“Do not accept anything simply because it has been said by your teacher, or because it has been written in your sacred book, or because it has been believed by many, or because it has been handed down by your ancestors. Accept and live only according to what will enable you to see truth face to face.”
– Buddha, as quoted in *Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life* by Thich Nhat Hanh
It’s a very powerful idea, to feel that your own beliefs are your own choice. It can also be a very lonely idea if the things that speak to you and make your heart sing are different for you than for the people around you. It can be difficult to hold on to that thread of truth that makes you uniquely you when others are telling you that you’re wrong.
Sometimes I think that my loved ones feel I choose a different path simply to be different, to disagree, to defy. I don’t know how to make them understand that what makes their spirit soar and makes their lives bright and full and brings them peace and love simply does not speak to me. I have tried to be soft and open and learn, but it is not my truth, it is not where my heart lies, it is not my belief.
It is my sincerest wish that each and every person on earth finds the thing, whether it’s a religion, a practice, a hobby, a prayer, a belief or anything else that explains to them their purpose on Earth, lets them feel divine love, and brings them happiness. During this holiday season, may we make rooms in our hearts and our lives for those who hold different beliefs. May we still love and cherish their presence in our lives.