I was listening to Gaye Marston talk the other week about this challenge her professor gave her back when she was in college. The challenge: why do you believe what you believe? Ask yourself this every day.
So I’ve started asking myself this question. I think it better I ask that of myself, I tend to get defensive when someone else asks that of me (what’s up with that right).
In a spiritual sense, I used to believe in God because my family believed. It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s and had gone through a lot of good and bad life experiences that I had to figure out that belief for myself.
Our lives are our own to live
Our lives are our responsibility, period. Living based on what someone else believes or feels really isn’t living at all. It is restricted and feels heavy on the mind and heart. There has to come a point in our lives when we decide for ourselves what we believe, whether it is spiritual, relational, financial, etc.
Even if what you believe isn’t popular and you feel alone, I guarantee there are like-minded people out there who believe the same way you do. How awesome would that be to meet up with them? A relational search and rescue.
Maybe you don’t believe the same as your parents. Maybe what you believe is different from friends, clergy, whoever, I believe we can believe what we believe and talk and listen to someone who believes the contrary and have a respectful dialogue. Dang, that would be so spankin’ incredible!
Why do I believe what I believe? I answer that through past, present, and future blog posts (check out The Cellar). Maybe you answer that through music and lyrics, art, poetry, athleticism, family, relationships, etc. There is no right or wrong way to express what you believe, the important thing is that you know personally.
Our lives show us what we believe
Our lives are our story, the good, the bad, the joy, the shame, the laughter, the tears, all of it is us. It is our story that connects our birth to our death. It is up to us to embrace it and share it with someone else. That is how we add value to each other, sharing our story. Hearing other people’s stories has made such an impact on me, and perhaps vice-versa. Who knows what glorious chain reaction could occur in telling your story?
It may take a bit of time to sort through why we believe what we believe vs. what someone has told us we “should” believe or expects us to believe. So I challenge you to ask yourself as I challenge myself: why do you believe what you believe?
[photo by weir thru a lens]