This I Believe

melissa - torrington, Connecticut
Entered on February 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

A very wise man once said: “Freedom doesn’t mean the absence of all restrictions. It means possessing unshakable conviction in the face of any obstacle. This is true freedom.” –Daisaku Ikeda

I believe that this is very true. I believe that my life, my happiness and my freedom is what I make of it. If I truly believe that my life will be happy, and I will have limitless courage to face life’s obstacles, and that I will be successful in what I do, then it’s inevitable that everything will fall into place. Since I have believed this, my life has improved in leaps and bounds. I used to live questioning why, why my life was the way it was, why I was sad all the time, why people never treated me with respect, and why no matter how hard I tried thing never got better. But then I stopped. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to practice these principals. What worked for me was changing my outlook, my perspective on life. Yes I understand there are difficult situations that come with life. I am a single mother, at first made that way against my will, but then kept being that way because I saw that it was the best way for my daughter and I to live. Her father has chosen a dangerous lifestyle for himself and I want neither my daughter nor I to have anything to do with it. I made a decision, and I know I made the right one, and it made me feel great to have that kind of courage, an area in the past I was always lacking in. So I worked hard, at one point I had three jobs, could barely afford childcare and couldn’t afford to buy myself food. But I kept going, I kept telling myself that we would get what we deserve. And one day I got an interview for a full time job that paid what all three of my part times jobs did combined, and it came with full benefits, and I got a nice apartment. Also I felt healthier, truly happier, and my self-esteem was the highest it’s ever been since I can remember. I had gotten rid of all the poisons in my life: drugs, alcohol, the wrong people, places and things. I was living right ant it felt amazing. I also got something I didn’t ask for. Love. My now fiancé and I met while I was on this journey to refurbish my life. He actually helped me a lot by showing me that I didn’t have to be afraid of people, and all I had to do to get true friends, was to be my true self. He and I have a relationship built on love trust and friendship, unlike any relationship I have ever had before. I have friends today that know me, and love me for that. My daughter is a happy healthy toddler, who I believe saved my life. Because without bringing her into this world, I may have never become willing to make the changes needed to make my life the great life it is today. Positive thinking doesn’t make difficult situations not happen, but I look at them in a different way now. I see them, as just situations, nothing more, and they will pass as they always do, and I will learn something from them, either about myself, or the world around me. I’ve been through a lot in my life, and I’m still here standing on both my feet, and I put myself here. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know I’m not going to waste my today worrying about it, and I have let go of the past, there is nothing I can do to change it. I can learn from the experiences and grow from them. I can smile everyday, because I know my life is going in the right direction and I love my life today. I believe in having the courage to change the things I can.