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  • Writer's pictureJim Hostler

Culture, History, & Your Freedom

Life, as we perceive it, as it shows up for us, defines us, is but a tapestry woven from the threads of our culture and history. These threads define our identities, shape our beliefs and values, and inform our perspectives. Yet, within this intricate fabric, we often overlook a fundamental aspect of existence: assumptions. But here is what we forget, assumptions are stories we tell ourselves. And we continue to tell ourselves these stories, over and over and over. These stories become embodied within us. Now they are anchored within us, not as stories but as our reality, as our truth. Now we live from our perceived truth that is in truth stories from the history books.

Our cultural and historical backgrounds provide the foundational context for our lives. They imbue us with values, customs, and beliefs that inform our decisions, interactions, and worldviews. Just as a loom weaves together threads to create a fabric, culture and history interlace to shape our individual and collective identities.

Culture molds our understanding of what is acceptable, desirable, or taboo. It creates a lens through which we see and interpret the world, forming the basis for our assumptions - our stories - about people, places, and things. Our language, rituals, and social norms are all products of our cultural heritage, subtly but very powerfully influencing our perception of reality.

History, on the other hand, offers the backdrop against which our lives unfold. It tells us where we came from, the struggles and triumphs of our ancestors, and the events that have shaped our present. History anchors us in a continuum of time, connecting our experiences to a broader narrative.

As we navigate life within the framework and context of our culture and history, we instinctively create stories to make sense of our surroundings. These stories are our assumptions, the narratives we construct to fill in the gaps of our understanding. While this is a crucial survival mechanism, it also holds profound implications for our perception of reality.

The critical juncture arrives when we begin to mistake our assumptions for reality, for unassailable truth, as we all do this... until we don't. When we believe that our cultural or historical perspective is the only valid one, we close ourselves off to alternative viewpoints. This narrow vision limits our capacity for empathy, understanding, and growth.

Furthermore, when assumptions become entrenched as beliefs and values, they unconsciously take control over our lives. The assumptions, turned into stories, turned into the truth of our realty, now influences our choices, reactions, and emotional responses, without our conscious awareness. But there is more... assumptions control our actions, perpetuate biases, and hinder personal development.

To transcend the limitations of assumption, we must first acknowledge their existence. Self-awareness is the key to unraveling the stories we tell ourselves. We can explore our cultural and historical conditioning, recognizing that they are not absolute truths but lenses through which we view the world.

Once you realize our cultural and historical conditioning is our world view as seen through stories, you detach from them owning you and begin to question their validity. Real transformation in your life occurs when you see culture and history through the lens of your life vision and purpose. This gives you access to a deeper, more profound understanding of reality, and a true discovery of self, transcending the confines of culture and history.

Life is undeniably shaped by culture and history, providing the threads that weave the tapestry of our existence. However, it is equally true that we are active participants in this process, shaping our reality through the assumptions we make. When we mistake these assumptions for truth, we risk becoming prisoners of our own narratives.

The path to your freedom lies in recognizing the power of assumption and actively seeking to transcend it. By acknowledging the influence of culture and history on our lives and cultivating self-awareness, we can gain a more profound understanding of reality—one that is not bound by the stories we tell ourselves. In doing so, we free ourselves from the limitations of assumption and open the door to a richer, more authentic experience of life.


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