Thursday, September 11, 2014

listening vs. hearing

Most days you start talking, your friends pulling out their phones, on and off looking at you or looking at the lit up screen. You keep talking, wondering how much of the conversation they are actually picking up. Then you get the classic, "sorry, what?" Or the "sorry.. but have you seen this post?" The best is when people open snapchat videos while you are talking... as if the screaming in the background is actually going to assist your conversation. It never gets old to finish your sentence, wait for a reply, and realize that they are still looking down, unaware that your sentence had ended; or that it ever really started. Is it worth repeating what you said, or do you just move on? The apology or ask to repeat yourself, as if they didn't have control of why you were interrupted.

Is it really that hard to listen to people?

When people listen to me.. actually listen to me, I want to hug them and thank them. Who knew such a simple, human instinct, could be so complicated.

We wonder why people feel so alone, or like they have no one to talk to. Are we ever really listening? Or do we just wait for an overly emotional instagram post, or a vague facebook status. Then the flags shoot up. We care then, right? When it's on our lit up screen, we suddenly pay attention. We ask others if we saw what they posted, wondering what might possibly be wrong. We forget that it would be so incredibly easy to just listen when they speak.

I am so grateful for technology and all we are blessed with in this day.. but it's taking a toll on relationships. I absolutely hated when my parents would comment on this subject, while my friends were over. Now, I can take a step back and realize.. maybe just maybe, there was some truth to what they were saying. (shocker.. right? ha ha.)

We need to listen not just hear.
We need to care now.
We need to remember that in the end, all of us just want to be heard.

We say things like, "You look so good," when someone has lost weight. Or, "You seem so happy," when they start dating someone. We ask, "are you okay?" After there is something posted. All these things are after the fact. Finally a flag shoots up to say something. Suddenly there is a reason to listen.

I want to know you. I want us to talk about our dreams. I want to hear what your future home will look like, or what your frustrations might be. I want to be all there, during conversation. Mind, heart, body, soul. I want to listen without waiting for a chance to reply. I just want to listen. I want to listen until you are done. In turn, I hope that you would do the same. I want to be heard. I want that damn phone to be put down for two seconds. I want us to listen until we are finished and there aren't any words left to say.

Never give it an opportunity to be too late.
Listen now.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

just a whole lot.

here comes the storm:

I've always put myself in a vulnerable position. I meet people and am not shy about my shortcomings. I'm not going to lie and build myself up to be the person you want me to be, in that moment. I am me, every bright beam and every dusty corner. I have always felt like, if you don't like that, then you can go. I realize that it is a harsh mentality.. but I think often times we have a hard enough time loving ourselves, why would we surround ourselves with people that tell us what parts of us are wrong, and how they "know" we can fix it. C. Joybell C puts it perfectly when she said, "I am different. I will give you my treasure chest of darkness first. If you can handle that, then I'll bring out my shining moons. If one cannot handle the darkness, then one should not deserve the light. I have no interest in "trapping" anyone into a silken web. I have no silken web." 

There have been several times where I have opened myself up to this vulnerable place and shown people that it isn't all great.. that there are things that I am still working on.. cause you know, I'm human.. and I'm not perfect. I have bad days, awful days, but good days; really beautiful days. I do this so I don't get to this attached phase, weeks later, when they decide they don't like who I am anymore. I'm saying these things because I have realized that one of two things happens. 1. they leave or 2. they try to change you. 

In our lives we are surrounded by people with expectations of us. They don't understand why we don't think the way they do. It is completely unfair for someone to come into our lives and say "this is this.. because of this. and you should believe that.. because I said it." But the absolutely crappy reality is that, that is what people do. They stomp into our lives and tell us why we aren't enough. There are so many times where I close the door to anyone coming into my life because I am simply sick and tired of being told where in my life, I am not enough. It sucks to be the person with the walls up. It sucks to push people away because more often than not, these people that surround me, end up being the ones that hurt, rather than help. 

So let me tell you what I've learned..
1. You. yeah you. You don't know everything. We are entitled to these awesome things called opinions. I am grateful that we all have our own individual ways of thinking and being.. but remember that YOUR WAY ISN'T EVERYONE'S WAY. Stop letting yourself in the front door without knocking, and telling me what room I need to sweep, and why my couch should be facing the other direction. Stop telling me that I have to believe what you believe, "or else." Stop holding back your love because we are different. Stop belittling others because you can't open up your mind to a new way of thinking. If you don't want to hear my beliefs and opinions, fine.. but don't force yours onto me.

2. Going along with opinions.. stop closing your mind. Close your mind to what you know, and I promise you, you will never, ever, grow. Stop putting these predetermined connotations with words because you are scared. Fear is real.. but fear of learning more.. that is pathetic. There has been far too many times where people feel inclined to tell me their beliefs, and this and that.. but when I begin to share mine, they turn their ears off. What is life, but one, big, sometimes awful, beautifully, shitty, lesson. If you can't even hear other beliefs or opinions, you are hurting yourself. At least listen and be more strengthened in what you know to be true.

3. When people open themselves up to you, and show you that vulnerable side of them, don't you dare use it against them. We all know how it feels to share words and experiences that matter.. The things that actually impacted us. Sometimes they are awful things. Things we would rather hide and push out the door, never to be seen again. But it doesn't work like that.. So if someone shares something with you that means something to them, Listen. Listen with your whole heart.. and be aware of the courage they had to have, to say those words out loud. "My own time on earth has lead me to believe in two powerful instruments that turn experience into love: holding and listening. For every time I have held or been held, every time I have listened or been listened to, experience burns like wood in that eternal fire, and I find myself in the presence of love. This has always been so."
 I recently told someone how scared I am of dying. They practically laughed in my face... like how stupid am I. It hurt knowing that, no, that isn't something I am proud of. No one walks around with a "here I am.. proud that I am absolutely terrified of _____" sign. It's not something I share with people.. well now it's on my blog with like 3 readers.. so there you all go. But seriously.. be aware of the strength and trust someone gives to you, when they share their secrets. It's never easy.. so listen with an open heart. If you haven't watched THIS, do so now. "Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage."

4. The judgement and our pathetic closed off mindsets have to stop. At what point do we realize that love and acceptance is the only way we will be okay. We are ashamed of ourselves because we are taught to do so. "If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgement." When we have these STUPID mindsets that, "Oh you have scary things in your life.. oh you aren't perfect.. I'm sorry.. I have to go. Your imperfectness might rub off on me. Wouldn't want to catch that." Freaking HELL. Stop. Stop thinking you're better. Stop thinking what you know is and will always be, the only truth. OPEN YOUR MIND, YOUR HEART, AND YOUR SOUL. I'm sick of being treated like I should be ashamed because I am not a certain way. 

this very lengthy, scattered, blog post is coming to an end.  But that right there, is me. I am filled with a messy, beautiful, life.. that I have been told to be ashamed and embarrassed of. My imperfection is supposed to be embarrassing. (If you are imperfect, you should be embarrassed too. geez.) All I would hope that this bull shit mindset that we are all taught and surrounded by, can be pushed aside. I want to listen to you, love you, and in turn be loved by you. I want all of you. Your beauty and your dust. The things that you have overcome and the things that you are still working on. I promise to love you for all of who you are. Shame is an ugly thing and if I could rid the world of it.. I would. I may not be the perfect friend, daughter, sister, or person. I screw up.. I screw up a lot. I may not love you the way you want me to.. or be there for you in the ways you would have hoped. I may say offensive things or do things that you don't think are acceptable. I may believe differently than you. I may look at you wrong. I may have been an awful person to you in the past.. but all I can hope is that you will take a second and open your heart. I am no longer going to apologize for who I am. If that isn't enough or in the terms and conditions you accept.. see ya later. I learned a very important thing a couple weeks ago.. We don't make mistakes.. we do the best that we can in that moment. We are all trying our hardest! Every single person deserves to be heard and loved. There have been far too many days in my life spent dwelling on my efforts and how they aren't enough.. and I'm done with that. The pity, shame, and judgement, is going, going, gone. I want to love you if you will let me. I want to learn from you, and show you what I have learned and what works for me. I want to hear your fears and biggest heartaches.. With hopes that I in turn can share those things with you. I want to trust you and hope you will trust me. I promise I won't run. There isn't anything in the world that would scare me away or make me love you less. I want nothing more than for love to be the only answer in the world.. but I know that might never happen.. But I do know that, that can be the only answer for me. 
"You're imperfect and you're wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

cause I got a new camera.

"I am homesick for a place I am not sure even exists. One where my heart is full. My body loved. And my soul understood. "
-Melissa Cox

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It will get better, I promise.

These words have been stirring in my mind for a long time now.. and I haven't written them down until now, because I have such an easy life. I am so blessed. I am so loved. I have an incredible life that I am so grateful for. Due to unknown causes, sometimes in our heads.. that suddenly isn't enough. Without our consent we are overcome with sadness, anxiety, and ultimately, depression. As I see my friends, their siblings, families, everyone that surrounds me, I see how common it is to see others that are overcome with sadness, as well. It is heartbreaking how many people surround us that are carrying depression or similar feelings. 

This past summer I lived in Moab. I have shared things on here before about my incredible summer working there.. but there has been a lot left out. I think I've brushed these feelings aside, because honestly.. who wants to be like "hey everyone, my life sucks... I'm living in the most beautiful place.. but like.. yeah everything sucks." Don't get me wrong, I made incredible friendships and memories there, but there was a lot more that was going on. Before moving down there, I lost someone that I loved very much, I had to say goodbye to the people, specifically one, that taught me what love is.. knowing that I would never see them again. I was on very bad terms with my parents, had a lot of family issues weighing one me, lost a lot of friends.. and just wasn't happy. I had experienced similar feelings before and was so angry that they were coming back. No one likes being sad. I lived with a million people that were constantly doing fun things, I mean it's Moab.. We didn't really ever stop going. I was so overcome with sadness and had such low self worth and motivation that I didn't want to go out. I didn't want to socialize with people that didn't understand me. I didn't want to put on a happy face because I was hurting so deeply. I just wanted to feel better. There came a point where a lot of my peers gave up on inviting me because I kept turning down every offer.. and I don't blame them. I was scared they were going to judge me based on my incapability to be happy and outgoing all day, every day. If I wanted to go do something, I would go by myself, or with people that knew what was going on. I had a roommate that would constantly say to me "you sleep a lot" or "I've never seen someone sleep as much as you." There were so many days that I wanted to scream back.. "I KNOW. If I could be happy.. I WOULD." I was so offended that she thought I was choosing to feel this way. It wasn't a choice. When you deal with this brutal heartache and sadness, you don't just get to choose when you want it to go away. Sure you can put on your brave face, but it fades as quickly as you put it there. I was so angry with myself and everyone that surrounded me. I wished everyday that I could just tell them what I was feeling, but I couldn't even come to terms with it myself. I wanted so bad for them to give me a chance to explain where I was coming from. It quickly turned into anger. I was mad at myself for being so unhappy because good hell.. really Annie? YOUR LIFE IS A PIECE OF CAKE. I had just returned from living in a third world country. You want to see real life heartache, and problems.. that's where it is, not my life. Now with all this being said, I want to share what I've learned from it all.. I'm sharing this because if there is anyone that can learn from my mistakes, it will be worth it. 

Use your words: 
There were so many times that I wanted to scream to the world, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND." When these feelings take over, you convince yourself that you are the only one in the world that has ever been sad. I am an introvert and already have a tough time opening up and talking to people. The best thing I ever did was open up to a girl I met this summer. I have already mentioned McKenna on here, but let me just remind you.. She is the best person I've ever met. One day I decided to get over it and finally talk to someone and tell them what was going on in my mind. Shockingly enough I learned that I wasn't the only person in the entire world that was going through something. It felt so good to release these words and hurt, I had kept inside me. I was able to talk through a lot of my emotions and not let them stir inside and overcome me. She reminded me that every single person is going through something, but it's okay! It's okay to keep moving on with your life, even when you are sad. Moving on or being happy doesn't mean that you are forgetting the one you lost, the pain you are experiencing, or the heartache you have, it's joining hands with your higher self and realizing that the pain and sadness you are allowing to continue, is destroying your spirit. You have to force yourself to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.

There were so many days that I thought, "Really Annie? You were just living with orphans.. taking care of these children that have nothing. You do not have problems. Cut it out." And yes, while it is true that my problems are so so small, that doesn't mean that they don't exist. I just have a lower tolerance to sadness than others. It is so important to remind yourself that though your problems, or other peoples problems may seem like the littlest, stupidest, most meaningless problem.. it still can wreck their world. It isn't your place to determine if they should really be as sad as they are about it.

Even when you feel like you can't get out of bed, or you can't put your brave face on.. Go. Do it. No matter how much every second of it sucks.. when you surround yourself with people that love you, you start remembering that YOU ARE LOVED, and you are going to be okay. 

Belittling Others:
Often times it becomes frustrating to see these happy, "my life is perfect," people. I know plenty of times I would get so frustrated with these people. How could they just be happy all the time? Obviously they have never been through any hard trails, have never experienced true sadness, or had anything wrong with their lives... (HA) They don't understand and they wouldn't get it, were phrases that often crossed my mind. How unfair is it for us to judge, say, or think that about others. Just because they handle their problems differently, doesn't mean they have never experienced the sadness you feel right now. It's okay for them to be happy and go on living. It's okay for them to put on a brave face and love their lives. It doesn't mean that their heart isn't secretly aching, or that they aren't on the verge of tears from day to day, it means that they are able to handle and push through their problems.. and that is great! Don't belittle others by thinking they have perfect lives and don't know what you feel like. 

This was the hardest part for me. You have to recognize that because of the pain and sadness you are going through, your emotions are a little on edge. It is so easy to get so hurt and heartbroken by some meaningless remark someone mentioned to you. I was always so hurt when my roommate would comment on the little things I would do, or when my friends would say things like "you never come around." I made myself even more sad than I already was, thinking, wow.. how can they say these things to me? They had no idea and never intentionally said these things to hurt me! They were just saying them. You have to stop making yourself the victim. You aren't carrying a sign around saying "I am emotionally damaged, am going through the worst pain I've ever felt, have no motivation, and will probably start crying about anything you say to me." How in the world are they supposed to know that you are hurting if you don't tell them? And, no one should ever feel like they are walking on egg shells in fear that any word they say, might hurt you so deeply. Take these things that anger you with a grain of salt. Don't read into what they said. As hard as it might be, try to just let it go.

Find the Good: 
Surround yourself with what you know you love. Exercise, read a good book, draw, spend time with people you love and feel comfortable with, anything that makes you happy! Taking care of yourself is so important. Remind yourself of your blessings every single day and at some point those blessings will grow and you will remember how incredible your life is.  

Come to Terms:
You have to come to terms with your problems. You have to accept what has happened, grieve, try to understand, and deal with them. Though having depression is the most frustrating thing and you want to shove your problems into the closet and lock the door, it doesn't work that way. You can be sad about what has happened. You can be devastated, heartbroken, shattered, what ever you want to be. But when you start to lose sight of who you are, you've let it control you. You have to start to deal and cope at some point. EVEN WHEN IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE. Even when it seems like there is nothing left for you, and that you will never be able to be happy.. You have convinced yourself of it. You cannot do that. It will be okay. And even if the only thing that is keeping you going is you telling yourself that.. that is enough, until you're strong enough to live it, love it, and believe it. 

No One Wants to be Sad:
This one applies a lot to people that know someone with depression. I have also been on the other side of all of this and thought.. "Come on.. seriously? Just be happy already." It is so important to remember that most times, we don't have control of these emotions. We don't wake up and think.. "Man, being sad today sounds like a blast." No one wants to be sad.. and if you are choosing that for attention or other unknown reasons, cut it out. Remember that we are all trying the very best that we can, and treating people like they are just being stupid, is really insensitive. Support others as best as you can and realize that if they could, they would be happy with you. Someday they will, just not now. 

The Man Upstairs:
Control your anger. I know I've talked about emotions.. but I want you to remember who you are getting angry with. I found myself taking most of my anger out on the people I loved most, and God. I was so mad at him. I was mad at him for taking people I love, from me. I was mad at him for letting us experience this sadness. I was mad at him that I felt alone, and like no one understood. I was mad at him for everything. Remember that at the end of all the heartache, sadness, and depression, he will still be standing there. Always remember that what is holding you together is him and his love. Don't take it out on the person that loves you most. My relationship with the God and Higher Power I believe in became so much stronger, at the end of all this. If you turn to him, your relationship will grow. You will come to find out more and more each day that he wants what's best for you, even if it takes you experiencing this sadness to get there. It will be okay because he wants it to be. He wants you to learn from it and turn to him for strength.. and you have to do just that. Turn to him, even when it seems impossible. 

Get Help:
 If it seems as though there is nothing in your power to lift the pain, get help. Talk to your parents, your friends, me, who ever. If you can't trust your own thoughts or emotions, you need to get help. It's okay. It's okay to feel broken. You aren't broken, you just need help reminding yourself of that. There is nothing embarrassing about wanting to be happy again. You are doing what is best for you, and that is awesome. I know that for some ridiculous reason, we are taught to believe that these emotions or feelings are embarrassing. They aren't. There is nothing you need to be embarrassed or ashamed of. We just get scared that others won't understand, and even if they don't.. they don't need to. You and your happiness matter, so do what ever it takes to get to that.

I know this has been a lot of words and repetition.. but if anyone out there is still reading I want you to know two last things. YOU ARE LOVED AND IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY. Even when it doesn't seem like it will be okay, it will. I promise. I don't know how it all works out but it does. There was one morning in Moab, my friend and I were sitting in our kitchen talking about suicide, sadness, and really deep topics. Person after person walked in, joined the conversation, realized what we were talking about, and proceeded to turn around and walk out. One guy in particular walked in, joined the conversation, and proceeded to share his feelings. He told us that he too had felt these things. I was shocked. From what I knew about him, he was the happiest, most outgoing, lovable kid I had ever met. I couldn't believe that he had gone through such sadness and depression. After hearing these things from him I realized it was all going to be okay. If he got through it and can be as happy and at peace with his life as he was, so could I! And hey, here I am. No things aren't perfect, they never will be.. but it is all okay. Life keeps going and the happiness you wish for can and will be yours.  I am standing here telling you this because I have been there. I have had that overwhelming, unknown, deep, painful, embarrassing, sadness... but I am okay now. And yeah, someday I will probably feel these things again, maybe even worse.. but I will get through that too.. because as humans we have this incredible power to overcome what ever we set our minds to. Have faith and hold on. I love you, who ever you are, and believe in you. You will be okay, I promise. 

I'm always here to talk to. Message me and we'll talk. We'll get through what ever you've got weighing on you, together. (

Sunday, January 5, 2014

choosing greatness.

Most nights I end up in my room, racking my brain for something, anything. I'm searching for some idea, thought, something I can do to change the world. Maybe the world is a huge goal, so I'll have to start with my world. I have this huge fear of raising children in this world. I am scared that they will see and become too familiar with the heartache the world holds. I am scared of the world I see, that seems so ready to rob our futures of any goals, hopes, and dreams. I get incredibly inspired by changes that I want to make, when it seems as though they are shot down because there aren't enough of us willing to make the change. I know we all have these hopes and dreams to be better, do more, and leave this world better than we found it.. but why does it stop there? Why do these thoughts get shot down so quickly? There are so many inspired, kind, loving, giving, people in my life. I get emotional when I think about how blessed I have been when it comes to the people and influences in my life.. If this is the case, I guess all I can ask is that we join hands and change what we don't like. That we no longer stand to the side, as cowards would. I hear things regarding how full of hate, egotistical, ungrateful, and cruel the world is, daily. How "these times." this and that. The fault isn't all ours, but I think that we stand aside and comment about how awful it is, more than we stand up and quit accepting these things. It is so much easier to choose to be blind to these things, than to do your part to make a change. I've made a promise to myself tonight to no longer be okay with the things I hate about this world.. No, unfortunately that promise to myself won't instantly change the world.. but I know that if the only difference I make is for myself and my future children, then that is enough. I'd ask you to consider doing the same in your life. If the thought of someone being without a home makes you feel something.. anything.. what can you do? If your heart aches for a family going through a rough time, what can you do? If you wish something was different, what's stopping you from changing it? I think our generation can achieve greatness if we choose to. If we lose the excuse that "I am only one person," cause that is a stupid excuse. If you want something, work for it. If you are inspired to help, do it. If you are sick of seeing the heartache that surrounds us from day to day, what are you going to do? Because the world sure as hell isn't changing itself. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013


As I sat in my kitchen singing along to some Justin Bieber, with my sister.. I started thinking.. surprising, right? Similar things have come across my mind lately. These are basically all thoughts of anger. His song says "Hey, can you tell me how I can make a change... Ohh I got a vision to make a difference, and it's starting today" and he goes on to sing about these sad circumstances we have around us. No, I'm not writing this to call out Justin Bieber, I'm writing it simply because I think we live in a pathetic country. 

We live in America, home of the:
-Ten million dollar bra
- 300 million dollar budget for multiple movies
- Over 400 people, worth anywhere from 1 billion to 72 billion dollars
- Lottery that you can win 400 million dollars from
and so on..

Are any of these things bad? Are any of them taking away from our country? No, probably not. Do almost all of those 400 people that have over one billion dollars, most likely help out, give back, and make a difference? Maybe. Are any of those people known for their good works? Are any of them known to be inspirational, giving, or selfless? Maybe. Is that why they are famous, rich, or successful? 

I am not claiming to know what good deeds these people do.. whether it be the richest man in the United States or the unbelievably lucky soul that won the mega lottery. Though I will give them all the benefit of the doubt and I sure do hope that they are all secretly scheming a way to end poverty or world hunger.. you don't hear on the news or read the head liners "So and So gave back," "This billion dollar man made a difference" "THESE PEOPLE CHANGED THE WORLD." Maybe they have so many bills for their 42 vehicles, maybe Victoria's Secret HAS to make a ten million dollar bra.. because that is all they have ever dreamed of... and maybe the 300 million dollar budget for Pirates of the Caribbean changed the world. And Justin Bieber, maybe your net worth of 130 million dollars is only enough to help a little here and there. 

Tupac once said "I feel like there's too much money here. Nobody should be hitting the Lotto for 36 Million when we got people starving in the streets. That is not idealistic. That's just real. That is just stupid. There's no way that Michael Jackson or whoever Jackson should have a million thousand droople billion dollars and then there's people starving. There's no way! There's no way that these people should own planes and there people don't have houses. Apartments. Shacks. Drawers. Pants! I know you're rich. I know you got 40 billion dollars, but can you just keep it to one house? You only need ONE house. And if you only got two kids can you just keep it to two rooms? I mean why have 52 rooms and you know there's somebody with no room? It just don't make sense to me. It don't." 

The individuals that are successful in this world, deserve it. I honestly believe that when you work hard, it pays off. But how.. how can you live with millions of dollars, floating around you, day in and day out, look outside of your life, and see the heartache, poverty, and awful circumstances there are. There are people that don't have clean water. There are people that will only dream of going to school. There are kids that raise themselves because they don't have a family or home or anything to call their own. Why is it always the people scraping by, themselves, that want to give the most. It makes me so mad that I have so many people in my life that want to help.. but they can't afford to help. So yeah, these billion dollar people, these ridiculous items we are creating here in the US, yeah.. they are awesome. They are making history.. but when is someone going to step up and open their eyes. I dream of a day that someone will be selfless enough to make a difference. I dream of a day that there will be someone on the news that I will honestly be able to look up to. I dream of a day that I won't have to fear what my kids will grow up to idolize. I dream of a day that I will be filled with hope, because of what someone has done. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I don't care what you believe in.
I don't care if your God is different than others.
I don't care how you start your prayer or how you end it.
I don't care if you pray at all.
I don't care if you believe in science, love, or junk food.
I don't care if you go to church on Sunday.
I don't care if you go to church on a Monday, Saturday, or Thursday.
I don't care if you don't go to church at all. 
I don't care if you are unsure of your beliefs, at the moment.
I don't care if the only thing you believe in or know for sure is that the sun will come up tomorrow. 

I really don't think it matters what we believe, if we believe the same things, or who believes the right or wrong thing. I don't think any of us are in a position to decide who believes right and who has faith in the "wrong" things. 
But this much I know for sure, believing in something.. it changes people. There is a light in the eyes of those that believe in something. As I have gone throughout my day today I've really tried to think of my beliefs. What do I, Annie, believe in. 
These are some of the things I came up with, for today:
1. I believe in good people. I believe that the world is full of honest to God, good people. I think that far too often, we forget that we are those good people. We let other things cloud our judgement and we forget. Though sometimes we do forget, I believe that deep within all of our hearts, there is goodness, and when we strive to let that goodness shine we reveal more of our true selves. I am so grateful for that. 
2. At this point in my life, I can't say I believe in one church. I don't think that there is one specific church that holds all of the truths or has all the answers. Sometimes I think the whole religious concept is such a far off, made up, joke.. but that is just when my over analyst side comes out. I believe that religious people are great. There is something that is touching to me about those that devote their entire lives to their religion. Whether that is serving a mission for your church or the sweet nuns that devote their lives to raising orphans. It doesn't matter what church/religion your actions come from, as long as you are devoting your life to making the world a better place, that is what I have immense respect for. 
3. I believe in love. Not necessarily the.. fall in love, happily ever after love, though that's great too. But, the kind of love I'm thinking of, is the love that changes the world. The love that comes from so far down in your soul.. the pure love. I think that if every kid was raised by loving parents, this world would come to know some kind of peace. I think that if LOVE was the go to emotion.. that if love was our default emotion, rather than anger or contention, our world would be an entirely different place. I know without a doubt that the people that are so damn hard to love... really are the ones that need it most. I know that there are people in this world that have aching hearts, that need peace and love in their life, but have no idea where to turn or how to ask for it. I know that there is some kind of heart ache and pain that only honest love can fix. I know that giving and receiving love is the most incredibly, satisfying, feeling in the world. I believe in love and wish we all could realize how much practicing love, could change things.  
4. I know that there have been times that I have felt unable to move, unable to look forward to the next day. I've felt alone, sad, and unaware of how to keep going. I have an easy life, but I have felt these things. I have felt a fraction of pain and hurt, than most have.. but I know that the only thing I could do at those moments, was force myself to believe in something more. I believe that if you tell yourself there is nothing to live for, there isn't. But what a lie that is. You have to believe in something more. You have to put every ounce of belief that you can muster, that the sun will rise, and things will get easier. You have to. The second you chose a negative mindset, that is what will follow. As soon as you forget to believe, you slip. I have had to tell myself.. I don't know why. I don't know why I would believe in something.. but I have to. Even if it might not be there. Even if there might not be anything out there. Even if God is made up. Even if this whole life is a made up, lie.. I have to believe in something.. because that is my only option. The second you stop believing in something is the second you become utterly lost. 
So believe in something. What ever you can, just believe wholeheartedly in it. Believe in a religion, love, that there is good people out there, that we live in an incredible, good world, or a God, anything. I've lost people because they couldn't muster a minute of belief that things will get better. There are people in my life right now that I'm terrified of losing to disbelief. There is someone that I'm writing this to, simply because I need them to believe that things will get better. I don't care if you believe in cement, clouds, or candy. I don't care what you believe. I just need you to believe in something, believe that there is more than the pain you feel right now. I believe there is good out there, I believe there is something to live for, I believe that all beliefs are correct.. that there isn't such thing as the wrong beliefs.. because what ever God, higher power, big bang theory, or freaking religion you believe in.. you're right. Believing in something pushes us to be better. Pushes us to strive for more than we are.. and that is the best thing we can be doing. Believing in something reminds us that we are alive.