This I Believe

Michael - Lehigh Acres, Florida
Entered on March 6, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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As a child growing up in a suburb in western New York State in the 1960’s, I was cold more often than warm. Anyone who knows this area around the Great Lakes understands the old local expression “Sure, the sun shines here; every fourth of July!”

I also realized around that time that it was not only the winter weather that made me feel cold, depressed and unsatisfied. I grew up in a family that did not know how to express happiness, or how to share warmth or comfort to one another. My own feelings about life very much paralleled the cold, depressing winter weather. It was a lonely, scary feeling.

It wasn’t until I was a young teenager when I traveled from my home to other areas of the country where the sun warmed you to your soul, even in the dead of winter, that I realized my world didn’t have to be cold, or full of winter snow storms which by February or March of each year grew more tiresome and depressing. During this time I also met people everywhere I went who were open, happy, caring and loving. (This was the late 60’s after all!) For the first time in my life I experienced not only the warmth of the sun, but the love of others that also very deeply warmed my soul.

Over the years, I have moved from one clime to another; some cold in winter and some warm and sunny. I have moved in and out of friendships and relationships; some more deeply warming and satisfying than others.

What I have realized is that no matter how warm the sun or cloudy and cold the day, my soul is only warmed and satisfied when I am able to share my love and happiness with at least one other person on a truly honest and open basis. Without the ability to share our love with another human being, and allowing ourselves to be loved, we simply grow to be cold, lonely and empty.

This I believe.