This I Believe

David - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Entered on December 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe this life is it…and I’m okay with that.

I believe we only get one life but recognize how lucky we are just to experience a single life. When I draw my last breath and my heart ceases to beat, I believe that truly will be it. I will not find myself at gates of white or birthed anew and there certainly won’t be any fire and brimstone. When I go, I am gone, and I’m at peace with that.

After graduating high school I left home and set forth to experience the world and find my place. Raised in a Christian, though not Amish, home, I distanced myself from religion and entered my own Rumspringa, my rite of passage. In reality I changed very little outwardly as I continued to abstain from the majority of vices condemned by my previous faith but my mind was free. I was open to all religiosity. I dabbled in this and associated myself with that; my convictions took shape on my own terms.

I continued struggling to find my spirituality during a particularly hard and lonely time in my life, despite feeling mostly comfortable with agnosticism. I restlessly lay in bed one night thinking about what it would be like if “this is all we get”, if there was no afterlife. In that moment of darkness and anxiety, calming energy flowed forth and I was actually at peace. This life is all I need. I finally realized that, even at such a low point in my life.

While content with this being the only life I live, I understand the tremendous terror of such a belief. I know endings are scary propositions especially when viewed in eternal terms and I don’t claim to be any stronger of will or mind than anyone else. I do not view those with beliefs of an afterlife as weak, for even I cannot deny the dread that can accompany nothingness. Yet, with no heaven waiting for me, there certainly isn’t a hell, and in that there is balance and peace. My passing will be neutral. I will return to the earth what I have taken that something else can spring forth with life.

This life may be it but I’ve never been more at ease with my convictions. I have my regrets, we all do, but they don’t define me. They don’t guide me. I live my life as if each day could be my last and gain experience from all that I do, the good and the bad. For I know that one day I will pass from this life and as long as I strived for happiness in all my blessed days, that is all I need.