What Are Beliefs and What is Reality?

The question “What Are Beliefs?” was posed to me recently and I had an immediate answer and then I went deeper into my heart to listen for an answer. So, I decided to share my immediate answer and then to take you on the journey of the deeper thoughts that came to me. Most importantly though is that I would love your comments and feedback. I believe that this conversation could be the catalyst for amazing change in our world.

My immediate answer to “What Are Beliefs”, was quite simple. Beliefs are the the thoughts that run our lives everyday on autopilot that are stored in the subconscious mind.

After meditating and pondering this to go much deeper here is what I was guided to share with you. Beliefs are those things we have been taught through a process that could be called brainwashing that are so embedded in us that we don’t question them and we act upon them as though they are true without thinking twice about it. As I pondered this question more, spirit reminded me that beliefs are also those things that we have as a human race agreed upon. For example, I think we can agree that we all have learned mathematics and that 2+2 = 4, in fact I doubt that there would be more than a few people on the planet who would disagree. In the case of mathematics people have been using some form of mathematics for over 4000 years.

Language and the alphabet have also become a standard way of communicating and although we don’t have a single language, I think we can all agree that the definitions of the words we speak, in whatever language we use, is something that we have agreed upon and made into a belief.

As I pondered this more, what I heard was that there are very few beliefs that we have that we can all agree on across the board. Here is the list I came up with and I’m sure there are others.

  1. Human beings as well as all of nature, requires air to breathe in order to stay alive
  2. Human beings, as well as all of nature, requires food of some sort to nourish and fuel their body (or physical form) in order to stay alive
  3. Human beings, as well as all of nature, requires water to hydrate the body or physical form in order to stay alive.
  4. Human beings, as well as all of nature, requires sunlight
  5. We also require some way to stay warm in the winter (so we don’t freeze to death) and cooler in the summer do we don’t die from heat exhaustion.

The fact is that beliefs are things that we are taught based on the societal beliefs that those bringing us up were taught and so on. They are also our perceptions. Let me give you an example.

WinterHere in the US on February 2nd Punxsutawney Phil, a ground hog, comes out at sunrise to predict whether we will have 6 more weeks of winter or if spring will arrive early. This year Phil saw his shadow which means 6 more weeks of winter. And, so several of my friends and family living in Michigan, Massachusetts and New York are telling me all about the weather. Here’s what it looks like for them.


Daffodil Flowers

Yet, I am living in North Carolina and here’s what I am looking at directly out in front of the house. So, which is it… Is it winter or is it spring. Most beliefs are just like this, they are what you think they are and what you perceive. They are also what we call reality, but again is it really still winter in the Northern Hemisphere, that depends on where you are located for some of us, and for others it’s all based on a calendar and winter ends on March 21st.

What is reality? In my opinion reality is whatever you perceive it to be and nothing more.

Most of us will argue for what we believe to be the truth, but if asked where we got the belief from, rarely do we have any idea.

Here’s another example that I heard a while back that gets the point across. A woman cuts the ends off of her rolled roast of beef before putting it into the pan to cook it. When asked why she does that, she says… “It’s what my mother always did”. When she asked her mother why she cut the ends off the roast before cooking she responded “It’s what my mother always did”. Then checking in with grandma and asking the same question, her response is…”To fit the roast into the pan because the pan wasn’t big enough”.

We live our lives without questioning the things we do or the beliefs we have, but the real truth is that by doing so we create our reality based on those beliefs. If we were to examine every belief we have, especially those that are keeping us stuck or limiting us in some way, my guess is that most of us would very quickly recognize that we don’t even know where the belief came from, much less why we have it.

It is my belief that if we all looked at our beliefs, especially those that are limiting us and started changing them that we would start to create a better life for ourselves, and a better world for everyone.


What if we took the story about the pot roast and applied it to the beliefs we have about other people, from different religions, or different races? Are those beliefs real or are they what someone told us. Imagine what a beautiful world we would live in, if we took time to get to know that other person instead of making a judgment about them because of what we believe or what we have been told, or even because one person of that race or religion did something wrong. Imagine how peaceful our world would be if we shed all of those beliefs and instead found love in our hearts for every other being on the planet.

What if we questioned the diagnosis by a physician and instead challenged it and made up our minds that they are wrong and that we will not die, or be in pain (whatever the prediction was), and we actually found that we didn’t die or we no longer had the pain they said would never go away. Well, I have challenged doctors for years and gotten rid of pain that they predicted I would have for the rest of my life and got off of medication that they said I would have to take for the rest of my life.

Anything is possible, if you allow yourself to look at every belief that you have and ask, where did that come from? Is that really true? What if we all questioned the words in our religious texts, such as the bible, with the question who said this is how it is, remember the writer of those documents was no different or better than any of us, they just lived at a different time. Don’t just ask these questions on a conscious level but sit with it in meditation, go inside yourself, with an open heart when you ask. Open to the divine to get your answers, instead of the word or someone else.

I’d love to know your definition of what is a belief and what is reality.


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