Don’t Believe Everything You Believe


Photo©Nikki Zalewski/123rf

“Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”  ~ Edgar Allan Poe

Twin sisters Mary and Sue shared a birthday, grew up in the same household, were raised by the same parents and had no other siblings. Their mother stated that Mary was born first, and Sue popped out a minute later. Mary liked to brag that she would always be the older sister.

Like in most families, there were certain hot button issues that would flare up between her parents. Mary and Sue hated these episodes because, like a sudden clap of thunder, they signaled an alert. It always started with civil conversation, but it never ended there. And just like watching a movie with a predictable ending, the girls would witness a full-blown, no holds barred argument. Her father was quick tempered, loud and downright scary when his anger exploded. His words could be mean and hurtful. And always, in the end he not only got the last word, he would usually get his way.

Mom was a different story. Pleasant and even tempered, she never allowed her anger to erupt like their father did. She was the one who would inevitably diffuse the storm. And she repeated this reaction many times in order to achieve peace. Peace at any price, even if it meant acquiescing. She wanted to shelter her daughters from the arguing. She had an uncanny ability to cover up her anger, and act as if nothing happened. Just move on and act as if everything was fine.

Fast forward to Mary and Sue who are now married adults.

In her supervisory position, Mary expects a lot from her underlings with little if any tolerance for their mistakes. She is aware that her quick temper has earned her a reputation for going off on her employees in a sort of unpredictable way. She knows that her temper is not her best feature, as her angry outbursts can cause her to say something that she later regrets. Her husband can serve as the perfect dog to kick after she has had a particularly stressful day on the job. Although she attended an anger management class after being recommended to do so by management, she did not find it as helpful as the few glasses of wine she would have after work in order to de-stress.

Regarded at work as being the nice one, Sue’s coworkers could count on her to honor any request they made. Being well-liked by others was important. Over time, people started taking advantage of her niceness. It did not take long before she noticed the feeling of annoyance creep in, which eventually morphed into palpable resentment. But Sue decided it was safer to ignore it. She hated conflict and she certainly did not want to be the one who started it. She did not share this with her husband, so as not to burden him with her problems; instead, she would just move on and act normal. Besides, anytime she felt this slow burn of resentment, she knew that she could cool it down with ice cream.

Two sisters, same parents, same household. How could they be so different as adults? It’s the same reason why two people can watch the same movie and have totally different opinions. In the end it’s all about our interpretation — the way we see things.

As Mary watched her parents, she came to the conclusion that anger is a powerful tool. Anger can help you get your way. Anger can sharpen your edges. Mary viewed her mother as weak because she allowed herself to be treated like a doormat, and weak people don’t win.

Sue, unlike Mary, concluded that expressing anger is dangerous, mean and hurtful, and won’t win you any friends. It can make you look ugly. And who wants that? Sue admired her mother’s ability to curtail an emotional storm. Her mother had the power to restore the air of safety in the home. All she had to do was hand it over to the angry man. She could stop him on a dime. Sue believed in peace at any price, and that giving of yourself for the cause was a small price to pay.

As they traveled along their life’s journeys, each sister’s behavioral patterns continued according to her beliefs, which were derived from what she saw, and how she uniquely interpreted it. As humans, this is what we do.

“It is not that belief if blind. It is just that belief blinds people.”

Newborns swoop in with a clean slate thinking, “All that bright light and loud noise is only because I am sitting outside on the front porch of that lovely abode — the womb.” Newborns sleep a lot, probably dreaming of the comforts of the womb. However, as a few months go by, it slowly becomes evident there is no warm, wonderful womb to crawl into anymore, a realization of separation that is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.

For the first seven years of life, we live from our first chakra. This root chakra color is red, signifying our awareness that our very survival could be at stake as we look for the answers to these important questions. Who am I? Do I matter? Who makes up my tribe? What are the rules? How do I stay safe?

In those formative years, we rely on our senses to lead us to the answers that form our basic beliefs about ourselves, others and the world. By the time we are seven, we know if we are good enough. Or not. Worthy. Or not. Loved unconditionally. Or not. Because we are too young to reason, we hold these beliefs to be absolute, and rarely check them for truth and reliability. Our perceptions are formed.

And as we go forth with our lives, these primary beliefs travel with us. They can go unchecked, sometimes for a lifetime. It is one thing to find out that Santa did not exist; it is quite another to shake the belief that you are not adequate if that was instilled when you were a youngster.

The goal of savvy marketing is to convince you that you lack something, and the marketer will provide what you need. From items to ideas, from clothing to causes, from gadgets to groups, we are barraged by must-have narratives cast like bait out into a sea where we swim with the rest of the school. Be very careful not to take the bait until you figure out if this is a worm that will nourish you, or just a pretty lure designed to hook into your beliefs. Your ability to intuit and discern will be your best tools against allowing your belief system to be captured. In other words, trust your gut. Question your beliefs because they are the underpinning of everything you think, say, and do.

We are all journeyman on our own highly individualized yellow brick road. Cultivate the belief that you are a unique human creation who is meant to live here with purpose and in joy. Believe in yourself and have faith in those who are there to support you every step of the way.

Tina Marian has been a nurse since 1974, and has studied numerous techniques of energy medicine beginning in 2006. She is an expert in the art and application of EFT, provides workshops teaching EFT, and has helped hundreds of people along the way. Visit

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