“. . . let go of the knowledge and opinions that are no longer serving you well . . . “
Let’s start with three questions:
- What are some of the things you learned (often like the back of your hand) that are still present in your mind and heart but really don’t “fit” anymore?
- What are some of the opinions you inherited and imbibed from your family of origin, from the culture, and about yourself, that sit within you unchecked and undisputed?
- What are the precepts, doctrines, even rules you took in (and took on) over the years that, when you look closely, are things you don’t actually believe or follow anymore?
Until we honestly name the knowledge, opinions, and beliefs that have shaped us, we can’t hope to let them go. Four personal examples (of many) that I grew up with:
Knowledge: a clean house is imperative.
Opinion: anything less is unacceptable.
Belief: my worth is connected to, even measured by, not being messy (yes, in my home and other spaces; but more, in life).
Knowledge: vote “yes” for any and all tax increases.
Opinion: not voting “yes” for tax increases is ignorant and wrong.
Belief: intelligent people vote the same way as me.
Knowledge: thin is healthy and desirable.
Opinion: not thin is lazy and irresponsible.
Belief: my weight determines the quality of my character (and others’)
Knowledge: attending church every Sunday is the right thing to do.
Opinion: goodness is equated with discipline and devotion.
Belief: my value (and eternal security) is based on my obedience.
So, if I do not name these specific things — the knowledge, opinions, and beliefs that have shaped me — it is dangerously easy to wander through life believing that: