We take beliefs for granted. It’s easy to say that I believe this or that. Never showing proof of our beliefs makes them impenetrable to doubt. Our random encounters never give us enough time to see if what you believe is what you practice.
A big component of a belief is having not only the discipline to practice what you believe but also to keep our belief from overrunning us to an extreme.
When we tell people that we believe in eating healthy, do we resist the temptation to eat to ice cream bars at one time when we get home and are alone? If we tell people that we are of a certain religious faith, do we practice what is told to us to do in that faith on a regular basis?
Discipline in itself is a form of boundary that tries to keep the focus on doing and expressing in action or behavior what is the substance of what we believe. Discipline tries hard to keep us from deviating.
Where beliefs become dangerous is when they overrun us and we take them to an extreme. We risk becoming judgmental of others when we feel that our belief is the only one that is possible in the world. When we become extreme we lose perspective and become lazy in not trying to understand the context around what we see.
Without any discipline, beliefs taken to the extreme violate our right to be an individual in your presence. Where instead of accepting someone for who they are, we look at them through the lens of our belief to see how they measure up against our belief.
Beliefs are very important, as they are like a rudder to a ship, that keeps us fundamentally whole as we navigate the waves of our life. They give our lives a north star around which to build our uniqueness.
Just remember to be disciplined enough to practice faithfully what you deeply believe, without fanfare, and with an understanding that others may not share your belief to the degree that you do.
That’s ok if they don’t. Give them their space to share with you what is different about their beliefs and look to see the beauty in the life they have painted for themselves around them. Life can become fascinating when we step back and see what is around us.