beliefs we can achieve great things. However, we must always accept that there will be people who disagree with us. Failing to recognise and respect the right of others to disagree can result in arguments and unnecessary stress. Some people will always feel the need to defend their beliefs or to attack the beliefs of others. There has been a great deal of pain and suffering in the world caused by people arguing over their beliefs e.g. my God is better than your God or my politics is better than your politics. On a personal level, I have been on the receiving end of sectarian abuse. At first I became angry but then, I simply reminded myself of the following:
- As discussed previously; What you think of me is none of my business
- I must not be attached to my beliefs
- Variety and differences make the world a more beautiful place
Attachment to your beliefs can manifest itself in many forms including:
- You identify / define yourself solely by what you believe
- When others disagree with what you believe, you take it as a personal attack
- You feel the need to defend /explain your beliefs to those who do not agree with them
- You only associate with those who hold the same beliefs.
The world is full of people who believe many different things. You are unlikely to find many people who share all of the same beliefs as you. If you are attached to your beliefs you can miss the opportunity to bond with and learn from some wonderful people. Having lived in 5 different countries, I can say that one of the great experiences is discovering new cultures and belief systems.
You are entitled to believe as you wish but so too is everybody else. You do not have to respect what others believe but life is a lot less stressful if you respect their right to those beliefs.
Some of the benefits I have experienced from becoming detached from my beliefs:
- I don’t feel the need to be right. Others are welcome to their beliefs and I truly hope that they work for them.
- I don’t feel the need to defend or explain my beliefs.
- I enjoy learning about others’ beliefs and do not feel threatened by the differences.
- I experience less arguments about beliefs.
- I am not offended, upset or hurt by those who choose to attack me on the basis of my beliefs.
Being open-minded and willing to listen to accept that others believe differently helps to improve relationships; provide new experiences and reduce stress. What’s not to like about that?
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