Friday, January 7, 2011

I Believe....

January 7, 2011

I decided against New Year's resolutions this year, and instead decided to reaffirm and put into words those things that make up my core beliefs.

Things I Believe....

I Believe my children are the best gift I've ever received. I Believe that raising them makes me a better person than I was without them.

I Believe family is what you choose it to be. Family by blood is powerful, but it's certainly not the only way we make our family ours.

I Believe in God--a Universal Truth, a Higher Power--bigger than each of us consumed in our tiny, every day lives. It may not look like, sound like, or feel like the God or Universal Truth or Higher Power you do or do not Believe in. I Believe that's okay.

I Believe those who adamantly challenge others to prove there's a God are just as arrogant as those who try to convert people to religion through guilt or shame or fear. Spirituality and faith aren't about proving others wrong. It's incredibly self-serving to say that those who don't Believe what we do are somehow less intelligent or inferior than we are. It's dishonest self-validation.

I Believe I am a strong, creative, intelligent woman with much to offer. I also Believe I am a shy, unsure, insecure girl, afraid her offerings aren't enough. It's a dichotomy I live with. I also Believe it's a dichotomy most of us live with. It's part of being human.

I Believe most people--almost all of them--are inherently good, and deserving of the benefit of the doubt or a second chance. We all make mistakes, we can all behave selfishly, but at our core, I Believe everyone is in need and looking to make a connection with other human beings to fulfill that need. Call it the Pollyanna Effect if you like, but I would much rather look for the good in others and be disappointed every now and again than to expect to only find the negative in others and only be surprised every once in awhile. I Believe we find what we expect to find. We find what we're looking for.

I Believe true love exists. I Believe if you've found it, you'd better work hard to make sure it stays. I Believe true love is not a feeling, but an action--a connection that is forged and built stronger every day through respect, admiration, shared interests, affection, and laughter. I Believe there must be lots of laughter.

I Believe love between two adults, no matter who they are--background, race, gender, etc.--should be honored and respected. There's not enough love in this world as it is; it seems ludicrous that we are continuing to try restrict legal recognition of loving, caring human beings who have chosen to be together because it doesn't fit into everyone's idea of a 'real relationship.' While we're at it, let me just say that I don't Believe anyone else's marriage--gay, straight, or otherwise--can undermine or attack mine. Only my husband and I are responsible for keeping it what we want to be.

I Believe the people who have come into my life have all contributed to making me who I am today, whether they were a fleeting connection or are a permanent fixture. I Believe the past is important inasmuch as it is the building block for today and tomorrow and the next day. I Believe all those people are significant to me, even when I am no longer significant to them.

I Believe all children--all people--can learn. Some of us just need a different path, one that's off the beaten track, to get there sometimes. If I didn't Believe that, I Believe I'd be in the wrong profession. I also Believe that teaching is not for those who couldn't think of anything better to do, or were too scared to get out and find a 'real' job. I Believe teaching is a gift--one we give, and one we receive. I Believe I am blessed to be able to meet and work with hundreds of creative, fascinating, intelligent, and caring human beings each year.

I Believe that I am a flawed human being. Though I have traits I am proud of, there's a lot of room for improvement--traits and characteristics that are much less than desirable. I Believe that if I ever forget that and stop trying to get better, the end is near.

I Believe you are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to mine. I Believe we don't have to have the same ones, and can still be pleasant and civil to one another. I Believe, as a matter of fact, that we can still like each other and even love each other, even when I don't Believe what you Believe and you don't Believe what I Believe.

I Believe that there are probably lots more things I Believe, but I Believe these are the big ones. I Believe I'll stop there for now.


  1. You had me on the first sentence! What a nice sentiment to start the year with - better to have the positive affirmations then the negative pressure of resolutions.

    Nice post!

  2. I believe our beliefs are very very similar. :-)

    Happy New Year!!

  3. Loved this. Really really loved this.

  4. i remember doing this in high school. i bet i still have it. yours is beautiful. m