This I Believe

Janine - Smyrna, Georgia
Entered on May 22, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: purpose

This I believe … my mother loved me. I believe she had a pure soul. I know that she wanted me to be happy and good. I know that my belief in this guides me. This might seem like a side step, placing one’s life so firmly within the beliefs of someone else. Yet, I don’t particularly believe in God. I have never felt comfortable in a church setting and was relieved when I finally gave up on the notion. I like the thought of abstract principles; of universal love, service to others, and obligation to a greater good, but I like my simple, comfortable, private life too. I’m firmly average in my philosophies.

So it surprised me one day, that after a slightly uncomfortable conversation about life, morals, religions, and their meanings, I realized that I do believe. It is a different kind of belief, but still a core belief as solid and as strong as pure steel. What’s more, it was faith. Not trivial acceptance or acknowledgement, but the deep soul binding, pillar and foundations of true faith. I have faith because of her. My mother: who died many years ago, and who raised me with so much intention and so much concern. Not raised perfect, not by any means, but filled with the concepts of self-worth, curiosity, right and wrong…forgiveness, understanding. When she first died I fretted terribly on her missing voice at my future wedding, at my imaginary children never meeting this person, this soul. A decade later, I wept when I realized my life had moved so far ahead I could no longer predict her advice or even hear her voice. To this day I carry the image of her hands within me like a talisman.

But I’m still here and I’m still alive and I know now that I have belief. I know that with all its inherent doubts and questions, my life has meaning because of her, because I knew her, because she knew me. I have accepted that my loss of her taught me sadness, and with that strength and I now use her love and care of me to remind me what hopes and dreams are about.

So I say, “Is it not faith which holds you close in your darkest moments?” And it is in my darkest moments that her faith in me wraps me close and sings to me such sweet songs, and I remember a pure soul who wished me to be happy and good and I let this guide me.