You Are Who You Believe You Aresam
Re-Creating Your Self by Christopher Stone
The following ideas are the heart and soul of Re-Creating Your Self:
1. Your beliefs create your life.
2. You are who you believe you are.
3. The world is what you believe it to be.
4. In all areas of your life, your beliefs coalesce to create your personal reality.
5. You can re-create your self and change your life by changing your beliefs.
Please re-read those statements before continuing. Let the words sink in. Meditate on their meaning. Consider the implications.
As regards your mortal self, your beliefs, both conscious and subconscious, coalesce to create your life and all of its conditions. I mean for you to take this literally.
Your life is not determined by the gods, the fates, the stars, or even by a chance roll of the cosmic dice. You are not the unwitting puppet of a controlling Creator; nor are you the by-product of an accidentally created world. Your life is not irrevocably shaped by heredity, nor is you the victim of past lives – an indentured spiritual slavey making daily payments on some eternal karmic debt. You are not at the mercy of your fellow man, or even the servant of your own unconscious desires.
You are at the mercy of your beliefs about your self, others, and the world in general. That means you can be as happy, healthy and prosperous as you believe you can be. You are limited only by the limitations of your personal beliefs.
In this physical life, there is no secret of success, because success is not a secret. Instead, success is a system – a system of positive beliefs that reflect truth.
If you’re unhappy with your self, you can change your beliefs, and in so doing, change your world. Predestination is a myth. Physical life is an adventure in the use of free will and personal creativity. As I advise my students who believe in a Supreme Being, “Thank God for giving you life, but thank your self for the life you have.”
For better or worse, sooner or later, your beliefs will materialize as personal experiences. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll eventually get everything you want. Your beliefs and your desires are often two, diametrically opposed, different things. In this world, you create your experiences in line with your strongest personal beliefs, not your desires. If you desire a peaceful life, but you believe, “Conflict is inevitable!” – then you will create the conflict in which you believe, and not the peace you desire.
If life is what you make it, then your beliefs are what “make” the life you know. Placebos relieve pain if you believe in them. Voodoo is effective if you believe in “black magic;” it fails to affect you if you don’t. Or, you may be “healed” at Lourdes, if you believe it is a place of healing.
The media regularly report stories similar to one that originated out of a London hospital. A study of over 100 patients revealed that any treatment will significantly reduce back pain – as long as the patient believes s/he’s receiving a treatment that will help. In this study, even a majority of patients who received no actual treatment, but believed they had received beneficial treatment, told doctors they were feeling much better.
Once I understood that beliefs make things happen, it was easy for me to trace my own beliefs to reveal how they had coalesced to form my personal experiences, and how the beliefs of my family and friends had determined the nature of their personal realities. An example, the strongly-held philosophy of one of my good friends is, “Life is a series of ups and downs.” Consequently, he creates his life in line with that primary belief – spurts of success are inevitably followed by periods of dire hardships. On the other hand, I have a friend who doesn’t believe in the necessity of setbacks – not even temporary ones. He believes strongly that one success builds upon another, and so his personal reality reflects a continuing pyramid of progress and prosperity.
Our personal experiences most frequently seem to confirm whatever we believe to be “true” and “factual,” but it’s our beliefs that create those experiences. It’s not the other way around.
Most probably, you can trace for your self how the prevailing beliefs of your family and friends form their private reality: How about the relative who fervently believes in her own poor health and, by so doing, creates chronic illnesses? Then there’s the buddy who effortlessly climbed the ladder of success because he didn’t believe in failure. And what about the spinster aunt who desires marriage, but remains single, because she believes herself unattractive and unworthy of love?
A Re-Creating Your Self Thought: God may be changeless good, but, for we mortals, change is the primary agent of development and progress. Perhaps our ability to change successfully results from trusting one unchangeable relationship with the changeless Deity. As novelist Evelyn Waugh put it in his classic Brideshead Revisited, “Change is the only evidence we have of life.” In this world, the author’s observation rings true.
Next column: There Are No Accidents.
Have a Re-Creating Your Self comment, observation, or a question? Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2008 by Christopher Stone