What I Believe Makes Me Who I Am

Who am I? What do I believe? And, can I name a few of my beliefs?

Let me name a few things I believe about myself. They’re in no particular order.

  1. I am still the kid who fought to get ahead and get acceptance in the old neighborhood.
  2. “Vietnam War veteran” is a label I wear proudly after leading my platoon through the jungle with no one ever getting killed.
  3. In spite of what I think, I’m an imperfect male who lusts for too many things and can’t seem to keep his desires under control. I’m working at it but may need more than one lifetime to succeed.
  4. I am an educated person with degrees up the wazoo. However, I learned more knowledge as a kid attending the school of Hard Knocks.
  5. I’m a Catholic studying Buddhism for a better understanding of  God and all that love He provides us.
  6. Writing is a gift bestowed by the Greek gods to me; I never shied away from it as a child, and I was drawn to it as a newspaper reporter, a trial attorney who’d write his closing arguments while appearing in a full-length mirror to see its effect, and lastly as an author of books and a Blog.

    I Believe!

  7. Union activist is another title I would want to appear on a grave site. (Unfortunately, I’ve directed my next of kin to cremate my remains and spread the ashes in the Schuylkill River near the Philadelphia Art Museum made famous by Rocky’s run up the steps.) Being a union organizer was the finest job I ever had and I am happy to have spread the gospel of unionizing, even though I failed in my one and only NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) election to unionize a newspaper.
  8. “Michael, the Lover” is the name of a song I have identified with since my teenage years. Not so much for romantic love, but the divine love which I believe is part of romantic love and our search for the ideal love. I found that love within, and will always be a lover of the energy that sustains me, and you. I call my lover “My Beloved,” as personified by the Sufi call “lovers” by their Muslim brothers.
  9. Although I am of an age where some seek retirement, I don’t feel I am that old. I remember when we deemed 40 to be “over the hill.” Let’s not forget the cautioning cry of my generation to “never trust anyone over 30.” I feel like I’m 17 and have my whole life ahead of me. New adventures (and misadventures) await me if I can simply keep an open mind and an open heart, and lastly “believe” in it.
  10. “Joyful Effort” is a belief I try to bring to each and every task, particularly when I am mindful and living in the present moment. I wish I could exert that effort in all aspects of my life, but I’ll settle for moments like this when I share my beliefs with others.

5 comments on “What I Believe Makes Me Who I Am

  1. contoveros says:

    I was inspired to write this story by Deepak Chopra after meditating in Day 2 of the 21-day meditation program.

    Below is the following suggestion for reflection for Day 2:

    “Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    In today’s meditation, we learn that we are what we believe. We shape our identities around what we feel to be true about ourselves. Sometimes we don’t even clearly know what our beliefs are, because many are hidden and unconscious. Beliefs we hold about ourselves may be either mild or passionate, but they all still contribute to who we are. Our meditation today brings us greater clarity about how our beliefs form our identities, because to truly understand ourselves, we need to examine our beliefs closely in the light of our awareness.


  2. Now you make me wonder what you know about yourself? Is it more or less than you believe? When I read about the platoon I thought I immediately of Ernest Shakleton …


  3. Ah, “…mindful and living in the present moment”… this is the place to be!


  4. sparrow says:

    wholeness….a good life… like the words you chose…” joyful effort” …. 🙂


    • contoveros says:

      They are not my words. They’re part of the Buddhist teaching.

      I think it’s the greatest thing that Buddha had to offer. And that is to be joyful in all things.

      Michael J


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