A belief is only a thought that you keep thinking.
If you think anything long enough, it will become a belief.
And, as everyone knows, whatever it is that you believe will become your reality.
So the trick to changing things in your life is to focus on thinking thoughts that you WANT to believe, and to focus on the things that you want to have in your life.
It’s pretty simple and yet pretty (incredibly, mind-blowingly) hard.
It’s hard because we all think we have to pay attention to and believe the things that are currently in our reality. But all that is currently in our reality is just a bunch of beliefs that other people had and focused on and came into existence. We think the “real” things are the things that are important but they’re not.
If we believe it, we’ll see it.
If we have to wait to see it until we believe it, we’ll be waiting a long time.
My beloved brother Dana was shot recently.
We’ve gone the ebb and flow of gradual improvements, of incremental change in the direction of healing, with backward steps thrown in for loops. When his stomach and leg were closed, things looked good and he was taken off of sedation. We all expected him to wake up, but he didn’t. He went into seizures instead. His leg became infected, sepsis was back. The ventilator was causing trouble and there were issues with his dialysis machine, his kidneys. There are details here that I simply can’t write of because I don’t know the medical ins and outs of it all.
But suffice to say, he’s taken some pretty big steps back.
I’m thrown into this state of belief/disbelief.
I get into a positive groove of believing that he’s going to be okay, that he’ll live, that he’ll make it. Then I hear an update on what is happening with him and BAM, the disbelief blankets me and I’m suffocating under grief, Just. Can’t. Breathe. Can’t fucking breathe, this can’t happen, Dana can’t go, this can’t HAPPEN.
I step outside and walk around our hill that Dana mowed for me, breathe, I calm down, think of the message that I need to hold in my head and heart. Hold it there until it becomes a belief, and focus on everything that is positive. Hold an ending to this that I want: my brother, alive and walking in sunshine on earth with us.
The problem with belief is in cases like this, it takes two to tango.
It’s not my life I’m trying to believe into reality here. It’s my brother’s. This is his life. It’s his life, his body, his relationship with God, it’s his spirit, his journey.
I can struggle with belief and find it difficult to let go of reality. I can want Dana to heal and live more than anything. I can teeter towards belief, holding faith as my rope, and wobble with each step. But this is his life, and he needs to want to be here too.
Please, if you can, pray for him. And for me, my mom, my family, to stay strong in our faith and belief and help him with our love.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.