This I Believe

Linley - Piedmont, Oklahoma
Entered on January 31, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love
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I Believe in Love

I believe in love. The Beatles, an inspiring and insightful band once sang the words: “All you need is love, love is all you need.” My life changed the moment I heard those ten simple words.

I was always raised in a religious family. I grew up with strict rules and a curfew of midnight until my freshman year of college. My mother was the religious one, always dragging my family to church and enrolling me in various sorts of church-oriented youth programs. My father was never really a churchgoer. He just went to please my mother, which eventually caused their marriage to self-destruct. After their divorce I spent considerable amounts of time with my mother instead of my father. I grew to become more religious, primarily because of my mother’s influence.

I didn’t fully realize that my spirituality was phony until I spent a weekend with my dad. On a Sunday morning I asked my dad if we were going to church. He replied, “Well, if you really want to.” It was then that I realized that my father wasn’t religious at all. In fact, I didn’t even know if he believed in God. This worried me at first, but then my worries subsided when I understood that my dad was happy without God in his life. When I asked him about this he replied, “Lin, I love people. Well, I love the people that deserve to be loved. When people don’t deserve to be loved I pretend to love them until I really do.” After hearing this I recognized the fact that religion had become expendable in my life. It had been replaced with love.

By just loving, I removed all judgments. I no longer had certain “expectations” people needed to fit in order to be my friend. I was happier with my life. I no longer felt the need to put up false fronts to make the people I went to church with happy. I finally felt free to love everyone, even if they weren’t “acceptable” by the traditional Christian views.

This isn’t meant to bash Christianity or any religion for that matter. I used to be very religious myself. It is just that I have found that love is my religion, and there is nothing more rewarding than loving others.