How easy it is for you to change your opinion? It can be a very difficult thing to do if an opinion has been cultivated over time, often as a result of what other people have convinced us is the truth.
I once knew a woman who thought “The National Inquirer” was gospel. If she read something in that newspaper it was fact. It seemed ridiculous to me, even naïve. Unfortunately, that same line of thinking is seen today in what people believe after reading something on the Internet, see shared via social media or listen to news organizations more interested in a bias to their agendas or placating corporate interests than reporting the facts.
Believing what we hear from others when it supports our own beliefs is easy. I recently disagreed with a colleague of mine who had posted a comment on his Facebook page. Instead of rabidly defending his position and taking great offense to my rebuttal, do you know what he wrote back? He responded that he was hoping someone would challenge him. Why, because he enjoys conflict with others? No, because he knows that dialog further clarifies our thinking.
How refreshing! Instead of taking the path of self-righteous indignation he chose the road of broadminded inquiry. We can cherish those people in our lives with beliefs and ideologies different from ours. Those individuals allow us to more fully understand alternative viewpoints. This fosters understanding and acceptance, instead of hatred and bigotry.
To do this we must accept change in ourselves. In her recent article (“Power Lies in Self-Recognition,” printed in the June 2015 issue of “Science of Mind Magazine”), Margaret Stortz refers to thinking what we’ve always thought as “default thinking”:
“Students of spirituality regularly engage in mental spiritual practice, which is the use of intentional thinking in place of default thinking. … [W]e are for the most part spending our days responding to habitual thought patterns.”
Stortz tells us that the way to change those thought patterns is to rid ourselves of the default thinking that is perpetuating the life we have instead of using our minds to creating the life we desire. If we are to do that we must shift our mental gears, perhaps downshifting to slow down and realize what we are concentrating on. The only way to accomplish that is to consider that there is a different way of doing what we’re doing and then act on that understanding.
Are your thoughts producing what you want in your life? Or, do they reflect your fears, your doubts or your guilt? Today is the day to change your default thinking through conscious effort and have the life you desire. The question is, Will you do that for your own happiness or, if needed, seek the support you need to do so?
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,