I am not ashamed.

I am sitting in a room that is dim and gray, while the window is wide open but the sun hides behind the clouds that are carrying the summer rain. It is a serene quiet in my home, and my heart is full. It's the kind of full that doesn't allow me to keep things inside.

I am here today to talk briefly about something that I avoid bringing up here on my blog-world. Something that is personal and isn't solely my story to tell, so I don't tell it often and I don't tell it to just anyone. It is something that is so broad that I could write an entire book of words and still not have said everything I feel. But in a few short words, I would like to touch on it just enough that I can take some of the overflow from my heart and put it here in the void of my silly little space on the internet. It is also in the hope that one day my children and my children's children will be able to have this piece of me, this real and broken piece of me, to know for themselves who I was and what I voiced.


To me, our beliefs are two things: personal and sacred. What we stand for, no matter what it may be, it is all something for ourselves and our souls and our hearts and we can't expect anyone, let alone everyone, to understand any of it.

Whether you are in a religious group that practices the same beliefs or whether you stand alone and commune with God by yourself in the way you feel to be true. Whether you believe in God at all, for reasons of scientific evidence or personal experience. Whoever you are and whatever you practice, I'm sure you have some belief, some conviction that strikes a match in you and fills you with surety. Whether it's hope or faith or comfort or love or reality-it's a truth for you.

Voicing our beliefs to people is something that should be done at the right time. I believe the right time, the real right time, doesn't happen as often as some think it to. I believe the right times are few and far between. When something speaks to your soul and you feel from your head to your toes that if you didn't stand up and say something RIGHT NOW, you might just regret it forever and ever. Because what are beliefs, if we aren't passionate about them? Sometimes they must be stood up for, I do believe that. Even if I don't agree with your belief, I will always let myself remember that maybe you were right for standing up for it. Because it's yours: your hope and your truth and your passion, something you might die for and something you live for all at the same time.

But me, I don't often put a voice to my beliefs. I've made the mistake of unintentionally starting a debate on a social network, but I learn from my mistakes. The internet is no place for my beliefs, because it is full of people who are destined to argue and debate and use cruel words and MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE THEM if it's THE LAST THING THEY DO. For me, my core beliefs are sacred and personal and private, and I don't often feel the need to talk about them unless someone who I love and care about honestly asks me to talk about them. And to be honest, my beliefs are still babies that are learning and growing and changing everyday, based on faith and experience and life and knowledge. For me, using words to talk about the convictions I have comes few and far between. Living the convictions I have, however, comes every single day.

I have thoughts on how I feel about organized religion. I have convictions on my support for equality for all. I have questions that have answers that might never be answered. But I ask the questions anyway, and I'm always glad I did. I have a relationship with God that I cherish. I have hope lit on a matchstick that won't let naysayers blow out, but I also have reason and the ability to see and understand both sides of any argument.

One of my very favorite people once said, "I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values." (Ellen, of course, but I'm sure you've heard it before.) And here I am nodding my head vigorously and wanting to give her a giant hug. I do stand for those exact things, and to me they are traditional values, and that's all I know.

I have never, nor would I ever, approach anyone I love or know or don't know alike, and tell them that what they believe is wrong, yet what I believe is right. I would never ask them to believe something different than what they do now. I would never tell them that their spiritual experiences, their holy moments when they are alone where no one else can see or feel or experience, their answers through science and truth, their battle wounds and scars and life experiences that have led them on their path... I would never tell them that those are not real, that they do not exist because it's not possible, because they contradict with my beliefs. I would never try to persuade them to believe what I believe because what they believe is wrong.

And all I would ask is the same. A respect, a knowledge that what I do believe, although it might even be contradictory to what you believe, is real. An understanding that I have had many personal experiences that have led me to where I stand right now, and they are all my own to be had. Even if you don't understand them, even if you don't agree with them, remember that I never asked you to. I would hope for a mutual agreement to not wish for or want "better" for me, because I could do the same for you but I do not.

I believe in standing up for your beliefs when the times are right. But I don't believe in being defensive at all costs and debating them with cruel words until you are blue in the face. I don't believe in being sad and disappointed because you are worried for a good person who has "fallen" from what you believe to be the right path. I don't believe in letting your beliefs, no matter what they are, seperate you from honestly loving others. Not fakely loving others, might I add. Honestly. Because I do believe that we are here solely to pick each other up and help each other through life, no matter what our differing beliefs are.

I know what it feels like to be the one in one-thousand that believes a little differently. The one in the crowd of people I'm surrounded by who doesn't fit in or belong. The one who is a little bit shunned and a little bit judged and a lot-a-bit talked about behind her back. The one who often thinks about how much easier it would be to follow the crowd, but chooses to take the harder path instead because she knows it in her heart to be the right one, if not the right one for her.

I also know what it feels like to be seen and loved anyways. To be supported and encouraged and accepted for who I am and not what I believe. And for that, for those people, I am forever and ever grateful. More than they would ever know.

I respect you and your beliefs, I wouldn't dream of changing you or your beliefs, and I love you all the same. And I hope and wish people to do the same for me.

--giant hippie hug, and thank you for listening to a not-so-serious girl getting serious on you. signing out now.--

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