This I Believe:
I believe what I need to be able to love and hope; that is my faith. If I am in a troubled state I consider what I need to be hopeful and loving, then I work to develop it. This was a struggle and a long time coming. Faith is a developing process not something given by another. The first time I was unemployed, I went into despair and my family and friends held me together until I was working again. The second time I was unemployed I believed that hard steady work would land me another job. I was fortunate because while I did work hard, family and friends once again held me together. At that point I decided I would never be unemployed because it is too devastating. The third time I was out of a job, I hired myself the next morning and became self employed and began working. I bartered for work, and I made a little money with my professional skills and with some of my manual skills as well. It was a long and hard period, but not devastating, nor self deceiving. I knew what I was doing and I knew my worth as a person. It was a very difficult time and yet one of power and growth and the memories are good. I believe(d) I am not dependant on others for my work. I have continued to live with that and now that I am retired it is once again proving to be a belief that gives me hope and the capacity to love.
I believe what I need at the time to be able to love and hope; that is my faith.
I have been with people who were in grave pain, psychologically, spiritually and physically I wondered: do I have the capacity to give them hope and love without being pretentious or passing out platitudes from my religious training? I chose to believe I was there to give them what they needed to hope and love, so I went into the dark and gave what there was of me to them at the time. I was never sure that I was doing the right thing, but I believed I was loving and living in hope with them or even for them at times. That has worked well and I continue to believe that where I am is were I am needed. I neither seek or avoid situations that may ask me to be present.
The two above illustrations point out another belief that works. When I am reaching out to love others, I am given what I need. When I am reaching to love myself, I have to uncover what I need.
This kind of faith requires that I know what my end is, what my goal is, what I want in life ultimately. I want faith and hope and love to reside in me, my life, and to be available to those around me.
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