Believing in believing…



I believe in believing.

But what is believing?

Perhaps it is when the mind constantly reiterates to the heart the details it has gathered from the outside world in its efforts to persuade you into believing something similar to the dominating societal beliefs of today’s population. However, maybe it is the heart that attempts to influence the mind, telling it to pursue the distinct beliefs that it has created, the ones that are unique to your person. Or maybe it’s your gut, that provides you with a deep and unknowing conviction in the pit of your stomach, that says whatever this is, it feels right.

There are many ways to define what it means to ‘believe’ but I think that it simply means to know that somewhere within your being, the given concept resonates and epitomizes who you are, or who you strive to become.

Maybe that belief consists of the more mysterious things in life, such as the belief in a God. One who reigns over the Earth and provides guidance as to how to live your life; or one who is everything and presents the world with an overwhelming feeling of connectivity and oneness with each other and one’s surroundings.

Maybe it’s the belief that in the great depths of the ocean lies the answers to the universe, guarded by the bottom dwellers of the sea who always appear vaguely supernatural; or maybe in the vast and spectacular vertical abyss of our sky is where the secrets are kept, dispersed amongst the universes we have yet to discover and watched over by the oblivion that rests in the stars.

Maybe it’s the belief that after we die in this lifetime that our souls will be sent to either Heaven or Hell, that journey being predetermined by the choices we have made in this life; or maybe we will be reborn in a different form, and be continuously reincarnated until complete union with this “God” is reached. But maybe our bodies will simply disintegrate as our souls slip into obscurity, and as the years pass, it is only a matter of time until your existence is completely and utterly forgotten. But maybe not.

Isn’t that the beauty of believing? Your beliefs can not be dictated by an elder, a teacher, a government, or even a universe. Your beliefs are dictated by you, and only you. Don’t get me wrong, your beliefs can be influenced by all of the significant persons and groups in your life, but the ultimate decision as to what you believe is yours. And despite the fact that some countries and cultures are restricted from expressing their beliefs publicly, the concept of believing can never have limitations put on it. It’s the ultimate freedom that no one can be stripped of, that no tyranny can restrict, and every human being has infinite access to.

Maybe you believe in and live for the simpler things in life:

…that laughter is the best medicine, rain has the power to wash away all of life’s problems, unexpected compliments, a slurpee on a hot summer day, laughing and reminiscing with a good friend, getting messages via snail mail, running, chips on sandwiches, random acts of kindness, the innocence in the smile exchanged between two strangers, a weekend at the farm, the perfection of a brand-new jar of peanut butter, the smell of the ocean, the satisfaction that comes with having a good comeback, feeling confident (even just for a day), lyrics to a song that are unbelievably relatable, a team feeling more like a family, a mother’s kiss still being the most effective way to heal your wounds, a father’s strength still being the reason that you fight even when you feel like fleeing, a blanket straight out of the dryer, mayonnaise with fries, someone who unexpectedly remembers your birthday, breathing, using music to express yourself, friends you can be weird (like weird-to-the-point-where-you-question-your-mental-sanity-weird) with and laugh with, finding comfort in knowing that everything happens for a reason, becoming a pro basketball player for the second it takes your garbage to reach the trash can, knowing that one person who will always message or talk to you (whether it be 2am or in the middle of their own breakdown), being extra skeptical of things on Friday the 13th, when a teacher calls on you when they don’t think you’re listening and you give them the correct answer, knowing there is always somebody out there that has it worse than you do (so don’t complain), when someone gives you a piece of gum without you asking for one, peace, happiness, acceptance, love.

…At this point in my life, I am lost. I do not know what I believe. I do not know who to believe.

I believe that I am not clearly aware of all of the things that I believe. But I do believe that believing gives us all this sense of freedom and the ability to develop into unique individuals with independent minds and thoughts. Not only this, but it gives us this incredible sense of control over our energy. If something utterly horrific happens to you, you can believe it was meant to ruin your day, week, month, year, or life, or you can choose to view it as something intended to make you stronger, to make you a fighter, and teach you to fight for what you want in life. Believing is not a verb, it isn’t an action word, regardless of the formalistic and professional definition provided by the dictionary; it is a concept and a power. A power all of humanity has access to, and along with this power, we have this incredible instinct to harness it, to transform our memories and experiences into our own personified belief system. Not a single soul has the ability to alter, judge, or drastically change your beliefs besides yourself. And through these words I have not managed to touch on even a handful of beliefs in the grand scheme of things; however, I don’t find that I need to.

You know what you believe, and I know what I believe.

I believe in the power of believing.


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10 thoughts on “Believing in believing…

  1. Dear Taylor,
    I am truly amazed. What I absolutely LOVED about your piece was how you powerfully incorporated innocence within it. Whenever I think about innocence, I imagine it being subtly embedded into one’s writing, but you have completely altered my opinion on that part, as you have illustrated that motif very boldly within your piece.

    This bold “tint” on innocence occurred within the paragraph in which you referred to the “little things in life,” as it truly captured the power behind the small moments that seem to give value to life in general. These events that you listed were so simplistic in nature, so as to create a unifying effect, that I defined as innocence. It was beautiful. I enjoyed every word. Not to mention that the way you stylistically ordered your ideas in the form of a run on sentence, further exemplifies how these small pleasures are never-ending. That was carried out perfectly.

    It was clear that you believe in the very idea of believing, however, I feel as though in order to properly engage your audience, you need to specify how the significance of believing serves to affect us as individuals. What is its significance within our lives? Why do people believe in what they believe? You defined “belief” very well, but I feel as though this ideal needs more depth. Perhaps if you elaborated on the simple moments in life, that you mentioned earlier, and became more concentrated on the matter behind that notion, you would have dawned understanding among your readers to an even greater extent.

    Incorporating matter was very difficult for me to do in the past within my writing, as I always interpreted the “mean” as “matter,” which seems to be what you’re doing. Try and weave your “say” into your “matter,” as you have the “mean” portion covered.

    You’re a really talented writer Taylor, especially when it comes to rendering your audience speechless when they read specific parts of your blog. I know as a fact, that if you work on the matter a bit more, there’s no telling where you’ll take your readers.

    It was beautiful in its simplicity.


    1. Dear Sania,

      First let me thank you for reading my blog, it’s an honor. Not only reading, but taking the time to comment on it. At first I was a bit weary as to delving into such a broad topic such as “what do you believe” but your comment really helped make me feel assured that choosing that belief was the right choice.

      Thank you so much for this feedback; I seem to be struggling to do that with all of my pieces this year. Do you have any tips to identifying what the “matter” is or how to construct the “matter” when you’re writing to make sure that it doesn’t accidentally shift back into “mean”?

      A whole-hearted thank you for your kind words.


      1. Dear Taylor,

        In terms of focusing on the “matter,” and preventing that shift back into “mean,” I would offer to always ask the question of “so what?” throughout your piece, and once you can no longer answer that question, that is when you have done an excellent job. Megan had mentioned this earlier in class, and I completely agree with her. In addition, always relate the idea behind your piece to how it captures the essence of human nature. For example, you could have linked the little things in life, which you mentioned in the form of a run on sentence (loved it!), to the notion that all of these things keep people going in life. These outbursts of happiness from ” the smell of the ocean,” to someone who “unexpectedly remembers your birthday,” reflects how our belief system is rooted in the world around us, more so than our own religions and cultures, since the unknown evokes fear, and the known evokes happiness. We live for what we see and feel.

        Does this help?

        Yours truly,

        1. Dear Sania,

          Yes! Thank you so much for taking the time to help me better understand this. You will definitely help me improve. Thank you so much!!!


  2. Dear Taylor,

    My initial response after reading this was WOW. What really made me stop and think was when you wrote about beliefs being dictated by you and only you. The parallelism in this piece intrigued me so much as a reader. You really managed to delve deep into the topic and create something amazing.

    The paragraph about enjoying the little things in life was by far my favorite part of the post. Your use of run on sentences was very effective and I never would have thought of all your “little things”, and I think that’s amazing because I felt more connected with you after reading them.

    One thing I think you could work on for next time is saying why having all these beliefs are so important and how they can affect people in a positive way. Overall, I was very impressed with it and I look forward to reading your writing as the term goes on.


    1. Dear Alysha,

      I am very grateful to the time you took to read and comment on my blog, it means a lot! Thank you for your kind words. I wasn’t sure if my run on sentence would come across the way I intended it to, but I feel reassured thanks to your comment.

      Okay, sweet, thank you so much for the feedback. Would you say by adding why having all of these beliefs are so important on an individual level or more societal would more effectively strengthen it? Or both…haha
      Thank you so much again!


  3. Dear Taylor,
    I am in awe. Your blog is saturated in your quick witted thoughts and your heart-warming nature, giving the piece an authentic, pure, beauty. I loved how you began by listing the possibilities of what some may perceive believing to be, then narrowed it down to what you truly interpret the subject as, this really enhanced the flow of the piece along with your tone and diction. The conclusion was almost rhetoric, yet you still captured the absolute of our ability to dictate what we do or do not believe in, a line often blurred but crystal clear in your work.

    Taylor I must say, your ability to bring forth your innocent voice and alter it into one of wisdom and power is inspiring and will be one of your greatest strengths in this course. Use it! Furthermore, you focus your reader with your diction, almost demanding their attention, offering them something they cannot resist. And that is a well-rounded young woman offering her delicate and calculated mind.

    I loved your analysis about religion and believing, it added more of the “Matter” to your post and next time take us even deeper. We would all love to hear even more about each detail! This can be done through elaborating more on how this effects us as individuals and a society.

    Overall your piece was an insightful read full of heart and passion, leaving the reader wanting even more. If you do not mind me asking, is there ever a certain time/place/individual that you find your belief challenged by? If so when/where/who and how to you stay morally focussed?

    Sincerely, Emily

    P.S Your peanut butter reference was very relatable. xoxo

    1. Dear Emily,

      My goodness, thank you so much. Your kind words mean the world, and have really helped boost my confidence with this piece. It’s an honor to have my work read by such an inspiring individual such as yourself. And not only that, but receive such a beautiful comment as well. Honestly, thank you so much.

      Hmm, to be completely honest, I think it’s just (at times) the overwhelmingly evil forces in the world that chalenge my belief. When I stop to think about how much evil humanity is and is willing to be capable of with all of the violence, discrimination, and general lack of empathy in society today, I become kind of discouraged from believing that it will ever be able to be changed for the better. But then you have to remember the simplest and most beautiful things about humankind. For example, the picture that Bryna shared with us on Edmodo. It offers a small taste as to how beautiful and kindhearted humanity can be. I love those small but meaningful moments. The pictures that say a thousand words.
      I’m not sure if you have seen the movie “The Giver”, but at the end when all of the memories are returned, and there are those flashbacks (both good and bad) from before their utopian world are shown, (Here is the link, the flashbacks start at 2:12: it just shows some insight as to how beautiful humanity can truly and genuinely be. It also reiterates what Sania said in her blog; how you can not live in happiness without knowing the sadness that contradicts it.
      I feel like even though the world is a cruel place where, at times, all hope of ever escaping the immoral sins that humanity has committed, and is continuing to commit, has been lost, those (seemingly) small moments of optimism and triumph that humanity is still capable of is what keeps me grounded.

      I’m sorry, I’m not sure if that answered your question or made any sense at all.

      Thank you again for all of your kindhearted words Emily, it means a lot!


  4. Dear Taylor,

    My name is Alex, I am in Mr. Avelar’s English Honours class in the International School of Panama. I was really awe struck after reading your post on believing, I agree with you that everyone is fully responsible for what they believe in, and i also agree with you that other things can have a minor affect on what we might want to believe but i think we should strive to not let others change what we believe even if they are only trying to help us because then it would not fully be our decision. I felt full hearted when i read your list of things that make you feel happy as most of them i can really connect with. I think that it is also important for people to realize and embrace that everyone believes in different things and that it is okay to be different in beliefs.

    1. Dear Alex,

      It’s awesome to meet you, and thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and comment on it. As cliche and and typical as it might sound for someone in my position to say this, I honestly mean it when I say I really appreciate it. I agree with you when you say to not let others influence your beliefs. I think everyone is someone of value, and everyone deserves the respect for what they might believe. Your words mean more to me than you probably know, it definitely made my day (by a landslide) by reading your kind words. Thank you so much man! Do you have any small things that you believe make your life better?

      Thank you,

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