This I Believe

Christopher - Osaka, Japan
Entered on November 22, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that beliefs shape our experiences. I’ve never explored this premise before, but over the last several years, the ‘belief precedes experience’ principle is very real for me. I had to experience this for myself, because, by taking someone else’s word for it, I could easily turn around and blame them if it turned out to be wrong.

I hated to be wrong. Especially about people I’ve known in my past that have impacted me. Just before I had seen how powerful beliefs were, I carried around the belief that my step-father tainted my life, not to mention some of my intimate relationships. I felt a great deal of victimhood from their anger and frustration. They took some of it out on me, and I became angry inside, and I even began to imagine how I could take revenge. These were the people I’ve had the opportunity to express love in profound ways, but the feelings of anger and disappointment, I chose to remember the most. I never believed that I could fully forgive people that I felt hurt me; that I’d have to live with what happened and make the best of things. Forgiving myself was out of the question.

I never saw the pattern that was replicating itself. I never really had forgiven those people that affected my life negatively. The belief that ‘I can’t forgive’ carried over into other relationships, and jealousy, anger, separation, spitefulness showed up again. I believed that someone new in my life would mean an end to the old ways. Even after reading very inspiring books about life and about God, the impeding beliefs I carried were still there, and I didn’t want to acknowledge them. I just wanted to move on.

When I really did move on, I gathered up the courage to feel the anger and rage toward what had happened in the past, with compassion. I began to see life patterns as the result of old beliefs. I looked at them honestly. I began to take responsibility for them. I stopped resisting. Suddenly the dark clouds began to clear. I felt a great weight lift off my mind, and I felt so good.

The greatest realization was that I really have a choice in how I believe. If there’s an agreement I made with other souls just before entering this life, and I decided what kind of person I would be in relation to them, I believe it would be to gain more wisdom about love, about life.

Though I haven’t seen them in many years, I see the gift of love from their presence in my life, and even in the lives of others. I forget this at times with current relationships, but I’m reminded more often to feel the gift of love behind each experience. I created a new belief – how beautiful people truly are in my life. I can feel so much more gratitude. I believe the other person feels this too, deep down. So, to them I give my deepest respect, my love and gratitude.