The Power of Beliefs

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“You’re weak.” “No one will ever love you for who you are.” “Something is wrong with you.” “You’re not a real man.”

These were just some of the things that I believed about myself as a teenager when I became more aware of my attraction to other boys. These were not thoughts that I alone created for myself. They were seeds that had been planted and then nurtured by fear and ignorance by adults around me. There is a part of me that is even hesitant to write this next sentence, but that fear and ignorance came from the adults at the church I attended as a child. I am not saying that the exact words that began this entry were what was said, those are my own words. What I’m saying is that the thoughts that became those words were first introduced to me in church. The phrase, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” is as familiar in my mind as the words to the Lord’s Prayer. What cruelty to be “taught” to children.

I know that many people in the world believe this and that is a belief that I do not live with. Belief is a very sensitive emotion. At its best it can do wonderful things and at its worst it can destroy nations and that is no exaggeration. Any conflict has stemmed from one person or persons belief that they were wronged in some way. There is a song by John Mayer called “Belief” and the lyrics to the chorus are; “We’re never gonna win the world, we’re never gonna stop the war, we’re never gonna beat this if belief is what we’re fighting for.”

Belief is powerful and it can also be blind. Blind to those that it hurts and blind to how it limits our relationships. As powerful as beliefs can be, they are also that fragile. Disagree with the belief of anyone and you will experience what he or she considers to be a great betrayal. No one likes to have their beliefs challenged and it takes a vulnerable person to even entertain the idea of hearing someone challenge their belief. I hope to be that someone. Someone that has my own beliefs and listens to others whose beliefs may differ from my own. What if we lived so that our beliefs were set to benefit others and not ourselves? How different would the world be?

Antuan RaimoneComment