Your Beliefs, Your Emotions, and Acceptance of Yourself and Others

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January 23, 2018

Are Your Beliefs Based on Theories or Facts?

Your Beliefs, Resulting Emotions, and Acceptance of Yourself and Others

I sometimes read things out loud to my fiancée to get his feedback when I’m writing content.

The other day I was writing the article explaining what emotions were and there I allude to this concept of past lives. Upon hearing these two words, my boyfriend stopped me mid-sentence and suggested, a bit agitated, that I erase that because I would lose half my audience. Now, what I had said in that video was not even that I believed in past lives. I had said that who we were was influenced by our environment, experiences since birth and even past life experiences, "if you are into those sorts of things." Now, my boyfriend is probably the biggest skeptic I know so, of course, he would jump quickly on anything that has not yet been proven by Western science.

Those are his beliefs and I respect them. Not only do I respect them but I am also grateful for his comment because it gave me the idea to create this article.

Today I want to talk about acceptance of ourselves and of others. Notice that I am not using the word "tolerance" here and it’s for a reason.

Tolerance means you view your beliefs or your ways as more important or valid than those of another person, yet you can still be patient with the other person and even get along. Acceptance is the same thing, but without the judgment and sometimes arrogance that's embedded in tolerance.

What I have figured out thus far is that what you believe does not matter as much as the result of that belief. Since I started this topic with the concept of "past lives," I will share a beautiful story with you:

I have a friend whose father passed away a few years ago. Her father, as she described him, was her life. And when she lost him, her entire world crumbled. She was so depressed that she even contemplated suicide. There were only two things that helped her through the painful grieving process: her baby girl and Brian Weiss’s book Many Lives, Many Masters. What helped her the most from this book was the belief that the soul never dies.

We may not know with certainty whether or not that is actually how the whole dying thing works. What we do know, however, is that choosing to believe in the possibility that it actually works that way helps the living live his or her life better.

This, by the way, is true of any other belief or sets of beliefs and ideologies. Whether you identify yourself as Catholic, or Christian, or Buddhist, or Jewish, or atheist, or agnostic...it doesn't matter. Everyone is free to believe what they wish, especially if those beliefs allow them to be and live their best selves each day.

The problems normally arise when people want to inflict their own beliefs onto other people. That's when we get misery, war, terrorism, deaths and overall chaos. What's even sadder is that a lot of the times these strong beliefs become facts or truth when in reality a lot of them are simply theories that often have neither been proven nor disproven. Which brings us to an important point: it's essential that we understand the difference between a theory and a fact.

A fact is something that no matter how you look at it, it proves true. For example: 2+2 = 4 is a fact. You and I are humans, is a fact. You and I experience emotions, that's also a fact.

A theory is an assumption that, in some cases, makes A LOT of sense. So much sense that it could perhaps be true. However, it still remains a theory until someone is able to find irrefutable proof that the theory holds true for every scenario possible.

For example, let's say you believe there is only ONE God. And someone else you know believes there are multiple. Or maybe someone else believes there aren't any. Or maybe someone believes God only loves them if they live. Or if they die. None of that can be taken as fact so how about we let people choose what they want to believe in as long as it works for them and doesn't harm others?

Remember, the dangerous side of a theory or, by extension, a strong belief, is when it makes so much sense that someone accepts it as truth and then expects everyone else to agree with him/her.

Now, I'll repeat, if a certain theory works for you because it allows you to be better, feel better, and help yourself and others, then, by all means, continue to use it! But, recognizing it is a theory, don't expect everyone else to agree or adopt it because what works for you, may not work for someone else.

Think about a theory like you think about food: let's say you like broccoli and that your friend does not like it. Are you going to stop being that person's friend because they don't eat broccoli and you do? Most likely not! Because maybe you both have a passion for pizza and great conversations that make you, that person, and the relationship you share truly unique.

The bottom line is simple: No one should be told how to live their life, what they need to believe in and who they can or cannot love. If a person is living their most authentic self without intentionally hurting someone else physically or emotionally, then they are free to believe and adopt whatever set of beliefs or theories work for them.

We do more good to those around us and the world as a whole by increasing the expectations we have for ourselves and decreasing or eliminating those we have for everyone else.

Let's recap:

  • There is a big difference between a theory and a fact.
  • A fact is true for everyone and everything.
  • A theory sounds like it can be true for everyone, but, just as likely, it may not be. It has neither been proven nor disproven.
  • It is irrational to expect other people to believe, like you, in something that has neither been proven nor disproven.
  • If you recognize you're living by a theory, then you can also recognize you need to lower or remove expectations that someone else will do the same.

This understanding, along with the understanding that our emotions are our responsibility and no one else's, has immensely transformed my life for the better. I hope it can do the same for you but, if you don't agree because it conflicts with something else that works better for you, then, by all means, keep doing that! In fact, share it with me because it may also work for me or someone else in our community.

E.I. Jane is about learning from each other and appreciating the uniqueness in each and every one of us respectfully.

Always remember: your best self is already within you and you can uncover it by knowing, loving, and being your most authentic self each day.

Are Your Beliefs Based on Theories or Facts?

Your Beliefs, Resulting Emotions, and Acceptance of Yourself and Others

The other day I was writing the article explaining what emotions were and there I allude to this concept of past lives. Upon hearing these two words, my boyfriend stopped me mid-sentence and suggested, a bit agitated, that I erase that because I would lose half my audience. Now, what I had said in that video was not even that I believed in past lives. I had said that who we were was influenced by our environment, experiences since birth and even past life experiences, "if you are into those sorts of things." Now, my boyfriend is probably the biggest skeptic I know so, of course, he would jump quickly on anything that has not yet been proven by Western science.

Those are his beliefs and I respect them. Not only do I respect them but I am also grateful for his comment because it gave me the idea to create this article.

Today I want to talk about acceptance of ourselves and of others. Notice that I am not using the word "tolerance" here and it’s for a reason.

Tolerance means you view your beliefs or your ways as more important or valid than those of another person, yet you can still be patient with the other person and even get along. Acceptance is the same thing, but without the judgment and sometimes arrogance that's embedded in tolerance.

What I have figured out thus far is that what you believe does not matter as much as the result of that belief. Since I started this topic with the concept of "past lives," I will share a beautiful story with you:

I have a friend whose father passed away a few years ago. Her father, as she described him, was her life. And when she lost him, her entire world crumbled. She was so depressed that she even contemplated suicide. There were only two things that helped her through the painful grieving process: her baby girl and Brian Weiss’s book Many Lives, Many Masters. What helped her the most from this book was the belief that the soul never dies.

We may not know with certainty whether or not that is actually how the whole dying thing works. What we do know, however, is that choosing to believe in the possibility that it actually works that way helps the living live his or her life better.

This, by the way, is true of any other belief or sets of beliefs and ideologies. Whether you identify yourself as Catholic, or Christian, or Buddhist, or Jewish, or atheist, or agnostic...it doesn't matter. Everyone is free to believe what they wish, especially if those beliefs allow them to be and live their best selves each day.

The problems normally arise when people want to inflict their own beliefs onto other people. That's when we get misery, war, terrorism, deaths and overall chaos. What's even sadder is that a lot of the times these strong beliefs become facts or truth when in reality a lot of them are simply theories that often have neither been proven nor disproven. Which brings us to an important point: it's essential that we understand the difference between a theory and a fact.

A fact is something that no matter how you look at it, it proves true. For example: 2+2 = 4 is a fact. You and I are humans, is a fact. You and I experience emotions, that's also a fact.

A theory is an assumption that, in some cases, makes A LOT of sense. So much sense that it could perhaps be true. However, it still remains a theory until someone is able to find irrefutable proof that the theory holds true for every scenario possible.

For example, let's say you believe there is only ONE God. And someone else you know believes there are multiple. Or maybe someone else believes there aren't any. Or maybe someone believes God only loves them if they live. Or if they die. None of that can be taken as fact so how about we let people choose what they want to believe in as long as it works for them and doesn't harm others?

Remember, the dangerous side of a theory or, by extension, a strong belief, is when it makes so much sense that someone accepts it as truth and then expects everyone else to agree with him/her.

Now, I'll repeat, if a certain theory works for you because it allows you to be better, feel better, and help yourself and others, then, by all means, continue to use it! But, recognizing it is a theory, don't expect everyone else to agree or adopt it because what works for you, may not work for someone else.

Think about a theory like you think about food: let's say you like broccoli and that your friend does not like it. Are you going to stop being that person's friend because they don't eat broccoli and you do? Most likely not! Because maybe you both have a passion for pizza and great conversations that make you, that person, and the relationship you share truly unique.

The bottom line is simple: No one should be told how to live their life, what they need to believe in and who they can or cannot love. If a person is living their most authentic self without intentionally hurting someone else physically or emotionally, then they are free to believe and adopt whatever set of beliefs or theories work for them.

We do more good to those around us and the world as a whole by increasing the expectations we have for ourselves and decreasing or eliminating those we have for everyone else.

Let's recap:

  • There is a big difference between a theory and a fact.
  • A fact is true for everyone and everything.
  • A theory sounds like it can be true for everyone, but, just as likely, it may not be. It has neither been proven nor disproven.
  • It is irrational to expect other people to believe, like you, in something that has neither been proven nor disproven.
  • If you recognize you're living by a theory, then you can also recognize you need to lower or remove expectations that someone else will do the same.

This understanding, along with the understanding that our emotions are our responsibility and no one else's, has immensely transformed my life for the better. I hope it can do the same for you but, if you don't agree because it conflicts with something else that works better for you, then, by all means, keep doing that! In fact, share it with me because it may also work for me or someone else in our community.

E.I. Jane is about learning from each other and appreciating the uniqueness in each and every one of us respectfully.

Always remember: your best self is already within you and you can uncover it by knowing, loving, and being your most authentic self each day.

2 Comments

  1. Massiel Martinez says:

    I think your amazing and you speak truth with respect to all. I love you!!!!! ❤️😘

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