I believe in healers: the rare doctor who really listens before doing anything; the holistic masseuse who deeply knows my body, my longings, the ever-changing flow of my emotions, my spiritual practice; the homeopath who also listens, asks odd quirky questions and then offers a protocol that miraculously works.
I believe the most alluring flower gardens are wild, not manicured, with tall, wispy stalks that sway with the wind, like an unbridled colt prancing across open fields with energy yet to be tamed.
I believe when I told my mother I was not just having an extra-affair, but with a woman, her immediate unprepared response was, “I understand, Jo. There was a time I could have imagined that for myself.” Today I wonder, did she really say that?
I believe in loyalty.
I believe being a lefty only when eating is not truly ambidextrous. I can’t do anything else with that hand, so it must have been my hunger panic that made me forget I was a righty when first learning to use utensils.
I believe that suffering is the gateway to brilliance, creativity, wisdom, and faith. Maybe it was the absence of real hardship in childhood that made me a naïve late-bloomer in almost all ways. Suffering, the companion to intimate love, only entered my life in my early 30’s.
I believe my mother singled me out for her criticism because I was living the life she felt she never could have.
I believe there is something better than what I already have… until I sit still and allow my meditation.
I believe we face dangerous and challenging times with our new president. And yet when I step back and look at the cycles of history, I believe people are becoming mobilized and awakened to ALL of the sufferings in our world. A renewed energy will eventually lead us to find ways of healing our planet and our humanity.
I believe people are basically good, though often blinded by their fears.
I believe in love at first sight. Her beauty became imprinted in my memory. She pushed strands of long red hair behind her ears and moved across the stage with powerful strides to adjust the sound equipment for a music performance. We met in person a year later. Our instantaneous connection lasted for 31 years.
I believe a good writer is a voracious reader. I don’t read enough.
I believe if I weren’t disciplined, I would stay up all night writing, eat pastries while watching my favorite TV shows for more than my one hour of allotted time, go out to eat in fine restaurants 3-4 times a week, and forget that meditation and exercise make me happy.
I believe in regularly asking myself Mary Oliver’s suggestive question, “What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I believe in the protective power of small tokens given by loved ones when going away on a journey—Judy’s crystal on a chain when I traveled far from home, one of my earrings to put in her pocket when she did the same, a gemstone with magical powers for each member at the end of a support group, the small uncut crystal I carry in my wallet to keep Judy’s disembodied spirit with me wherever I go.
I believe in second chances. We all make mistakes.
I believe my mother is unhappy and that makes me unhappy. Or does she show me a side of herself she usually hides from other folks? After all, her life now consists of ever-shifting moments, one at a time. She’s teaching me to adjust my unhappy reactions in a similar way.
I believe cats and dogs have a sixth sense.
I believe, and I am so very grateful that I believe because most of my life I didn’t believe. Now you might wonder what I believe, but I must admit I don’t know what I believe other than the mystery and magic in life that can’t be articulated or illuminated. Instead, I am left with a sense of wonder.