When our core beliefs have formed, the rest of our lives merely seek to validate these
By Mo Nyamande
Every human being has the same quest and is looking for the same thing: Meaning. Meaning of our existence, where we have come from and why, why things happen; good and bad.
The answers we get or however we resolve or make sense of our experiences determine the concept of happiness/satisfaction.
That very principle of life is the same whether one is poor living under a bridge or in a mansion on a 100-acre plot. The only difference in our approaches globally is our geography and how we utilise the resources around us.
An environment with much natural material around it will often gravitate towards relational and spiritual aspects of life while those with a lot of synthetic material often focus on developing such, making them better utilised for the ease of the human experience/quest and likely to have fewer questions on the fundamentals of life due to the artificial distractions.
Either way, the principle remains the same and a balance is vital.
Existential crisis occurs in all societies, but it is the underlying belief that determines how individuals or communities can navigate around those.
The things we learn in and around our environments inform our habits and behaviours, religiously.
We can learn good and constructive inhabits as an entire community and use these to develop our environments as well as our quality of lives or we can learn bad and destructive habits that not only destroy our environments but especially our ability to develop, protect ourselves and our futures.
These become our Norms as they become normal to us as a collective. While norms inform our beliefs, the reverse is also true as per the body/mind problem.
The things that we normalise end up becoming a part of our belief system, our identity, whether in part or in its entirety.
Beliefs are essentially a collection of rules that guide our practices – our behaviours, our cultures.
These are the foundations at the very core of our existence that navigate our destinies and create our opportunities.
Our beliefs come from every aspect of life that we have been orientated/exposed to in our early childhood, what is often referred to as our core beliefs, schemas or mindsets.
These form the basis of how we see life and form an adaptable template by the time we are about six years old as we start to socialise with others in other settings outside of the home environment.
They then solidify in our early adulthood, roughly around the age of 25 when neural networks ordinarily stop developing.
They are based on what we have learnt from observation as well as been taught by those we trust to fend for us. The way we have been treated, and experienced life throughout childhood is crucial to what we become as adults.
A child who grows up with “good enough” challenging as well as supportive parents will likely become more confident and able to communicate to express their needs much better than one that was orphaned and raised in extreme (group homeless/streets) environments.
When our core beliefs have formed, the rest of our lives merely seek to validate these, regardless of what situation or environments we find ourselves in.
They rarely change unless because of other adverse life events or through deliberate investments in self-improvement through reading, psychological therapy, and/or deep introspection. Social support networks are also influential in how the core beliefs are nurtured or challenged.
The gap between our beliefs and our reality are what determine the nature and degree of our suffering – our mental health. Our beliefs are largely about our ideals but should not be too removed from our reality.
The wider this gap, the more difficult we are likely to struggle. Regardless of whatever beliefs we hold, we must always review them in a manner that helps us understand how they enlighten our livelihoods and lifestyles. Beliefs also change and affirmed naturally as time goes by with the more information and knowledge we gain.
Essentially, it doesn’t matter what we believe, for whatever we believe has power over us, in that we normalise even the most abnormal for a lack of better solutions.
Dilemma in today’s living is that we have wide diversity in our beliefs, even within Christianity itself, there are many different sects and cults, let alone other religions and traditions.
Counselling Psychology or clinical Psychotherapies are proven healthier ways to evaluate our beliefs as they simply help facilitate safe environments for us to reconcile and/or come to terms with held beliefs.
We do not necessarily have to struggle to access psychological therapies, but we all need therapy to gain an alternative perspective that enables our development. While psychotherapy is like counselling in nature, the way the two are delivered are quite different.
Counselling is supportive and about providing information to help understand the process or progression of a particular ailment.
Therapy on the other hand is challenging and about providing studied patterns (principles) and theories that help explain why or how we may have deviated, thereby help shed light on our struggles.
They also provide a deeper understanding of our thought patterns and processes, especially the unconscious ones. The better we understand, the easier to remedy.
By Psychotherapist – Mertha Mo Nyamande @InsightWellbeing Ltd #Monya-Mental February 2021. Feedback email@example.com
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