Hi, my name is Will, and I am a belief-o-holic. Beliefs have always been my best friends. I used beliefs to feel better, to ease my pain, and to end my loneliness. Sometimes I believed in public, but most often, I believed alone. I’ve suffered horribly, and caused others to suffer, because of my addiction to beliefs. I put beliefs ahead of my family, friends and community. Beliefs made me do things that I am ashamed of, and almost destroyed my life.
Beliefs started off by being my best friends, and ended up being my worst enemies. What I once considered as my friends, made Aztecs rip out hearts, provoked Polynesians to throw sacrificial victims into lava, let Christian crusaders feel all warm and fuzzy about slaughtering Muslims, sanctioned Hitler’s extermination of the Jews, and convinced terribly confused men to fly people filled jets, into people filled towers, in a people filled city.
I reckon that beliefs are much like houses built on sand. They appear safe, solid and secure, until they weather the storms of time. Then they collapse and vanish, only to be quickly replaced by new ones. Beliefs allowed me to feel like I was better than other folks, when really, only my circumstances were. Beliefs fed my greed, concentrated my conceit, and proliferated my pain. Beliefs allowed me to feel good, even while doing things that were very, very wrong. Beliefs were the false front of my soul, an incredibly fragile fanciful fabricated facade that I hid behind, trembling like a two year old cowering behind its mother’s leg.
I wore beliefs like control-top pantyhose, and for much the same reasons. Beliefs hid what I didn’t want others to see, rearranging my bits and pieces to form an attractive false front. I used beliefs as foundations, not the ones used in construction, but rather in cosmetics. I troweled them on to mask deep emotional wrinkles, and to disguise discolorations of my soul. They were the Maybellines of mean, Cover Girls of greed and Estee Lauders of lies. Beliefs allowed me, as a little boy, to close my eyes and run as fast as I could before leaping into the air, making believe that I had flown. But, just because I believed that I had flown, didn’t make it so.
Beliefs affect each of us differently. Some people get all goofy and happy when under the influence of beliefs, others get all nasty and mean. A belly full of beliefs made me feel like an invincible superhero, but it was only an illusion. I realize that not everyone who believes becomes a belief-o-holic. I understand that there are people who can have one or two beliefs without it negatively affecting their lives, but I ain’t one of them. For me, one belief is one too many. Beliefs drove me to my emotional bottom.
So, for today, I choose to accept that I am powerless over my addiction – that my life has become unmanageable. I know that when I walk out of this place, beliefs are going to be there to tempt me, and I’ll always be just one belief away from falling off the wagon. Thankfully, these doors are always open, the coffee’s always on, and because of you, I’m not alone anymore. Thank you for listening. My name is Will, and I am a belief-o-holic.