Lived updates

There’s this idea that’s been floating around my head and my life for a while that I’ve been trying to find a good name for. The experience I want to capture is: sometimes I deliberately update my belief about something, like “I can trust people more” or “I can feel good about wearing a crop top,” and that changes my system 2 attitude about it, but I still need to have some lived experiences supporting/validating that belief for me to truly be able to internalize it. For instance, letting people into my life more and being able to grow from those experiences or actually wearing crop tops and feeling really comfortable in them. So the name I’ve landed on for that (for now) is lived update, which is a combination of the terms lived experience and belief update. I think it’s somewhat evocative, but I don’t know if it’s the one! Another way to put it is that you change the way you think about something, but it takes something more for your actual belief about that thing to change.

Kind of as an aside, I think these lived updates can come from so many places. One thing that I realized while moving my clothes from the washer to the dryer is that mundane activities can teach you profound lessons. For instance, I think waiting for a timer or alarm to go off is actually quite analogous to living with the knowledge of your own death, and being more ok with backtracking (or the feeling of backtracking) during a walk can be a helpful exercise in identity and humility. A grain of sand contains the entire universe ☺️

Metaphors for some recent belief updates

These came up for me as I was walking today. These are illustrations of some belief updates I made during the circling retreat last week.

  1. Just because you don’t offer someone your coat in the cold doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It also doesn’t mean you’d never offer someone your coat, but even if that were the case it would be alright. You can still continue striving towards that.
  2. I don’t know if this happens to other people, but sometimes I’ll be listening to music with my phone in my bag or in my pocket, and something on the screen might get pressed randomly. I was listening to a song that I had queued up, and was over midway through it, when the rewind button was pressed and the song started over from the beginning. Just because I didn’t want to re-listen to the entire song doesn’t mean that I didn’t truly want to listen to the song initially.
  3. It makes a lot of sense that if you’re walking and then run to make a crosswalk, to keep walking after you finish crossing. You could also continue running.
  4. Another one not from walking: I don’t need to continually prove/try to signal that I’m not stealing something from a store. Not only because I (probably) would never actually steal anything, but also because it would allow me to give others the opportunity to trust me and for me to practice receiving that trust.