Tell me how I am supposed to know what to believe in,

When the very eyes that taught me how to see the world,

Only see darkness

Because they kept themselves shut when Life got too hard.

When the chests of those who told me to always keep my arms wide open

Are battered with faded bruises and scars.

When Fear straps a cape over its back with the word “Salvation” stitched into it

And calls itself “Love”.

When I told my older sister this, she said, “I think it’s more about respecting Him.”

Yes. Respect.

That’s what it’s about.

Respecting that, according to what we’re taught, He has the power to cut the very ground Beneath us like a warm piece of pie,

And let our flesh burn in sugar.

I used to think of my heart as a ladder winding up to heaven,

But it was my mind tying together the bones of my enemies,

Reminding myself not to look down and end up like them.

So I don’t know if I believe in the Gates of Heaven

Or the Fires of Hell anymore,

But I do believe that

Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy and Gluttony

Are all deadly security blankets if we allow them to envelop us.

I believe that the Fruit of Love and Peace and Patience and Kindness and Self-Control

Has pretty tough skin, but it’s worth biting into.

I believe that you should love your neighbors as you love yourself,

And it’s ok to feel good about it when you do.

I believe in transitions and clean slates and the fuzzy feeling in your chest

When your whole family sits together at a home-cooked meal.

I believe time can heal.

I believe that not all jeans fit, and it takes time and lots and lots of shopping

To find the pair you’re perfectly comfortable in.

I believe in acceptance, not tolerance,

So when my little sister, sitting on the impending brink of childhood and adolescence,

Asks me if I believe in Santa Claus,

I listen to the shrinking voice in the back of my mind that tells me to say, “Yes”.



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