As expected, my master's program is inspiring a lot of soul-searching and self-evaluation of what I truly believe to be true about myself and other people. If I am to become a person who will attempt to help people journey toward their version of happiness, I must know where I stand on the crossroads of any given path. How much can people change? What are the limits of personal potential? What is possible, likely, and probable. Where is the line between reality and fantasy? What is healthy, normal, functional, dysfunctional, and unhealthy... what do I truly know to be true?
In the end, this is my truth; I believe.
I believe that every person, no matter their past, crime, family, addiction-- no matter what-- can be whomever they choose to be. I also believe that I do not have the power to change anyone; I simply have the power to believe. And believing is an amazing power and gift sometimes.
I've seen people wilt and descend to depths of darkness and despair for the lack of it. I've seen people climb from the bowels of their own personal hells for the same simple thing. Some people live their whole lives without belief, some people are limited by belief, and some people transcend reality for it. For hope and belief are entwined and connected irrevocably. One cannot have one without the other, and we all need them both to thrive in the harsh light of the world.
But belief in itself is neutral. We all hold beliefs that lift us and weigh us down. our potential is limited only by the beliefs we choose to live by; in the end we are bound by the limits of our faith.
So this I know this chilly November evening: I believe we each are the person we believe ourselves to be, and that in every moment we are free to believe we can be someone different than who we were today.