We Are What We Believe

My e-mail signature line says: we are verbs, dressed as nouns. And within that sense of myself, and everyone else as more flow than fixed, I return often to my story line discovery. We are protagonists in the drama/comedy of our life. And we are, simultaneously supporting actors for everyone else we encounter….everyone, from our lovers to the kid bagging our food at the supermarket.

That kid is, without articulation of it, complicit in the complexity of this simultaneity. Our failure to recognize and value that reality allows us to diminish the value of life as it is made manifest by everything and everyone that lives.

Of course we each have a unique personality, a combination of genetics and experience that, like our physical body, gives us a certain recognizable shape. And of course that means we are different in the particulars of our lives, while similar in the general outline of birth, family, school, and friends.

Each of us is limited in what we find easy to believe or to understand. Those limitations give our belief systems their own shape and those belief systems give direction to our behavior. What we learn via our experiences is, to the extent possible, translated into whatever verbal and non-verbal languages we use.

Music, dance, and visual art are commonly understood as expressions of our experience, of “who we are”.  Gymnastics, athletics, games of all sorts are also ways we express our selves, our talents and our weaknesses. And our emotions, from the tenderness of rocking an infant to the murderous rage that fills our T.V. news are all ways we  demonstrate who we are.

But it is with our verbal language that we most often try to explain ourselves, and to question, probe, and sometimes argue into and out of understanding each other. It seems fair to say that in many ways, the words we ingest do become our flesh…from the praise of successes to the damnation of indifference we do what we do because we think it is the right thing to do at the time we do it.

About Stanley S. Smith

Psychodramatist,teacher, trainer, and life coach specializing in situational change. My professional biography is available at psychodramacertification.org
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2 Responses to We Are What We Believe

  1. Brock Hansen says:

    I love reading your stuff, Stan. But do you differentiate between what we do when we pause to think about what we believe, and what we do when we do not pause, but simply react to urgency dictated by the perception of danger. The ability to pause and access the beliefs forged in reflection give us the music and the dance and the philosophy. The tenderness evoked by rocking a baby gives us a chance to pause and reflect on the future of that baby and the world that baby will inhabit. The drumbeat of violence on the news and the movie stream keep us aroused to the imminence of danger and ready to overreact to the slightest insult or inconvenience. The cathartic value of drama is lost in the drone of excitement generated by sensationalistic news and video games. Unless we change our diet of distraction, we risk surrendering the power of self reflection to the reptilian parts of our over stimulated brains.

    • Stanley S. Smith says:

      Thanks Brock, I absolutely agree, and am heading in that direction as I continue this blog series. I find meditating helps me find more space between the stimulus and response, and provides an opportunity to begin changing the “script”. I think of that process as strengthening the “observer” role, which then allows the “role manager” to choose the best role to fit the situation. All of this moves toward learning how to think about our behavior in terms of “roles” and then taking active, choice driven responsibility for the creation and direction of the ” script” we want to live out. I am working on these themes via three blogs: todaysdrama,bloomersforboomers, and kqickstart.com. ….may be time for a chat….thanks again

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