A year ago I wrote a post about believing in those you love. Now, a year later, I have come to better understand just how important that is. There are so many different things people believe in these days – politically, theologically, philosophically, yada yada yada. And then there are those who don’t believe in anything. They don’t believe in love, they don’t believe in God, they don’t believe in this or that. People don’t often use that word anymore, either. They say “I think”. Do you want to know what I believe? There’s too much thinking going on in this world. Whatever happened to that wonderful feeling of faith, whether it’s faith in a person, in a concept, in a higher power, in an abstract future…whatever the case may be? What would happen if we started saying “I believe” as opposed to “I think” ? (Of course that switch is not always applicable, but in the cases where it is, it could be interesting)
I was that girl who believed in Santa for far too long. I was that girl who refused to stop believing in fairies. I was that girl who had hit double digits in age and still looked for the portal to Narnia. Believing was never hard for me, and for that I’m incredibly blessed. But you grow up, and life happens, and that light of faith sometimes gets snuffed, or was never lit to begin with.
I just played Peter in a production of Peter Pan and I don’t think I have ever been so emotionally invested in a role. I wish I’d had more time with it because there was so much that I didn’t explore. One thing that was challenging was finding that childlike spirit again. We all had to believe in what we were saying. We had to believe in Neverland. And I was reminded just how far away life takes us from that capability. I remembered what it felt like to believe. I could remember, and I got close, but I couldn’t quite reach it. I couldn’t quite get there. I got pretty emotional about it during tech one day. And while I couldn’t quite get there, Peter woke something up in me. I can’t quite explain what it was, and I didn’t even realize it had been missing. Maybe in the way grownups can’t see Peter, the “spirit of youth”, we as adults sometimes aren’t capable of believing as deeply as we used to. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have faith, even if it’s just a little bit.
So many people don’t believe in themselves. This is heartbreaking to me because I don’t think relying on validation from others is any way to live. But some people need it. Even if it’s just from one person. People need reminders, they need to know they’re not alone and that their life can be a glorious adventure and not a waste of time. In maintaining relationships, whether it’s between lovers, friends, or family, we talk about trust, honesty, communication, etc. but I don’t feel like we talk about faith. And it’s just as important. Not believing in the people around you is very destructive, to both that relationship and to that person. Sometimes people can find lack of faith in them motivating – to whom I say kudos – but others just stop caring, or start caring in the wrong ways. I was in a place where I needed someone to believe in me, and they didn’t. We don’t talk anymore and I didn’t realize until after how much that little fact had been eroding my being. They weren’t capable of it. Some people aren’t. We need some itty bitty piece of faith to get anywhere in life (otherwise what’s the point), and to get anywhere some people need to be believed in. So acknowledge that. Tell them that. And please, stop thinking once in awhile. Start believing. It’s very freeing on the spirit, I promise you. It can be hard to just *waves hands emphatically* believe in something, so maybe encouraging your loved ones is a good way to start. You may inspire something magnificent.