Christmas has always been a time of reflection for me, and this year my thoughts have been circling around one main question: what do I believe? The road taken has led me places I never dreamed of, and I love the difference. I am at peace, and I see my fellow travellers with eyes grown kinder and a heart grown softer, because I understand that they too are on their own path. I’ve learned to treasure the times those paths intersect, and to part peacefully when they separate and we disagree. Life might be a highway, but we have different stops along the way, and different lessons to learn. So I follow my path, looking around and looking within, and I realize that while I have shed my earlier creeds like a shrunken, itchy sweater, there is truth that remains, stronger and clearer to me than it has ever been:
I believe in choice, and the freedom of every person to make their own, even when – especially when – they choose differently than I.
I believe that we are all worthy of respect, and that in order to extend it to others, I must respect myself.
I believe in consequences, and that the energy we put into the world comes back to us, negative and positive.
I believe that there is a spark of creativity in every person, and through nurturing it, we can make the world a better place.
I believe in love and second, third, and however many dozen chances we need. None of us are perfect.
I believe that bad things happen to good people, and that’s actually a good thing, because without the dark times we’d never learn to cherish the days that sparkle.
I believe in tears, hugs, and that we all have the strength to change.
I believe in you.