Can belief systems be passed down through generations?
Belief systems gather people around the same values, codes, judgements… They create what we call “Family loyalty”. Undetected as it is unconscious, family loyalties directly influence our choices in all areas of our life.
In a nutshell, Family Loyalty is the unconscious promise made to the clan to adopt a belief system and to live our life as per that belief. It is important to understand that those belief systems are so ingrained in us that we do not doubt them, we believe wholeheartedly that they are absolute truth, and we are not conscious of them. We tell ourselves that they are part of who we are, they are part of the clan identity.
Challenging those belief systems is considered as a blasphemy from the clan on one hand and can threaten our position in the family dynamic on the other.
We tend not to challenge them because of:
· Fear of rejection
· Fear of being judged, criticized
· Fear of being lonely
· Fear of being mocked
· Fear of feeling inadequate
In my own experience, some beliefs are easy to bring to consciousness. If you start noticing that what you think as absolute truth is not what your friends, colleagues do or experience, it may lead you to question that belief. Sometimes, watching a movie can have the same effect.
Obviously, when we talk about deeper engrained beliefs; it takes time, a willingness to observe yourself, to choose deliberately to break the cycle and to have the courage to stand up before your peers.
I have gone through that process. It was challenging because I feared being mocked and rejected by my clan but at the same time, I could not ignore anymore the fact that my belief was in total opposition to theirs. I also realised that by standing on my own two feet, I was loyal to myself, I was allowing myself to live by my own values, to be more authentic.
Throughout that process, I also understood their suffering and their motivation which helped me to be more compassionate towards them.
I will finish by mentioning that not all belief systems are to be abandoned. Some have great values and enrich our life. I believe that it is important not only to look at what needs to be improved or released but also to cherish the good that has been passed on.