Your ideals, values, and belief system have all been shaped and influenced by your background.
Your thoughts are influenced mostly by what others taught you about where you come from, the color of your skin, your religion, the political views of the majority, what your ancestors believed in, etc.
It was important to teach you what to be, what to think, and what to believe in.
It was especially important to teach you that those ideas are the only ones to follow, the only ones that are correct, and the ones that will bring you safety and happiness. Most of you were not allowed to think outside those ideals and if you did, most likely, you were regarded as a rebel, ungrateful, or an unworthy member of the group.
Your parents or guardians likely had the best of intentions to help you grow into a happy, healthy individual that fits in the culture around. To help attain that, they may have taught or tried to teach you ideas that may be discriminatory, stereotypical, and wrong about people that do not belong in your cultural, social, or racial group.
The intention was to teach you to be the best person you can become, but instead (and most likely unconsciously) they may have helped you harbor feelings associated with a narrow mindset that does not respect the divinity in yourself and others.
Instead of nurturing feelings of disrespect or self-centeredness that may limit your potential for growth, be open to the idea that you are part of the world, and the world and all of its components are part of you, both good and bad.
It is then up to you to have an open mind about people, ideas, and everything else you encounter. An open mind will allow you to learn…
When you learn, you understand, and when you understand, you learn to love.
This is the only way you can objectively give and receive. When you have an open mind, you can see the beauty and love that the universe has to offer, and you can get so much more from it.
If you see in others love, kindness, compassion, and understanding, you will receive exactly that.
Some of the principles to help you have or maintain an open mind include:
- Allow your mind to make positive choices.
- Become conscious of and admit any fears or wrongdoings and make an effort to rectify them as soon as possible.
- Remember that opening your heart and mind heals because it is a natural function of your body to rid itself of anything that hurts or sickens it.
- Talk to someone, write, or express your fears, doubts, and mistakes to create a sense of release that will bring positive energies to your life.
- Remember that you are one with the universe and all its members. Use the positive energies that the universe has to offer to your advantage by offering and giving some of the good in you.
- There is no one superior or inferior to you. Support this thought with knowledge. If, for example, you dislike a religious or social group or disagree with someone because of his/her views and preferences, offer to learn about it before engaging in fruitless discussions and pre-judgments that will enrage you and prevent you from reaching a peaceful state.
- Keep track of judgments, negative influences, and actions. Continue raising your awareness of what limits your thoughts and feelings so that you can easily change them as soon as they arise.
- When you find yourself in stressful situations that may anger you and bring to light discriminatory practices, remember that even if you don’t agree with something it does not make it wrong. Similarly, the fact that you agree with something does not necessarily make it right.
- Be an instrument of peace. As Saint Francis of Assisi said in his now famous prayer, allow the divine energy to make you the means by which the world around you (including yourself) finds understanding, pardon, hope, faith, light, and joy.
- What you think and what you do affects other people. Make sure that the energies you send out of your body (even in the form of thought) are open, kind, and understanding. Be open to receive the same tenfold.