The Heart of Life

Sarah - san luis obispo, California
Entered on November 13, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love, setbacks
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in love. I believe in love so deep that it consumes and buries all faults; I believe in a certain type of love that identifies with more than one person; a love that does not wait to be loved in return; a love that becomes the friend to someone in peril. I was never explicitly taught how to love, or told to believe in any part of it. My life merely has been a cycle of faith, in which love has led me to believe that it is a solid concept. Yet, there was a time I neglected the power of love, and have since reconnected to its principle, and recognize that love holds the sanctity of happiness.

There was a point in my life that love was forgotten. It was a time that I was broken, fragile and dejected; I restricted my heart from passion and the ability to release emotion beyond the confines of my bedroom. There was not an explanation for a particular thing that caused the angst and turmoil in my heart, and accepted that I was in a state of depression. But the twisted truth during that point in my life derived from the quandary that truly, I needed to learn to love myself.

I was the number one fan in being my own worst enemy; sitting front and center watching my own life play out, always being the chief critic. Ultimately, I lacked a rationale for being mordant; my family adorned me, the friends I kept were ones who would never leave my side and I was successful in academics, sports and social settings. Yet when I was enclosed in the haven-space of my bedroom, I wept. I wept uncontrollably for months, for reasons that did not exist. Each day I tried to solve the burdensome ambiguities in my life, and each day I lacked an explanation for the abject strife that yielded my happiness.

One particular day was worse than all the others; I became so deteriorated that I came to my senses and realized I was wasting my life. Disinclined to reveal my depression to another person, I called my mother and sobbed. I told her everything about my haggard inner conflict, and to my astonishment it was no surprise to her. My mother had been wary of my situation, and had reluctantly been waiting for me to initiate the discussion acknowledging that I was depressed. There were tears of sentiment and hope at either end of the phone, and I finally came to an understanding about being true to myself. My mother taught me the first step to overcome discontent: It was to love. She did not have to explain the steps or rules on how to love; she merely revealed to me through her words of optimism the type of love I was so desperate to understand and accept.

I have learned to cope with my internal despair, as well as the value and meaning of love; not by definition, but through the faith and sanguinity my mother selflessly illustrated. In the days following the conversation with my mother, I accepted love as a way of living—something constant that can be depicted through anything imaginable. I learned about love by accepting to love myself. I firmly attest that love has an endless supply of passion, and is the remedy to provoke happiness. I believe that love is invisibly present at all times; existing in the absence of a kiss, and persevering through the harshest of squalls. Love—I believe—is the beating heart of life.