This I Believe

Sally - Hickory, North Carolina
Entered on July 10, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
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This I believe

I believe in everything. I believe in all faiths ,all beliefs as I

search for peace, enlightenment and harmony, I believe in everything.

Naive? Uncommitted? Inane? Maybe.

As a photographer, living in a small southern city , I find a microcosm of humanity and the same love, compassion, hatred, and anger that exists globally. I am horrified by atrocities as I watch and read of world conflict stemming from fervid ideologies and religious zeal. From Northern Ireland to the Middle East, Afganistan to Darfur, to America.

I have traveled enough to watch sheep graze in New Zealand and see tranquility in the eyes of a Bedoin child. I have lived in the north and now in the south among Christians and Mormons, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, Scientologists. My most recent photographic portrait was a lucky newborn boy and his two mommies. I have known the deaths of a child and a stepchild, had one bad marriage, and one that lasts. My neighbor’s son was killed in Iraq.

My search for my beliefs began in earnest the day our daughter was born. My early spiritual education was Christian, where I said by rote the Nicene Creed which has a lot of we believes – like in one God the father, one Lord Jesus, one holy spirit, one church – and one baptism……I knew, I believed from the miraculous moment of her birth that she was a child of God,

a daughter of Zeus, a mother of grace, she was of heaven and earth, she was connected to the universe in such a way that I could not fathom the necessity for baptism.

I am Christian by birth, but I feel a root connection to Judaism. I practice yoga and as I grow I am inherently in tune with eastern philosophy. My stepsons were raised in the Mormon church and I observe the deep family values of the Latter Day Saints with admiration. I read the teachings of Islam , the Tao Te Ching, and Buddha, Our favorite family yearly celebration is our pagan observance of the harvest moon rising.

In each faith and philosophy I find the same search for peace, unity, and universal love. I see that where adamant beliefs prevail, there is conflict and hatred. The narrower the beliefs, the more divisive the souls. In each faith I find that the stories, parables, gospels are all as farfetched and bizarre as the next. Each one as believable as the next.

And so, I have come to see that I believe in them all. I believe in one God, and many gods,

Jesus as man and as the son of God, I believe in Brahman, Mohammed, karma, ch’i, and enlightenment. I believe in kami, golden tablets, Theta, and Krishna.

I believe in sprites. I believe in the twinkle of Santa’s eye, the softness of the easter bunny and the magic of Tinkerbell. I believe that we can be reincarnated, go to heaven and hell, and that this life is the one that matters. I believe in love, peace, learning, acceptance and the wisdom of the earth.

I believe in belief, I believe in all.