Step 2 – Hope
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
What is it that causes us to believe and what exactly is belief anyway? Our friend Merriam Webster says belief is : a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true; a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable; a feeling of trust in the worth or ability of someone.
Hmmm, seems to me that belief is kin to faith : a strong belief or trust in someone or something.
Came to believe… I think my first encounter with belief was Santa Claus. Don’t know how or why but I’m pretty sure he was my first test of belief, faith and anything related to my dependency (bringing gifts) on another, aside from my parents. I’m sure my first encounter was so foreign to me that I had no concept of belief, let alone belief in someone who I only saw once a year. No, it was not until I was a little older that I really began to BELIEVE in Santa Claus and all the joy and goodness he represented. Deep in my heart, I knew, if I were good, Santa would reward my goodness and bring me everything on my list – which he usually did. Santa Claus was my first, cognizant and recognizable action of belief. Even when I got older and had my belief shattered, I still believed anyway because there is something so pure about believing in something so good and pure. Look how many songs talk about belief. I believe I can fly – really? Don’t stop believing – why not? Believe – Cher; Do you believe in magic – not sure? Dozens of songs talking about belief.
that a Power greater than ourselves…Hmmm, now I’m pretty gosh darn terrific, I mean, I’m no Ali but I’m no glass jaw either, so just who/what could be greater than I. Well, if you’re like me, an answer just leads to another question, so sometimes I try to stop answering. Whether its Creationism, Big Bang, or Made in China, you have to admit, being human and living it a pretty mind blowing thing. Just how did all of this come to be? Yeah, there’s a so-called answer for everything but is it really an answer? When things get messy, we tend to say “Why me?” Who exactly are you asking this question of? If you are just talking out loud, why ask questions, why not make statements instead. Questions imply a desire to know more and if you ask questions of the unknown then it stands to reason that somewhere inside, you still believe in Santa Claus.
could restore us to sanity. Restore : to give back (some one/thing that was lost or taken) : to put or bring (something) back into existence : to return something to an earlier or original condition by repairing it. Furniture, cars, jewelry, bad dye jobs, we’ve all had things restored. You don’t need a great deal of belief with those things, you can see what needs to be restored. Sanity : the condition of having a healthy mental mind : the condition of being sane. We have all the science and technology at our fingertips, why risk something as precious as the health and well-being of my mind to the unknown? See, more questions.
Well, after some long debates with myself, I came up with this; if as a child, I had belief in something so pure and good, something greater than myself, that brought such happiness to my mind, why can’t I have that belief as an adult? In fact I do, still believe in Santa Claus, everyday. Everyday, I am sure of my being and all that I have and see. I trust myself and some things and people around me. Some of those people and things do in fact have great power over me (worldly speaking of course) and when I have been or am being robbed of my sanity, some of the things some of those people have can most assuredly restore my sanity (booze, pills, exercise, painting, whatever). In a word, I have hope. As a child I had the sincerest expectation and confidence that Santa would bring me my gifts. Every morning I have the sincerest expectation and confidence that I will be able to stand, walk, move about, car starts, bank card works, computer doesn’t crash, arrive accident free and anything else I can think up and I do with every second of every day under the guise of hope. I sincerely expect all those things because to not expect them would cause severe trauma to my mental state. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, God, even the Great Pumpkin; all have something in common. All require belief in the essence of something not truly representative of themselves. Our parents were/are Santa, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, the Great Pumpkin and even God before we came to know and understood who God really is, so is believing in something greater than yourself really such a bad thing, especially if the only reason for believing is to maintain a healthy mind?
I’m not big on the Easter Bunny, the treats are too sweet but I love the premise and pretty colors. The Great Pumpkin is always late, poor Linus and I never could figure out the Tooth Fairy. I lost my wisdom teeth and didn’t get jack squat, as a result, my mind was left in an unhealthy mental state, but God and Santa Claus, I’ve never experienced so much mental happiness. Ask any kid about Santa Claus and you can see the restoration of sanity right before your eyes. Amazing isn’t it. So glad I’m born during the most wonderful time of the year, although some people do lose their minds and tend to over extend Santa, but that’s a topic for another day.
Jessie Jackson was right. Keep hope alive.