Beliefs can seem so safe,
until they limit us right into nowhere.
Merino wool roving, Corridale wool roving,
wet felted, immersion dyed, needle felted, blocked.
Photograph by Douglas Foulke
It's amazing how powerful beliefs can be. We come into the world without a single belief and from our very first day on this side of the womb, we begin to organize our own personal structure of beliefs. One by one we gather them up, stacking, sorting and assimilating them into what becomes a sort of shelter by which we assess how to move in the world. Our beliefs become the walls which we live within, guided by what we think (or need) to be true.
Of course, some beliefs are born out of necessity. Beliefs tied to physical well-being for example. But it's not long before we move beyond building those basic survival beliefs and shift into collecting beliefs that might not be in our own best interest. Beliefs based on another's opinion of us, opinions that seep into our being and become our own without our even realizing it. Beliefs about what we choose to do or pursue. Beliefs about how far we can reach and what success could be ours. Beliefs that reinforce the perspective that you are okay right where you are and there's no need to try and become anything more. And while these beliefs seem to fit right in between our necessary beliefs, as if mortar between bricks, there comes a point where those beliefs no longer fit and in fact, have limited us into shortening our reach, being less and feeling comfortable with staying put.
Probably one of the scariest points to come to in one's life is to realize the very shelter we've created to survive and navigate the world is also the very thing that inhibits our growth and blocks our path. The understanding that we've created a shelter that's so easy to retreat to day after day and yet, nearly impossible to get out of, or so it would seem. The realization that some tearing down and rebuilding is the only way we'll truly be able to see ourselves again, for the light to shine on the truth of who we are, and get us to where we were meant to be right along. For some this might mean taking a sledgehammer, knocking apart every brick of limiting beliefs and standing a bit raw and naked in the world for a while until we find our way. For others it might mean taking out one limiting belief at a time and replacing it with a healthier, more balanced perspective. And for others, doing something that falls somewhere in between.
Perhaps how we get out of that shelter isn't important, but what is more important, is that we do. Some will choose never to look up and out of their shelter of limiting beliefs, never dare to seek the truth and instead will choose to remain boxed in right where they are. But the same source that gave us "Seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you" also provided "the truth shall set you free." So perhaps the starting point to changing those beliefs that limit us into nowhere, that prevent freedom from our self-imposed shelter, is simply a willingness to first look up, out and beyond them, and embrace the truth of what we find.