Friday night I had the great pleasure of reading one of my blog posts aloud, at the 2014 BlogHer Conference in San Jose. My post was chosen, along with eleven other blogger’s work. The writers participated in a live reading called, Voices Of The Year. The post I read is titled “The View From Here,” and I originally ran it on the blog last October. Since Friday’s reading, a number of people have asked me to re-post it. Here it is.
The View From Here
Recently, Mr. Rosenberg was wondering aloud what it might take for him to become a Rabbi. He thought that first he needed to better grasp his world-view before he could counsel others. It made me question my own world view or as I like to think of it, my Miss America platform.
I believe in the power of family and the many ways that they are grown and packaged. I also believe in the power of building a family of friends.
I believe in the power of prayer, good vibes, and mojo as healing balms. I also believe in the terrible power of disease, decay, and physical disrepair that cannot be helped, though we pray with all our might. I believe we can push for our will in a situation but God’s will is what’s going to happen anyway.
I believe in the power of a good dermatologist, a good psychiatrist, and rice pudding with raisins.
I believe in the power of a loving God. I do not believe that God is like Santa, rewarding the virtuous and punishing those on the naughty list. I know that sometimes terrible things happen to stellar people and that sometimes enormous good happens to those who seem to least deserve it. I don’t pretend to understand why this is true. God knows. And I believe that too.
I believe in the power of drugs and alcohol as an option to save people from themselves for a time, until they don’t. I believe in the powerful grace of recovery from those, and other addictions, that can be found in following the map charted by brave souls who have passed that way before.
I believe in the power of humor to get us through even the most excrutiating of times and that Tina Fey and Will Farrell and Patton Oswalt are seraphim zipped into people suits.
I believe in the power of animals. I believe that they, like all of us, are divine creatures and should be treated as such. I believe that the longer I think like this, the closer I am to becoming a vegetarian.
I believe in the power of forgiveness especially when I am caught in the clenched fist of not forgiving.
I believe in the power of compliments, giving them and also learning to receive them. I believe that compliments are a spiritual high five.
I believe in the power of time. I believe that time is relative and that someone we know for an hour can change our lives as much as someone we know for a decade. I do not believe that time heals all wounds, but it will at least scab them over if you allow it.
I believe in the power of help: Accepting it and also giving it without keeping a scorecard of who did what when for how long. I believe that kindness and attention and the offering of help to others can be our simple ministry to the world.
I believe in the power of music and poetry as communication and communion and that reading Rumi or listening to Nina Simone is a way God has of letting us peek behind the spiritual curtain.
I believe in the power of mystery to shape our days and keep us interested to see what’s next. We can have a routine and believe we know what to expect but it rarely goes that way, and that is a wonder and a blessing.
I believe in the power of teachers and that each person, each situation we encounter will teach us something. I believe that each day holds one sacred lesson for us and if we listen closely, we will hear God’s voice in some most unlikely places.
I believe in the power of the past and the importance of learning to look back but not stare. I believe in the power of this moment. And this one. I believe in the power of each of us to bring our unique story and brand of special sauce to this life and our ability to use that power for good instead of evil. I believe you are doing the best you know how. I believe today is a good day.