This I Believe

Michael - Richmond, Virginia
Entered on August 11, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe that if I sit still long enough that the clutter of my day, my week, my life will be washed from me. It sounds passive, I know, but it is the most active thing I do with my mind, to repeat against every interruption that I am perfect and divine, exactly as God intended me to be, for whatever purpose He has planned.

This is much more difficult than it sounds.

I tried this years ago in my early 20’s at the same time that I was trying Vegetarianism and Buddhism and some other –ism’s that’d catch me later. I’d sit in silence in my apartment in Alphabet City and focus on my breaths, repeating the words “Breathe in peace, breathe out darkness” or something close to that. As I repeated this I noticed a sort of ventriloquist act going on. One part of me said these words while the louder part ran off at a thousand miles an hour to worry and agonize over today, yesterday, and tomorrow. There was no peace in these moments. So I tried harder. Every book tells you so, tells you that you must face down your mind, let it know who’s boss, and eventually it caves in. Only problem there is that when it does cave in you want to make sure you’re still not inside it.

After the search party found me, I gave up on this illusive moment of silence, this hope that I could join my heart or mind privately to something higher than myself. Not once could I recall God talking to me in the past 20 years so I stopped listening for Him inside my head. Funny thing. He’s EVERYWHERE outside it. He’s in the stories of this program. He’s in music and poetry and stand-up. He’s in my wife and children and in the wisdom of my elders. I found Him in friends and some not-so-friends. Their words gave me pause. Their words cracked open that door I had been looking for. That simple unadorned door to that simple unadorned room where the sun shines directly on a desk in its center. There’s a notebook on that desk and a pen and if I dare to close my eyes for a moment sitting there and let myself become calm, the clutter of my day, my week, my life washes from me and I can talk to God.

“You are exactly who you are supposed to be,” He says. “Have a carrot.”