This I Believe

Lauri - Romney, Indiana
Entered on February 6, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that God made us all with weaknesses—weakness that only encourage us to further improve our strengths.

I believe that imperfections make the world beautiful.

I believe that I cannot be afraid to truly show myself to the world. I should not make decisions because I am afraid of what others may think of me. I must make decisions because they are right—right for me, right for those I love (and even those I am not particularly fond of), and right in the eyes of God.

I know that pride is not a virtuous attribute, but I must admit that I am proud. I am proud that I am myself—no one else—and it only makes sense that I should want to show myself to the world without the fear of being judged.

Judgment is difficult. As a competitive dancer, for years I have been subjected to the criticism of judges and their opinions. As a team member, I was always able to share the criticism with my teammates who shared with me the spotlight of the dance floor. Performing a dance solo during my senior year meant personal criticism from the judges—constructive but, nevertheless, harsh criticism. After not scoring or placing well at my first competition, I became very discouraged from wanting to continue because I felt that I lacked many of the qualities that would have made me “good enough” to dance solo against some of the best dancers in the state.

I know that I am not the best dancer. I know that I am not the best at anything. However, I was thankfully able to recognize that I am fully capable of doing my personal best, and there is absolutely no shame in that. I came to the realization that, during my solo, I experienced a very new feeling. I was invigorated and confidently walked off of the floor thinking that I had done extremely well. I had danced better than I ever had before because I felt as if, for the first time, I was able to dance as myself. My personality became evident and was able to shine through my movements. The movements may not have been technically correct, but they were mine. My dancing exhibited my imperfections, and I could not have been more pleased with my performance. I am not ashamed of who I am or what I am capable of because God created each and every person to be different and have different abilities.

I am not perfect. I am not flawless. I am not immune to making mistakes. For these reasons, my love of life—my own life and the life of all living things—is amplified. Each day that we live is a gift in itself.