Friday, March 28, 2008

Believing in Myself

March 20

Today's Quotation:

I believe that in our constant search for security we can never
gain any peace of mind until we secure our own soul. And this
I do believe above all, especially in my times of greatest
discouragement, that I must believe--that I must believe
in my fellow people-- that I must believe in myself--that I
must believe in God--if life is to have any meaning.

Margaret Chase Smith

Today's Meditation:

It's a shame that so many people have attached so much dogma and so many conditions to believing in God. We've turned one of the most important aspects of our lives into some sort of competition--you're not a true Christian unless you believe this; you're not a good Muslim unless you adopt this set of beliefs; a good Jew always will believe this.

But what of our own relationships with ourselves and with God? What of our own ability to believe in who we are and who God is? Is it any wonder that we find it hard to believe in ourselves when we're told so often that our most basic beliefs are wrong or misguided? How can it help us to adopt other people's beliefs just because other people believe those things?

For centuries, Christians believed that it was right to kill a person who committed blasphemy. Some cultures still do believe that. But for the most part, that belief has changed significantly. What once was considered a holy duty before God is now a crime in almost all countries of the world. But how many people adopted that belief in former times simply because other people told them it was true?

If we insist on adopting other people's beliefs, we will find that we are unable to get to know ourselves, and that we are unable to believe fully and deeply. Our first duty is to ourselves, for the person who has come to know him or her self can then reach out and help others effectively.

Questions to ponder:

1. Do you believe in yourself? How do your actions reflect that belief?

2. Do you believe in God, no matter what you conceive Him (or Her, or It) to be? How do your actions reflect that belief?

3. How many of your beliefs come from other people, and their insistence that you must believe certain things in certain ways?

For further thought:

Grant us a common faith that we shall know bread and peace--that
we shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security,
an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do our best not only
in our own lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us
march toward the clean world our hands can make.

Stephen Vincent Benet

This was the amazing meditative article, from the Living Life Fully web site, that gave me great food for thought. Especially after I had spent the larger portion, of my young adult and adult life, joining churches and molding myself into their ideas of who and what is good. It has not been until the last 2 years that I have actually come into my own and really started to enjoy my life. As the "questions to ponder" ask about believing in yourself.... I never used to. I believed that I was only as good as "they" said that I was. As long as I behaved in ways that fit with their teachings, as long as I went to studies and volunteered I was a-okay in their minds.

It was not until I totally took myself out of their influences that I began to discover myself. The fact that I believed in something divine was something that I had to develop on my own and on my own terms. I finally feel like I own my own emotions and beliefs, that they do not belong to some church or organization. Granted, I do not have any ladies to have punch and cake with on Sunday afternoons, but I am secure and strong. I am totally me and do not have to rely on those places to be my social network.

It doesn't even have to always be with a church either. I realized how many of the people that I used to think were my friends, ended up I was just fused to their behaviors and thoughts.

From the time I was 12 I was always looking for the "thing" that would help me to fit in and be part of something. It has taken this long for me to find the way to just be happy with myself and be part of the human race.


The Drew said...

Hi,Dharma.Good for you.It is quite amazing to find yourself.You have every reason to be happy with who you are...for you are quite an amazing person.I am very proud of your journey of self discoveryAwesome:)

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Rachel said...

Hi Dharma!

I've been struggling with a teacher from my daughter's school who runs an afterschool program that they attend two days a week. She keeps preaching at them about how being a born again Christian is the only true religion and how everyone else is bad, wrong, and doomed to burn in hell. Sigh. Today she was telling them all about how pagans are awful and don't believe in god. Double sigh. Has she even noticed the tree of life pentacle sticker on my car??

P.S. I'd love to make a pendant for you! Any theme you would like?