For me, I have my own opinions and beliefs that have been derived from my own personal experience, and then there's those opinions and beliefs that have been forced on me by the world around me. Those are the very beliefs that I am working at ridding myself from now.
I see the damage that things like magazines, commercials, and television shows do to our minds and ultimately our lives. There are so many lies going on around us that we don't even realize it, and just consider these things part of life and the norm. When we walk into a grocery store, even that too, has been organized in a way to fool us, to tempt us into purchases that are truly not good for our being.
There was a time about a decade ago where I had gained some extra weight over the winter months. That spring I decided to cut out the majority of bad foods that I was eating and I remember walking into a big super market and literally holding my hand beside my face blocking out the sight of product on shelves so that I wouldn't be tempted to purchase them. I may have looked like a freak, but it worked! One gets drawn in by sights, sounds, and colours, and I don't want to be part of that brainwashing machine any longer.
It took me a really long time to realize that when my Mom shopped for groceries, usually every Thursday, that she was shopping to feed a family of four. Even tho it's just me and my hubs, I have been programmed to grocery shop in this way. This didn't happen because she told me that's how it's supposed to be done, but because of simple repeated exposure to this pattern. Ultimately it automatically became part of my routine.
When I shopped I found myself buying the same foods that she did. Things that always made me feel heavy and bloated after I ate them. When I made chilli or spaghetti sauce, it was a stock pot full, enough to feed a family. Way too much for just two people. For years I held the notion that I needed to shop once a week, just as she did, because that's just how it's done. Yet again, a perfect example of my brain working against me.
I've gone thru a couple of years of transition, realizing over time that certain foods just don't agree with my body, and I've learned to cut back on the unnecessary foods that I was purchasing. For a time I tried grocery shopping at the tiny store in town where I work. I'd run in to grab a few things for a few days worth of meals, and then pop in again a few days later. It was very convenient, but I really struggled in my mind to release the pattern of needing to drive into the big city once a week to stock up on food stuffs. I even went thru a period of time where I'd stop in at this small town grocery store, and still make the journey into the city for a few extra things. I was doing this all because my brain was programmed to believe this way to be true.
I know this grocery shopping example is so simple and many won't understand why I didn't just do whatever I wanted, that I didn't need to adopt my Mother's ways. To be honest, I agree. Why did I hold on to her way of doing things?
I continue to play over my childhood, teen years, and early adulthood. My life was great, I had caring parents who took care of my sister and I and supplied us with all that we needed. Somewhere along the line I didn't adopt the thought pattern of, (I'm not even sure how to word it), 'being my own person'? I just went thru the motions of life, being more directed by others than by myself. Wake up, go to school, come home. Wake up, go to work, come home. That was my norm.
I knew there was a world out there greater than that of my own, but I wasn't shown to be open to it. I was taught (again, not that my parents taught me this, but more of the societal norm), to live a very North American lifestyle, one that focuses heavily on consumerism, materialism, wanting more, more, and more. Spending money frivolously on products that are of no benefit to anyone. Needing umpteen shirts in your closet, a shit load of shoes, and hand bags to match. The amount of useless stuff that is forced into the minds of humans is astonishing.
I like to use crackers as a perfect example of this. The cracker selection in grocery stores is ten times bigger than it needs to be. Why are people lead to believe they need to eat these things in the first place? Why are people lead to believe that this product is food? I appreciate variety and selection, and being able to make your own choices, but at some point it just looks excessive. The amount of time, energy, and funds that it takes to make these different cracker flavours is over kill. That is time, money, and energy that could be better spent helping people in the world who are barely surviving.
Lately my thoughts are going to how it makes no fucking sense that we have billions of people in the world without food, water, and shelter, and we are focusing on stupid shit like buying the newest mascara which makes your eyelashes appear fuller. Like really!? If that's not a direct and perfect example of how we are being programmed to shift our focus off of helping each other and are instead being brainwashed to fund large corporations who do nothing to help the world and it's people, then I don't know what is.
Over time, and this year especially, I've backed away from as much advertising and media as I can. Hubs and I haven't had television for about 8 years, and it's been a great decision. We do have Netflix, but I find myself very conscious of what I watch. I no longer binge watch tv shows for hours on end and no longer enjoy giving my time and energy away to watching a movies. I've spent so much of my life doing so that I can't give up any more.
What I do enjoy is watching people, real people, and find myself watching Youtubers. I don't always agree with everything that they say, but if I'm going to give my time up to watching something, I'd rather give it to a real person who is using that platform to state their thoughts, views, and opinions, instead of to television and the media which I believe is so very controlled. I'm having a hard time listening to songs too, and much prefer playing zen/meditation type playlists of ocean waves or tibetian singing bowls.
Wow, this has been a long rant!
I guess what I'm trying to say is that right now, at this point in my journey, I really am breaking away from thought patterns that were never true for me. Gosh it's taken many years to get to this point, but I'm finally starting to feel some comfort in my own skin, in my own mind. As I allow layers of useless thought patterns to be shed, space is being created for my own thought patterns to rise to the surface. This in turn is making me feel like a whole person, one who is connecting deeply with herself for the first time in...ever.