This I Believe

charlotte - chandler, Arizona
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Believing for Surviving.

As my eyes were trying to measure the beauty of the San Francisco bay area and my legs trying to fight the wind that always surrounds the redness of the Golden Gate Bridge, I remembered my first time up there. I could still picture my dad’s face changing from one color to another as he was I was trying to take another step further. He never remained on the bridge for more than five, but precautious, minutes, trying to control his fear of heights. Rapidly, he caved and slowly took the few steps back that separated him from a “stable” ground, too afraid that the wind would make him fall off the bridge.

I have been living in United States for now a little over a year and each additional day I spend here one thing becomes more obvious to me. We must believe. I believe that no matter what country, background, education, family or religion we are from and no matter where we are going, believing is the essence of life.

Life is pretty difficult “that I believe”, we have to go through childhood, education, first experiences, independence, heartbreaks, sickness, death, taxes and such…

If we look at it for few minutes, that’s true, life is more often rough than smooth. Most of the time it seems that the world is collapsing on our shoulders.

However, if life was always that difficult I doubt that the earth would be populated by some 6.5 billion people because we would already all have committed suicide. If we are still that numerous and the earth is becoming each second more crowded, maybe it is because it is after all worth it to be on it. Believing that life is worth it is the first step to hope, the first brick put to build happiness.

No matter what we want to believe in, Allah, Yavhe, Jesus, Buddha, Kali, flowers, stones, animals or energies…the fact is that believing brings a reason and a sense to life. It helps to find one’s own, but mostly to cop with the unbearable and the inexplicable. It is the little voice that prompts you to strive, to hang on and to remember that “everything is going to be ok.”

Believing is not a mental illness or sort of schizophrenia like I have too often heard it from my father. Believing is this uncontrollable feeling of knowing, knowing that all that, this life and what we are trying to do with it, means something. It is not purposeless, it is not free. Not free of consequences, but not free of rewards. It is all linked together, like the mechanism of an old clock, each of our choice triggers our lives to follow a chosen path.

Believing is keeping the light on even when we are blinded by darkness. Believing is not only or necessarily choosing a lifestyle, it is simply giving yourself a second chance and simply knowing that there are no mistakes, but only apprenticeships. After all how would we learn how to walk if we never fell?

Believing is this burning sensation that there is more to life than what we are shown. It is pushing ourselves outside of our mental barriers. It is always remembering that nothing happens without a reason. Difficulties are just the moments when we would be tempted to give up; however, they are “the” moments to actually start to believe. After all, life is an exchange; why would we be given more if we didn’t prove that we can handle it?

I remember what my mum always told me when I went through difficult moments. She would always tell me this story of our lives as a dual dimensioned reality. Let me be more specific: the reality we are living in is the visible reality, the one we live in. However, it exists somewhere another, an invisible reality, the one that we wish to live in because it is the one where all our dreams, wishes, goals are reached. A bridge has been built between those realities, so that we can access this world of happiness. Of course, the bridge is dark, frightening, often crowded, sometimes windy, stormy, mostly unstable, and wobbling. But if we hang on, never look down or behind and keep going forward, we will eventually reach the other side.

Life is made of those clumsy and scary bridges that often seem impossible to walk on. That’s when believing is important, believing is at that point the solid rope that keeps you from falling off the bridge. Like my dad was afraid to walk on the bridge, he is afraid to “walk in” life. Because he never overcame his fear of heights, he never got to see the unique beauty of the bay, just like he will never understand the one of life. Because he constantly lets his fears paralyze him, my dad forgot to look straight and hope for better. Like I said no matter who we are and were we go, we all experience life and often need this little hope, this little rope that will make our dark, frightening, often crowded, sometimes windy, stormy, mostly unstable and wobbling journey a little less of all that.

Believing is not madness but awareness, it is not accepting passively but participating actively. Believing is giving yourself more opportunities to help yourself and others. So believing in believing, that I believe.