I believe in being true to oneself and to others; to identify one’s core values and to live by them. I believe that there is a basic conflict internally and in our communities in that when people simply do not know what they really believe, and are ‘lost’ in this world.
I believe in relationships; Relationship to self, to God, and to others. The relationship with myself had led me down a path of much self-exploration. What drives me in my work and personal life is to do the best job that I can, and to honor my commitments.
I must meet my responsibilities… but first, I must define MY responsibilities.
So, I have identified (for today, for this year, or for a lifetime) the goals and responsibilities that I have. The problem I incur is when, in my personal life (friends, family, work), others do not share that value. There are many values I wish were my core values- ones I lived by unconditionally- but it comes down to it, I live by growing and being the best person I can be. I then must respect others’ values, even if I do not share them.
I believe in my relationship with God, and when pushed to the edge, it comes down to loving God, and to love others (even if I don’t like them).
My relationships with others drive me. How I give to others, how I make a difference, what relationships transcend the difficulties in life. I value my friendships old and new, my relationships with family, and the moments with people I am likely to never see again. Passing conversations in a market, an intense ‘conversation’ with a stranger, even with only eye contact and a smile.
I believe in strength, and struggle with that balance of letting go. For some, it is the strength to fight for one’s country. For others, it is for justice (in the community, large or small). For all, it is the strength from within, the ability to move forward.
Many times in my life, I felt that I had to be strong (BE STRONG) to get through the adversity. Even recently, I felt that being strong meant preserving, to stay in a relationship, to make a difference. I had lost much of who I was as a person, my identity, my laugh, and my dreams. I believe in strength, but also in balance. It is a delicate balance. How are we strong, yet vulnerable as individuals? My delicate balance is to be strong, but not too determined to be “right”.
I know I must make a difference in my community, and in the world. I know I have the energy, the love, and the commitment to make that happen. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.