Altered at the Core
By Larry Chadwick
I canít speak for you, but my core beliefs are not really negotiable. However, I recall some rare exceptions. I am reminded because I have a friend who is presently confronted with just such an experience. The first occurred when I was thirty-five years old. I had lived my life in fear of confrontation. The solution to such fear was countered by my core belief that peace at any price was a Godly attribute. The burden of such a position was overwhelming. It was a constant experience of concessions and bottled frustration. Worse, it established an unhealthy marriage. When there are no boundaries the sacrifice Ė is respect. With the complete loss of respect there is no longer a basis for an intimate relationship. At work a co-hort, twenty years older than me, taught me by example over the period of years that it was not only possible to disagree and remain friends, but she taught me that it was necessary for a healthy relationship. I have been indebted to her ever since for the tranquility she brought to my life. What a dichotomy that peace sometimes comes through disagreement and not by the avoidance of it. It was not just a change in a core belief, but it changed my life.
The second core belief that I altered occurred when I was fifty-six and again I was taught by a friend. Total resistance was my immediate response when she told me that shame was the devilís substitute for guilt. For two months I ruminated over her truth. After weighing her belief for those sixty days I was persuaded by the truth to let go of shame as a sham. True guilt spurs action. I have been indebted to her ever since for the restoration of my dignity that she brought into my life. It was not just a change in a core belief, but it changed my life.
And now my friend is confronted with the long difficult task of altering her core belief that it is a Godly attribute to trust everyone. But just like no paranoia is risky to her survival, so-to is indiscriminate trust risky to her survival. It was Eve who clarified this core belief for us in the Garden of Eden when she trusted the serpent with no evidence to merit her decision. And it is true today, to trust indiscriminately untrustworthy people is to risk our survival. This too is not just a change in her core belief, but it will change her life. It may take time but our core beliefs not only define us but guide us to a better quality of life. Solid reasons to take another look at our core beliefs.
July 1, 2010
If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.
[This message has been edited by Larry C (07-03-2010 03:10 AM).]