Tuesday, January 28, 2014


One of the most gratifying moments in the life of a parent—or proud aunt—is hearing a child read for the first time. Learning to read will remain with that child for life and open a world previously inaccessible. There are other lessons we learn that impact the way we view the world and ourselves. Like reading, these lessons can shape the way we experience life. While they can be as influential as learning to read, not all lessons are positive or true. For that reason, some of the most important lessons are the ones we unlearn.

I spent a significant part of my adolescence in church. There were morning services, afternoon services, Bible studies, rehearsals, special events, and social gatherings. I credit my church upbringing with giving me a sense of community, teaching me to trust and have faith, and introducing me to values. However, according to those same teachings, what I heard every Sunday was the only truth, judgment was justified when it was collective, and pursuing an afterlife was more important than living this one. As I traveled the world and heard the teachings of global spiritual leaders, my mind shifted. I realized that I wanted a life more than a lifestyle. It led me on a journey that expanded my idea of community and taught me that my values weren’t attached to words on a page. I recognized that the teachings I heard did not hold the only truths in this world. I rejected the notion that I could judge others, or stand by and condone judgment by my presence. I grew the moment I unlearned what was detrimental to me becoming authentic, free, and whole.

You may have been taught that diversity should be feared or regarded as less. Unlearn it. You may have learned that asking questions is a sign of distrust or disrespect. Unlearn it. Maybe you were told that you weren’t enough. Unlearn it. Perhaps you were taught that no one with your last name, skin tone, or from your neighborhood could do what you dream. Unlearn it. It’s possible that experiences taught you that you weren’t powerful, had no worth, or that you deserved every negative encounter that entered your life. Unlearn it. You are indeed powerful. You do have worth. You deserve peace, joy, and love. Whatever you’ve been taught that has been weighing you down, holding you back, and stifling your life, set it free.

No comments:

Post a Comment