At the genesis of all human actions, reactions, behavior and responses lie a fixed belief system. Beliefs have power to make one or to break them. What propels us forward in life, or holds us back are our held beliefs. At the heart of everything we do, or fail to do lies either an empowering belief system or a defeating belief system. Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Be careful of what you believe, because it becomes your lived reality.
Beliefs can empower us or cage us forever. There was an elephant at a circus that was chained to a pole as an infant. He tried to break away, but was not strong enough to. Over time, he became monstrous. One day, the circus accidentally went on fire, and the elephant died. He was enormous, and could have easily ripped the pole out of the ground to run away to safety, but there was a self-limiting belief in his mind that told him he would not be able to do it, and so he did not even try.
What you believe shapes who you are as a person, what things come into and out of your life, and affects your overall quality of life. What you observe in the external is sometimes a direct product of the internal belief system. Of course, there are certain occurrences that we have no control over; but there are some manifestations that we architect through our ascribed belief systems.
For instance, if one has trained themselves to believe life is difficult, people will always disappoint you, you have to work very hard to get anywhere in life, being rich is evil- one creates the energy internally that manufactures their outward reality. In this sense therefore, belief is the cause and the manifestation and materialization of the outward reality is the effect. What we believe inwardly reflects outwardly.
A held belief system never leaves one unaffected and untainted. I believe a litmus test of what we truly believe is the way we lead our lives. For instance, one cannot claim to believe in a loving, peaceful, caring, abundant and forgiving God, and yet reflect a life that is stagnant, regressive, negative, fearful, restless, lacking and full of strife and hatred.
Sometimes one has to take a deep look inward to see what beliefs truly drive their lives. To see which God one truly ‘worships’. There comes times when one has to unreservedly and honestly look at how one lives their life and juxtapose that with what they believe. How we see God, and who we have believed him to be determines our relation to him- either one of enslavement or one of freedom.
There tends to be apparent gaps between what one says they believe, and what they truly believe. For an example if one believes God is with them at all times, and always looks after them, they cannot lead a life full of constant worry, anxiety, panic, and fear. One thing has to be true and the other false. Either one does not really believe in this ‘present, protecting, providing’ God, or this God is not really what he claims to be. It is sometimes possible to claim to believe something, whilst in utter reality one actually believes something else. To judge what one truly believes, examine their very lived life.
Any thought that does not reflect what is (reality) leads to fragmentation and that leads to conflict. Conflict leads to suffering. To believe in something, and not to live it, is utmost dishonesty. For example, let’s say I feel hatred and I want to get rid of it. Getting rid of the hatred is a good thing. But the reality is that the attempt to get rid of the hatred is the source of my suffering- I have fragmented myself. On the other hand let’s say I recognize that I am the hatred (because the observer and the observed are the same thing. Then the conflict ends. The suffering is over.
One cannot experience that which they are internally not. And so to hate, one has to become the hatred. One is hate. Anything you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you. You have to be it first for you to experience it. The problem therefore does not become the hatred but you. Once I have conquered self-hatred, I would have exterminated the hatred I feel for another.
So I should first rather recognise that I am the hatred and then having accepted that reality, hatred will begin to wash through me and pass with less resistance. There is a general principle in life and that is, anything we fight we strengthen and everything we resist persists. So this means as soon as there is any energy of non-acceptance, the thought that something should be changed, we slip into resistance and turn our energy in on ourself – in conflict with ourselves. As soon as we bring in energies of acceptance, allowing, surrender, trust – somehow transformation takes place naturally.
The same is true of wanting but not having. A conflict occurs in the inside which prevents what one wants to manifest in the physical. First of all the fact that you want something implies lack. By wanting a thing means that you don’t have it. That wanting creates a specific emotion within you which emanates energy or a vibration of “I don’t have.” And so inwardly you have convinced yourself and made yourself to believe “I want it” or “I don’t have”. As a result your reality becomes “want” or “not having” because that is precisely what you are broadcasting and “asking” for.
So how can you want it and not have it? When you want something you enter a state of conflict instead of a state of harmony. Wanting creates strife, unhappiness, a state of discontentment, struggle and disappointment. What you want to do is not to want but to have. The first instance is not to believe that you want it, because that implies you are insufficient and lacking. But to believe that you have it. You thus first own it in the spiritual become it manifests in the physical. You recognise that you had it in you even before you thought you wanted it. When you know you have something, the external wanting disappears because we already have it on the inside. Once you have developed the inner knowing it won’t be long until you’re experiencing it in the physical outside.
Jesus says, “Whatsoever things ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.” He doesn’t say believe that you will have it, or hope that you shall have it, or pray that it shall come to pass. But he says believe it now, in the present; even in its physical absence and the consequence of that is that you shall have it in the physical.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in his entire splendor was dressed like one of these.” If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Based on the above wisdom, why do you suppose that the flowers and the birds are provided for with no effort on their part? Because they don’t have previously established traditional false beliefs that create fear which blocks what has been provided to them as their birth right. They don’t fear or worry that they will go hungry or without clothing. They haven’t been taught that they must work long and hard at jobs that are displeasing to have their needs met. They receive effortlessly and continually year after year because they have no concept of non-belief.
Belief is restrainful; It creates boundaries. It establishes boulders where there were previously none. Your beliefs become your life, your reality, the energy that moves you and sometimes stagnates you. So choose carefully which beliefs you ascribe to. For instance some believe life is meant to be hard, you cannot find a job without a degree, being broke runs in the family, money is hard to come by, its spiritual to be poor, the lesser you have the more closer to God you are, money is evil; these self-limiting beliefs then become their reality.
Your beliefs become your God. So before you proceed to claim belief in God- which God do you believe in? Which God do you truly worship? When belief in a specific God is truly consolidated, then one claims a state of oneness with the proposed divinity. It is in this oneness that peace, wholeness and harmony becomes a natural reality.
Chris Mhlongo, A Short Extract, As presented at Khayelitsha Church, Cape Town (2014)