When you were a child, your parents told you any number of things. Some were extremely useful, lifelong lessons that would largely go unchanged. Say “please” and “thank you;” look both ways before you cross the street (which, ironically, I personally failed to pay attention to); brush your teeth before bed, and so on.
Other things you were told by your parents, however, were untrue all along. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and other myths to help them help you maintain discipline and/or general entertainment.
As you got older, other sources told you things. Teachers, religious leaders, friends, coworkers, bosses, doctors, and nearly everyone else you encountered. Now the onus of believing what you were told was true or not was entirely on you.
Certainly, there are things that are just not true. The Earth is round, not flat; coffee doesn’t stunt your growth; lying doesn’t make your nose grow, for example. Empirical evidence and your experiences in life help you uncover these things, and recognize what you were told may be suspect.
Yet this can still be a grey area. Why? Because reality is an illusion. Albert Einstein himself postulated that,
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
What does that mean? You have likely had an experience along the way where you were told something. Maybe it was something you were incredulous about, and it was, in your mind, up for debate. Because you did not accept what you were told as true, you did not draw that into your reality, and it didn’t fly.
What I was told versus what I accepted
Let me give you a personal example. Almost twenty years ago, now, I was hit by a car while crossing the street (hence my earlier comment about failing to pay attention to what I was told by my parents). As a result, the fibula was broken in two places and tibia shattered in my right leg, and my right clavicle was also shattered.
The doctors who treated me were absolutely outstanding. Some of the best. I am in no way discrediting them and their amazing work. But at the very beginning of my healing I was told a couple of things.
They informed me that it would take me one to three YEARS to relearn to walk. I might get back use of my right arm (the brachial plexus, the nerve bundle that controls the arm, was badly strained when my clavicle was shattered), but how much of a recovery I would make was unknown.
Would I fence again? They didn’t know if I could lift a sword again.
That is what I was told. Yes, fantastic doctors who had a lot of hope for my recovery, but uncertainty about how full it would be.
I heard it. But I refused to accept it. I determined that I would completely and fully heal. I would walk again. I would fence again. I would be whole again. And not in one to three years.
Consciousness creates reality
Yes, I pushed through all the physical and occupational therapy they offered me. I worked myself to exhaustion regularly. Despite only partial use of my arm, I was out of the wheelchair and using crutches within three or four months.
Seven months after my accident, which followed three surgeries that included placing titanium plates in my shoulder to restore my clavicle and a bone graft taken from my hip to repair my leg, I stood on my own two feet again.
Within two weeks I want from crutches to a cane. The last muscle group in my arm to recover was the bicep, which I finally got into hydrotherapy to regain its use.
Less than a year after my accident, I was walking without a limp, and had recovered almost full use of my arm. Now, almost 20 years later, despite a fused tib/fib in the right leg, I can not only walk without a limp, but run (not well nor fast, I’m short with stubby legs — like a dwarf, decent sprinter, not good on long hauls) and my right arm is mostly how it was.
If I don’t show you my scars or tell you this tale, you’d never know how injured I was. Despite what I was told, I believed, without a shadow of a doubt, that this would be my reality.
Again, not discounting the skill of the doctors, nurses, and therapists that worked with and on me — but even they were both impressed and somewhat astounded by the speed and totality of my recovery.
What I was told and what I believed were not in total opposition to one another…but I did all that I could to create the ideal reality of my desire.
What you were told may be changeable
You may not have encountered such a dramatic situation, but I would hazard a guess that at some point you were told something that you didn’t just accept at face value. Maybe you were told you could not play a certain musical instrument; or you were told you would fail at a certain project; perhaps you were told someone that you wanted to date was too good for you; and similar.
When faced with that, did you accept it? Or did you take it instead as a challenge? This is why what you were told can be something which may be untrue. Reality is yours to shape. You can choose how to approach a given situation, and you can decide what actions to take.
Your thoughts, feelings, and actions create your reality. Being mindful of this will allow you to develop the reality you most desire to experience, and live an amazing life. You are capable of choosing to believe what you were told, or disbelieve if you can see an alternative.
Just remember, this is only applicable to YOU and your personal existence. You can influence others, sure, but you can only make choices and decisions for yourself. Keep that in mind, because while you may not believe what you were told, this won’t apply to everyone.
What did you do when last you were told something you did not agree with?