Monday, November 17, 2014

What Shapes Your Beliefs?

How do you come to your beliefs...even regarding the simple things? 

A comment about apple butter started this pondering about belief.  A food blogger in the local paper wrote of making apple butter and stated if canned it shouldn't be left on the shelf longer than six months.  

Yikes, I had apple butter stored since fall of 2012.  I opened a new jar to test mine out and emptied it, not into the trash, but onto toast and oatmeal over a couple of days.  

My two year old apple butter was as good as the day I made it possibly even better.  Eating it took me back to my neighbor's orchard and the load of apples she let me pick as well as the smell that permeated the house as the apples simmered for hours on the stove top.

Realizing the writer was wrong at least about my apple butter  reminded of transplanting lenten roses last winter.  Landscape and garden blogs I perused after transplanting them suggested these January beauties are not transplantable.  

As someone who loves plants, I felt horrible.  Had we just killed the six green clusters, we moved from our country yard to the city? According to these writers, we had given them a death sentence. 

Similarly a landscaper told me recently that redbuds are extremely hard to dig up as their roots run deep. In that moment, I believed this person who was the authority with a successful landscaping business.

That evening as I told Jerry about redbuds he asked, "Did you tell her about the two large ones I dug and transplanted over a year ago?"  

How had I forgotten the two successfully growing redbuds by my driveway?  

In that brief interaction, I granted this knowledgeable, experienced person authority and simultaneously forgot we had two examples that were contrary to her opinion.  

If I had granted authority to the other writers, I would have trashed my jars of apple butter without opening them and I would have never transplanted the lenten roses. 

And I would have missed this....

Yes in less than two months of moving the lenten roses, they honored us with beautiful blossoms.  

How do you come to believe what you believe? 
To whom do you grant authority and power? 

Beliefs contribute to violence that is external and internal.  Beliefs have resulted in unfathomable numbers of deaths over the centuries due to war, conquests, torture, and punishments resulting from people believing in the powers and power structures of the time.

In Time's big picture belief has been handed down through rulers, preachers, politicians, teachers and parents - those in authority.  Now pop culture and media figures increasingly influence belief.

Personally I would be called a "flip flopper" (a term used politically when someone changes their mind) because belief for me is fluid and flexible.  It is derived from my experience, especially listening to my inner experience.  My insides most often are the source of my authority.  Experience informs me as to what I believe which is why for me belief is fluid and flexible.  

And experience is what prompts me to ultimately share this story written in a journal a month ago.  

I had decided not to share it until I had an experience

I was cleaning off a bookcase and there on a bottom shelf was the silver vase (or grail cup) a neighbor spontaneously gifted me months ago.  How had I had forgotten it? 

Inside was a cricket, a dead cricket.

I love bugs. They are often messengers to me.  I immediately looked up the meaning symbolically of crickets in "Animal Speaks." 

Cricket represents "belief.  Trust your intuition before believing others." 

I immediately remembered this story and knew I was to share it.

So cricket's appearance prompts me to invite you to consider how it is you've come to believe what you believe? Are you open or closed to the opportunity to reconsider your beliefs and their origins?

Sincerely, Dawn! The Good News Muse, 15 November 2014

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