Beliefs: they are not true or false, just beneficial or detrimental.
In speaking with lots of kids, one of the things I've noticed is that once you hear their story, your whole image of them can change in an instant. Even the most disrespectful and difficult teen can tug at your heart strings when you hear what their home life is like.
Another example of this happened while a friend took me with him to see a coworker. We pulled up to his coworker's house, and he and his two kids were on the porch.
As we walked up, I noticed that the two boys were acting very quarrelsome and unruly. I remember thinking, "what belligerent children!", and "this father needs to get control of his kids". Lots of negative thoughts. Then the father said to me, "Please excuse my boys, we just came from the hospital. Their mother is dying of cancer." In an instant, all those thoughts I had completely flipped to thoughts of compassion. It really made me realize how easily our perspectives can change.
If we notice how our beliefs and perspectives change throughout our life, we will recognize that the impermanence there is something we can work with. It's not easy, but if we can catch our negative thoughts and ask ourselves, "is that really true?", we may be able to replace those negative thoughts with healthy ones.
For example, if a friend is curt with me, thoughts might run through my mind like: she doesn't like me, she's so rude to me, she's not really a friend, etc...
These thoughts will bring up feelings of anger, sadness, and hurt. If we stop for a minute and ask ourselves if these thoughts are really true, we may see that we don't know the reason for someone else's behavior. Then our feelings will most likely change to compassion and understanding.
If we can change our thoughts, we can change our feelings.
I love this quote from Elizabeth Gilbert:
“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert
I write about human behavior, meditation, body awareness, and a variety of other things that pique my interest.