Recently, someone told me they had read something I had written a few years ago asking people to talk or write about what they believe. They said they had never read my what I believe statement. While I have written it out before, what I believe is ever evolving as I evolve.
Over the course of my life, I have come to develop some fairly simple, but powerful beliefs that guide my life. What I believe has been influenced by what I learned while attending Hebrew School, growing up in a Jewish home, my study of scripture, and my readings. Probably most influential in my life has been the writings of a diversity of sacred texts, Ghandi, and don Miguel Ruiz.
I believe that we are born in the image of the Creator, who is love and that we are called, as stated in Micah 6:8, to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. I believe that we are all called to speak the truth in love and to do justice with a spirit of non-violence. I believe the Infinite Presence is greater than any single denomination or school of thought. I believe the Creator has spoken to people through a diversity of sacred texts and is present in a diversity of worship communities.
Ghandi’s teaching of Satyagraha has had a powerful influence in my life. Ghandi, while in South Africa, talked about seeing others and ourselves with Satyagraha, also known as soul force. Satyagraha is “the force which is born of truth and love or non-violence.” I have come to a space where I believe and consciously strive to practice the following about myself.
 I am a child of a loving God.  I am loved by my Creator exactly as I am.  I am not an accident. I have a purpose. I was shaped by my Creator to love God and to assist in God’s eternal struggle to win justice for all Her children who suffer injustice.  I will not discover my purpose nor realize my power (my own soul force) until I join my Creator in doing justice (making things fair for all).  When I join my creator in doing justice, my own life will be renewed, empowered, and made more meaningful.  In serving others, it is as much my moral obligation to refuse to cooperate with evil as it is to cooperate with good.
I believe that we are called to be ministers of reconciliation. To do so, not only must what I believe about myself be changed, but also what I believe about others. When I apply the teachings of Satyagraha to those who are members of another group, I am called to believe that:
 My adversary is also a child of the creator; we are both members of the same human family; we are sisters and brothers in need of reconciliation.  My adversary is not my enemy, but a victim of misinformation as I have been.  My only task is to bring my adversary truth in love (nonviolence) relentlessly.  My adversary’s motives are as pure as mine and of no relevance to our discussion.  My worst adversary has an amazing potential for positive change.  My adversary may have an insight into truth that I do not have.  My adversary and I will understand each other and come to a new position that will satisfy us both, if we conduct our search for truth guided by the principles of love.
In doing so, I have to recognize that we are all the Infinite Presence’s creations and everyone is a part of my human family, albeit in need of reconciliation. I believe the Infinite Presence created me to be one who tears down the walls that separates people from one another. I believe that my being born biracial is an example of how the Infinite Presence can reconcile two groups in one body. Biracial individuals, such as me, are literal reflections of the two becoming one. I am not black or white; I am just me – Sharon.
I have come to believe that as Ghandi taught, I must be the change that I want to see in the world. So if I want this to be a more loving and peaceful world, then I must be more loving and peaceful. If I want this world to be more compassionate, then I must be more compassionate.
I believe that being more loving begins with unconditionally loving myself. It means I have to master awareness of when I am saying anything negative about others or myself in my thoughts or in my words. It has meant that I have had to learn to not take things personally, lest I be tempted to say or think anything negative about others or myself. It means that in all things I must seek clarification and that I must love myself unconditionally, while living to the fullest of my capacity and always doing my best. I believe in each moment, I must be gentle, patient, and kind with others and myself and remember it is all about the journey. And at the end of the day, what I know to be true is this – I was created in the image of the Creator who is love, as love to be love and to offer and give love to all I meet and those I never will.
 Mahatma Ghandi, The concept satyagraha. http://www.algonet.se/~jviklund/gandhi/ENG.NV.sat.html
 SoulForce, Experience the suffering. http://www.soulforce.org/step1.html
 SoulForce, Identify the cause of suffering. http://www.soulforce.org/step2.html
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