My denomination of origin was composed of people that never liked to change their minds. Most of the adults throughout my childhood were the same way. They would say, “I’ve made up my mind and you’re not going to change it.” That is how we were with everything: religion, politics, work and even home life.
There’s a certain benefit to determination. When we decide to do something, it is good to move forward and work through obstacles to reach a goal. Phrases we used to use were: “don’t get baked in a squat” or “don’t have paralysis of analysis.” It helped us move out of the evaluation stage and get the work done.
But while we need to make progress, It’s important to reconsider occasionally whether or not we are doing things efficiently and with the best information. Many of the beliefs that I inherited and the practices I set in motion in my 20s, turned out to be beliefs I no longer peofess and practices that no longer work.
I now consider people to be foolish, or at least ignorant, if they are “religiously” attached to their beliefs and practices. We’ve learned so much in the last 100 years about everything. It seems almost impossible to implement everything we are learning, but it’s necessary to move in that direction.
Today, if someone tells me that they’ve made up their mind and I’m not going to change it, I look at them like they are a caveman. Uncertainty about our beliefs and practices and understandings, may be one of the keys to wisdom in the 21st century.
A Benedictine sister once encouraged me with the phrase “None of us is right.” If we really understood this, we would ask more questions instead of making absolute statements. We would say “I’m not sure,” instead of “I know for sure.”
It’s hard for me to believe that people actually grow in religion, when religion promotes “like-mindedness.”
We can’t grow without changing
We can’t become wiser without learning
We can’t discover without exploring
Every day, I ask myself whether I’m doing the right things and I look for new understanding that I can investigate. Some of this happens through my writing when I sort out my beliefs and understandings and practices in real time.
But nothing happens when I’m full of certainty. When a person is in that posture, all they can do is close their mind and defend the current positions.
I don’t respect the pastors anymore that pound the pulpit and say, “I’m sure of this and you better be too.” I respect the ones that keep changing and learning and healing and growing and processing the information. There’s a lot of them here in the desert so I won’t mention some and leave others out.
One of the things I know most of them have in common is that they’ve learned to go inside and trust themselves. Their inner knowing and intuition guides them much more often than are they driven by defending the creeds and belief systems of the past. I trust these kind of people and I distrust the other.
About once a week, we go to the wildlife refuge that is near our house. It is mainly designed as a flyway stop for migrating birds. The trap we fall into there is that we are always looking for what we saw the last time we were there. I suppose it gives us comfort in some way to predict what we will see. But, the best times are the times when we are open and not sure what we will see.
We noticed more and we have more fun
Trying to prove what we saw last time only causes us to miss new discoveries.
I’m sure you’re going to effectively plug this idea into your life just like we did. I know that you understand that we are programmed and conditioned to think the other way. But, it changes everything when we start asking questions and opening our eyes and softening our hearts.
Less certain, more at peace.
Be where you are,
Be who you are,
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/…/mad-formal-executive-man…/