This I Believe

Kara - Topeka, Kansas
Entered on December 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in love. Love brings me faith. My emphasis on family brings me to the belief of love, which in turn, gives me reason to have faith. It is a guiding force in my life, and it truly makes me happy.

At a certain time in my life, I spiraled into depression. I, however, do not remember a significant amount of what occurred, or why I was feeling that way. This is most likely due to repression, which I will freely admit that I do quite often. While I was in such a disheartened state, I was not aware of what my brain was actually doing. Was it a chemical imbalance? I thought not. I did not have the opinion (or the conscious thought) that something was going awry with my mental health. But one day, something happened.

I am in no knowledge about the timespan of my anxiety attack. Was I going crazy? I hoped to the holy Lord above that nothing was wrong with me. I did not want to be one of those crazy mental asylum patients, or to exhibit traits associated with them, or so I thought. My own self was committing the act of isolation, but it was not against others. Rather, it was against me. This was something that was out of my control — my conscious control. I finally sought help via my general practitioner. I was skeptical. A half a pill of Lexapro a day was to solve all of my angst and negative behavior. I only needed to take it for three months, and I didn’t need to slowly wean my body off of it. I just stopped taking it one day, yet I supposedly had ‘severe’ depression. Was it because of the medication, or because of my conscious decision to learn on my own and escape self-deception? This was a battle of science versus humanism. It could be coincidence. It could be fact. This was a period of my life when I did not know myself completely. I was still forming opinions and changing my mind about my life and the world around me. I was still creating my own morals and discerning what I truly wanted out of life. At the age I was, which was only fourteen, the percentage of adolescents prescribed anti-depressants are high. I was not the only one. I should not be celebrated for overcoming depression. It just happened. However, I should acknowledge the fact that I recognized that my outlook needed a renovation. I succeeded, and now I am more than happy with my life and the way I am as an individual. I am happy with the world around me. I believe in the positive and am able to accept emotion. I am always grateful for the opportunities I get in daily life and for the many people I get to learn from and experience everything with, even if I do not know them. I value learning from others, including from pure observation and simply by listening. I have also grown closer with my family. I do not try for opposition to gain attention or respect from my peers. I revere my family and their ideas. I may not agree with everything a relative of mine may do or say, but I take the time to accept and consider. Accepting love, and realizing that it may bring pain, is imperative in forming a healthy view of personal relationships and life in general. Essentially, this has given me faith for humanity.

The forming of my faith continues with another event at around the time of my mental changes. My youngest sister, Laci, was born. This event has shown me how truly amazing the miracle of human life can be. Compared to the birth of my younger sister, Alyssa, I was much too young to really want to help, and more traumatized than anything by all of the graphic books and lectures that accompanied such an event. But when I held Laci for the first time, I was astonished and just wonderfully content. I was amazed at how two single cells could create such a complex human being. But it was more than just science — I finally understood the wonder of a newborn child, and how beautiful the process of welcoming and raising a new addition can be. I had never known a love such as that, nor did I expect to ever feel that sense of overpowering emotion about anything or anyone. I realized the value of being needed; in this case, as an older sister, much like a second mother. It was truly an awakening experience. Now Laci is three years old, and the entire process of watching her grow and being involved in her development has been an enlightening learning experience. Someday, I hope to share the importance and joy of cultivating and expressing creativity with other young children, including my own.

With the idea of acceptance in mind, I have come to the conclusion that love brings faith. I have not only a faith in myself and for others collectively, but I also believe in a higher power, and a hope for the future. It is the morals of our faith that guide us with our choices, specifically, our chosen fates. Fate is a decision made by us, as each individual, alone. We will never know the true meaning of the universe, life, or death. It is much too large, and we are only exiguous beings controlled by a greater force than what we will ever understand. We know nothing. The most important thing is to understand yourself, in order to understand and relate to those around you. Here is my philosophy: perhaps we do know what we are supposed to know, or perhaps we overthink.

There will always be one extreme or the other, and each will always conflict and firmly hold its own regard as being just and correct. One can only speculate. What is right and what is wrong can only be evaluated by the individual. Personal growth occurs between two extremes — when one can clearly recognize and accept an idea and its opposition.

I am being quite contrary in these beliefs. But I can only imagine and perceive. I want to live a fairly simple life, without exaggeration. It is what makes me happy. It is my choice. I do, however, want simplicity and intellectual experience. Too much of either will not make me happy. I will not live my life with stress, regret, or depression. Optimism is everything, and I value it in every single way. If a problem can be solved, fix it. It is always best not to complain or wallow in the negative. Having a positive mindset provides an opportunity to expand problem-solving skills and think on a multi-dimensional level. Enlightenment of the self (I am using this term lightly, as it is in my own context), brings a sense of hope and knowledge of what life can truly mean. Knowledge is intelligence. More simply, intelligence is not about being able to solve complex mathematical equations, or being able to use thirteen-letter wrods in an essay one be grudgingly writing. Rather, it is about the ability to think independently, and using it to your advantage, but most importantly, to the advantage of others.

Futhermore, it is mostly the simple things in life that define my contentedness. The smile on a child’s face when they learn something new, or laughing until your abs hurt to someone’s witty one-liner. It’s wonderful, powerful stuff that makes life truly absolute.