Lexico.com defines believe in the following ways:

  • Accept that something is true, especially with proof.
  • Accept the statement of someone being true.
  • Have religious faith.
  • Feel someone is capable of doing something.
  • Hold something as an opinion; think.

This is my first time using Lexico to define a word for me. I do like their definitions.

This past week the word believe has been cropping up. The plethora of events going on in the world and in the United States where I reside there has been articles (I do not watch the news, I read many articles about the news) about what people believe. Individuals have been clashing about different belief values. It seems like people are shouting at one another about what they believe. From what I am observing is there is not much listening and understanding about why a person believes what they believe. The conversation gets stuck because both parties feel entitled to their belief and somehow a different belief is a challenge. Do people think the louder they talk the more likely someone will agree with them?

A few weeks ago I went with friends to see the new home of our former neighbor. She has a beautiful home in case you were wondering🧐 As the night wore on we laughed and fun banter. At one point the conversation turned to the current events in our country. In the group there is diversity in regards to political beliefs and other high profile issues. Yet instead of shouting or name calling one another we had give and take conversations. Did we acknowledge the different beliefs we held. Absolutely. During the discussions we also found some common ground. Core values of how every person deserves to be treated. It took talking, listening, not getting defensive (which for me can be difficult as I am passionate about what I believe).  When the evening ended while I still wished everyone believed in the same things I do (as they are pretty amazing), I felt like I had grown in a good way as a human. My guess is my friends had grown as well.

Conversation and compromise unites. Disagreements and discussion increases understanding and connection. Shouting and shaming diminishes and destroys.

After that night I decided to take stock of what I believe. Here is a beginning list of what I believe:

  • I believe everyone in the world is trying to do and be their best. In my career as a social worker there are many individuals past and present who have circumstances that are challenging, traumatic, extreme. The fact that they get out of bed each morning and try is incredible.

There is a quote “be kinder as everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”. You do not always know the background of who you are interacting with. Even people who appear to have it all together might not.

  • I believe we should always support and emphasize the positive in ourselves and others. Not one of us is perfect and we will never be perfect. Building ourselves to feel empowered is important, valuable, wonderful.  This holds true for other people in your life.  Positive brings more positive for everyone. Reflect when you were around a child learning how to walk, tie their shoe, or run. Did you mock, put them down, shame them? Did you encourage them with a “you can do this” or “good job”?  Do your words and actions build confidence? Or would you say you should be walking better, you are tying your shoes wrong, why are you not running yet? My guesstimate is that you empowered the child. Empower yourself. Empower others.
  • I believe that no matter who you are and what you have done that I will treat you in a respectful way. I respect myself. I will show respect to every individual I come in contact with, EVEN if it is an individual that I do not care for what they have done, are doing or if they are being disrespectful to me. This can be incredibly hard at times. When I hold myself to this belief and act accordingly my soul feels strong, empowered, balanced.
  • I believe in being kind to ourselves. That self-care is a priority.
  • I believe in being kind to each other.
  • I believe in taking a stand if someone is disrespecting, demeaning or mocking someone. I use the power of my words in a respectful way to ask them to stop. It is uncomfortable when you are hearing someone put down someone. I believe what haunts us is why did  we not do something. I have had moments where I was upset with myself for not speaking up. When I do speak up I am still uncomfortable. It is a better discomfort. Even though I feel scared I am taking an action that feels good.
  • I believe we need to take care of the precious Earth we are using during our time on this glorious planet. 
  • I believe there are magical, mystic, forces of nature, the universe, spiritual occurrences and connections happening.  There are times for all of us that things align that cannot be logically explained. Enjoy the magical moment for the good that it holds.
  • I believe the Universe only wants great things for us.
  • I believe we do not bring in any bad stuff into our lives. It is part of being a human. There is lots of crappy stuff going on in this world. No human wants horrible things in their life.  We need to stop shaming and demeaning others for their circumstances. We need to stop shaming and demeaning ourselves. Have compassion.
  • I believe in saying “what can I do to help” when someone is struggling. If what they need is something I can do, I do it. If it is something I can’t do then I problem solve to who or what might be able to help. There is great power in reaching out to help someone. When people have offered to help me during my struggles it feels wonderful. I felt cared for and supported.
  • I believe that a most delicious donut on occasion is good for you. I do know that is certainly makes my belly happy which makes me happy🍩

So amazing person reading this take some time to ponder about what your core values are. What do you believe in that is true to you. To do your best to live each day being the best person you want to be. To be kind to yourself when you are not. We are all evolving creatures just trying to do our best!

May what you believe be with you💜

Photo by Ran Berkovich on Upsplash