The Weekly Seeker #10
*To receive this column directly in your inbox every Friday morning, join my email community.
As you walk your path of awakening, you’ll inevitably start questioning some of your deeply-held cultural assumptions and beliefs.
These are some of the learned or inherited ways in which you tend to automatically see the world.
These unconscious belief and value systems dictate how you respond to the world and how you make choices.
It’s impossible to be born and raised in a particular (human) culture without automatically absorbing many of its assumptions and ideas.
Questioning these cultural assumptions – and all of your assumptions, really – is an important part of becoming more awake.
You must investigate and uncover anything that has been running unconsciously in your life, beneath the surface… any belief, value system, or thought pattern that has been influencing your life and YOU in powerful ways, often without you noticing.
Let me illustrate with an example from my life.
I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of the dominant beliefs in my culture is life will eventually disappoint you so don’t expect too much from others.
There’s a built-in, baked-in, predominant sense of cynicism in the Argentine culture I was raised in. (Perhaps you feel this is part of your culture, too.)
This has led me to unconsciously live, as an adult, with an expectation of being disappointed – an expectation that nothing in life is ever going to fully live up to its promise.
This belief has manifested for me in unconscious patterns of self-protection; for instance, by not allowing myself to get fully excited when great things happen in my life… and even by holding people at arm’s length due to the fear that they will eventually disappoint me.
You can see how these unconscious, automatic patterns fueled by my cultural beliefs might have held me back, blocked my expansion, kept me confined in a self-protective box of cynicism and distrust. Always fearing: is this thing, person, situation, or relationship going to eventually disappoint me?
Of course, if we look at this from a higher vantage point, my Higher Self – just like your Higher Self – is not bound by or subject to these limited cultural beliefs and assumptions.
Your Higher Self is not attached to or a victim to these cultural narratives… your Higher Self exists above and beyond them.
So if you connect to your Higher Self and allow that wiser aspect of you to lead, it’s much easier to see right through any cultural beliefs and patterns that have been causing you trouble, keeping you small, or keeping you “safe.”
Take a moment to pause and reflect:
Which dominant beliefs and value systems have been unconsciously running my life?
(A common value system in western culture is based on being productive at all times and always being in motion… which are preferred over stillness, silence, and just being without having to do anything.)
Which limiting beliefs and assumptions have I internalized from my culture, and how have they harmed me?
What would my Higher Self have me believe and value instead?
Exploring these questions can illuminate the areas and behaviors in your life ruled by cultural beliefs, and can give you some space to question and release the beliefs that don’t serve you.
Keep going! Keep unlearning everything that isn’t authentically yours.