“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler
We are born a clean slate, pure love is who we are at our core. However, we are bombarded with ideas, opinions, and other forms of conditioning, which shape our beliefs and how we see the world. These become ingrained in us, and we take them for granted. Would a fish ever question water? We forget who we are – LOVE!
We become immersed in many systems (home, school, religion, community) and accept their teachings as truth without challenge. If we are born into a religious home, we follow the principles of that religion, which becomes the basis of our lives. Our school system teaches us that to be successful, we have to study hard and do well regardless of whether the subject appeals to us or not. Our parents, through their methods of discipline and attention, teach us how to act. We try to do all the ‘right’ things. We assume roles to accommodate the people in our lives – our parents, teachers and friends all experience different versions of us.
We go to great lengths to satisfy the criteria needed to get approval. This sets us up for a life where we are constantly striving and never arriving. We tell ourselves that if we are ‘successful’, we will get the respect and admiration of the masses. However, once we achieve one level of ‘success’ and before we catch our breaths, we realize that there is yet another level to be conquered – the higher title, the boss’ job, the beach house. The cycle is endless and exhausting.
With all the conditioning and people to please, we end up covering up our true selves with insane beliefs that weigh us down. Underneath all of that stuff, we are buried – so deep that we no longer recognize ourselves. We become out of integrity. Who the heck is this person in my body? It’s time to investigate.
I think of it as a spanking new penny which gets dropped on the side of the road. After a while, it becomes hidden beneath dirt and oil, stepped on by everyone. Though it is encased in muck, it is still a shiny penny. Once all the stuff is washed off, the penny is restored to its original beauty. Similarly, to return to our true nature, love, we have to rid ourselves of the false beliefs we carry. We have to notice when we feel out of alignment, be aware of what’s going on in our heads and ask whether it is really true. We are not what we have been conditioned to believe. It is time to unlearn!