How a Soviet War Monument Made Me Think About "Truth"
Since moving to Belgium from the United States two months ago, I've had the very interesting experience of learning about cultural differences and what is considered the "right" way to do things or what is true.
There are small things like not putting milk into the refrigerator until after you open it (in the States, milk must always be refrigerated) or speaking more quietly that are interesting to think about, but there are larger concepts too.
One that really blew my mind recently is that I came across a war monument honoring the Soviet soldiers who lost their lives to defend Belgium in WWII. If you are from Europe that is perhaps nothing particularly unusual, but as a United States citizen I have never seen a Soviet monument before, and it never occurred to me that they would exist. Particularly in a country outside of the former USSR.
In our history books, the Soviets were the bad guys. Europeans were flailing about until the US swooped in a saved the day! We're the true heroes!
But the reality is, the Soviets fought a hard battle and lost many lives. The US didn't even WANT to get involved in the war (look up "Isolationism") but essentially were pushed into it when we were attacked in Pearl Harbor.
So were the Americans really the heroes? Certainly the brave men who fought and gave their lives did heroic acts, and it is not my intention to diminish that. But to say that we were the great heroes of the war and "saved" everyone else while everyone just sat back and watched is an overstatement. I have not seen any statues commemorating American efforts while I have lived here so far.
So on a broader scale, how does one find the "truth", especially when what is taught to you is to fill a specific narrative? How do you "know" what to believe, and what is real?
Collect More Data
I had not really considered my culture's attempt to diminish Soviet heroism until I moved away from States and gathered more data in another country. While I was not consciously trying to do so, gathering more data (seeing a Soviet monument) caused me to reflect and consider the information I had previously learned (my US history class on WWII) and pit the two together.
I realized that both cultures would have a strong bias. Belgium's history of being occupied by Nazi Germany would make them view the Soviet effort to free them and Europe favorably. The US's hatred of the USSR during the Cold War makes them view the Soviets negatively. The truth, from my current perspective based on the data I have, is probably somewhere in the middle.
So if you want to find a greater truth, the best thing to do is collect more data. Think about the context of the community that you are in. Do you live in a liberal or a conservative area? Did you grow up religious, or with anti-religious parents? All of your communities you are connected to will have a bias of some form because it is the data they have gathered (whether consciously or unconsciously) on what the "correct" way is to think or live life.
So the best way to gather more data is to actively try to find perspectives that are different from your own. Look at some videos created by someone with opposing political or religious beliefs - and not videos in which someone else of your current political and religious perspective is analyzing what that person said; go straight to the original source.
Try to take it out of the perspective of politics or religion entirely. How would someone who lives in Uganda, Thailand, or the Ukraine think about this? How would someone 100 years ago have thought about this? Why? What would an 80-year-old or an 8-year-old say?
One note in this - listening to another perspective and gathering data doesn't mean that you agree with that perspective. But if someone's perspective or belief is causing a strong reaction in you, it means there are some limiting beliefs and feelings of powerlessness around it. Have an anger release or release your resistance in other ways, and then see if you can come back to the opposing perspective with fresh eyes.
Your End Result Will Be Biased, So Decided on an Empowering Conclusion
Gathering more data can certainly help you come to a more complete "truth", but the truth is (ha!) that we will always be a biased in our truths. You can't ever know exactly every perspective on an event from a limited single human perspective. It is impossible to know 100% the exact truth on anything because we do not have the ability as a human to be in the complete collective consciousness state of the Universe/God that knows all perspectives.
So because of this, this is where the fun of the Law of Attraction comes in.
You see, at its core, the Law of Attraction is about training yourself to be able to find an empowering perspective in any situation. It's about recognizing that you will always have a bias, so you might as well form your bias to come from a state of happiness and personal empowerment. In psychology, they call this a confirmation bias or a growth mindset.
Going back to the Soviet statue, I could use the data I gathered as proof that the United States is a dirty rotten country that lies to its people about the US and the USSR's importance in the World Wars. That, however, doesn't feel all that empowering to me. It makes me feel like a victim to my government and that I will be forever manipulated. I don't desire to take this perspective.
Alternatively, I can choose to view the data as proof that wars and international politics are complicated. The United States government had a limiting belief that they had to put down the USSR entirely in order to have US citizens continue to support capitalism. This feels like a much more empowering perspective to me. I hold the view that people will only try to hurt or manipulate others from a place of fear.
This gives me empathy for my government and while I don't approve of what they have done (I think it would be an honorable thing to acknowledge the Soviet effort and sacrifice in WWII), I have compassion and understanding for why they felt like they had to make that choice. I feel good about the truth I have come to. That yes, my country did try to lie to me, but only because it felt like it had no choice. That doesn't mean I agree with what they did or that I can't set boundaries in the future, but it allows me to feel come from a place of acceptance and love.
So for your truths, go back to the data you have gathered, look at your initial conclusion, and rate it on the emotional scale. Does this perspective feel empowering? If not, do some more emotional releases and gather more data.
The Truth Can Change
It is okay to change your perspective. If you continuously gather more data and find that you are reaching different results, that's okay! It takes a lot of bravery to change your perspective, especially when that perspective in tied into identity like politics or religion.
One of the reasons I specifically state to look at perspectives from people you disagree with, even though your truth will be biased anyways, is that by understanding other people's perspective, you have more empathy for them. You realize that they are not evil villains hell-bent on destroying the world, but are, in fact, trying to make the world a better place just like you. You can talk things out from a place of respect, and become more solidified in your idea of truth if it still feels the most empowering, or have your idea of truth morph into something more empowering.
When you believe the world is good and that people are trying their best to do good, the world changes. You attract happier people into your lives. You have increased compassion and love for mankind. Life is fun and happy and good. And you can perhaps even appreciate a good ole' Soviet war monument or two. 😉
Hope you enjoyed learning my take on finding the truth using the Law of Attraction. Let me know what you think in the comment section below!