One of the first things I do with my coaching clients is separate out the facts from their story. We tend to think the facts of our lives are the problem. But we’re always wrong. It’s always the way we’re thinking about those facts.
When I first learned this principle and started separating out all the facts of my life from the story of my life, I realized everything I believed as far as religion goes, were just thoughts.
If it’s not a fact, it’s just a thought. Thoughts aren’t true or false. We can find evidence for both. And they are totally optional.
I had always thought of them as facts. God exists. That’s a fact. Except that it’s not. A fact is something everyone would agree with. There are many people who don’t believe God exists. And if we can’t even come to a consensus on that, everything else is, for sure, off the table.
I was very uncomfortable thinking about God this way. It felt wrong to say His existence wasn’t a fact, that it was just a thought I had chosen to believe. But I questioned all of it. Everything I had been taught my entire life. Everything I had believed was true. I took it all out of my brain and examined it.
And then I chose, intentionally, what I wanted to believe, knowing they were just thoughts I was choosing. No more facts.
Here are 3 powerful lessons I learned from doing this exercise.
- I’m more intentional about what I believe. I don’t believe just because my parents believe and taught me to believe. I don’t believe because my church leaders said it’s true. I don’t believe or not believe because of what someone else will think about me. It’s a choice. Do I want to believe this? Does believing it serve me?
- I’m more compassionate and understanding about other’s beliefs. When I think of my religious beliefs as facts, that makes me right and someone else wrong. That doesn’t usually create a solid foundation for a relationship. When I think of them as thoughts we’ve chosen, it’s not a problem. They’ve just chosen different thoughts to live their life by. Nobody needs to be right or wrong.
- I have a greater appreciation for agency. You kind of have to believe in facts. The sun is going to come up tomorrow. When you let go of something in the air, it will fall to the earth. There is no power in believing these things. When I deliberately choose something, I feel empowered. I CHOOSE to believe in God. And with that choice comes power. I thought seeing God as a fact was power, because a fact is indisputable. But I actually find more power in the choice. I still KNOW God exists (sounds like a fact) but I recognize it’s something I’ve chosen. I choose Him.
Since today is Easter Sunday, my thoughts are on Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. I wanted to share some of the thoughts I’ve chosen to believe, thoughts that make my life amazing, thoughts that give me power, thoughts that are the foundation for everything I do and everything I am, thoughts that truly serve me in every way.
God, our Heavenly Father, loves us more than we can ever comprehend. He is always there. He is always listening. He always answers. He wants what’s best for me. He guides and inspires me. He helps me every single day. I trust Him implicitly.
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. He suffered and died for all of us because of His immense love for us. If it was only me that needed saving, He still would’ve done it. He loves me that much. In Gethsemane, He felt every pain I have ever felt and will ever feel. He knows EXACTLY what I’m going through because He felt it. He understands more than any other person will ever understand. He is my brother. He Lives, and because of that we will all live again.
Death is not the end. There is a life after this that goes on for eternity. It will be a life full of joy where we can be with our families forever. When we lose our loved ones here on earth, it isn’t goodbye. It’s see ya later. We will be with them again.
This life is our boarding school. Our Heavenly Parents sent us here to live and to learn. We are here to learn how to master our physical bodies. This includes managing our minds and controlling our desires. We are here to grow and evolve.
The goal is to become the very best version of ourselves, not because there is anything wrong with us, just so we are ready for the opportunities that await when we go back home. Mistakes aren’t just ok, they are part of the plan. We are meant to keep failing our way forward.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this thing we call human life. We are each following our own path. Everyone’s path looks different because we each learn differently. We each need different experiences to learn what we need to learn to become the people we are destined to be.
There is no need for judgement. We don’t need to judge the path, judge ourselves, or judge others. Our path is perfect. And so is everyone else’s, even if we can’t see it or understand it right now. We’re all doing our best. We’re all just learning. We’re all brothers and sisters. The only thing we need is love and acceptance.