Charmed Circles: Becoming a Believer
I find that everywhere I go now, people want to talk about faith or religion. This is incredible for Washington, D.C., a city where it has always been a taboo subject. Years ago a legendary Washington hostess declared, "My dear, one never discusses religion at a dinner party. It is simply not done." Today religion is all anyone wants to talk to me about. I find myself in corners at cocktail parties having serious talks with friends about their beliefs or their lack of belief. The other night, after the inevitable conversation began, a friend asked me if I had faith. At first I was tongue-tied. Usually I am asked if I believe in God. I've got an answer to that question now—which is that God is different things to different people. My image of God may not be the personal God so many pray to. But, yes, I do believe in the everyday preciousness of life. That is what I call God. But faith. Do I have faith? That I hadn't contemplated. What I think is that I do. I have faith in myself, in the fact that I aspire to be a truly good person, and that I can be if I work hard enough at it. I have faith that it's not what you believe but how you live your life that matters. I have faith in my ability to love and be loved. I have faith that if I try hard enough I may, in some small way, through my website, help people of different religions and no religion to understand each other better and therefore be more compassionate, forgiving, able to reconcile. Most important, I have faith that helping other people is the true key to fulfillment. Certainly to mine.
I've learned a lot. Each book I read is a reminder of how little I know or ever will. What I do know is this: Finding this path has been the most exciting, inspiring, and fulfilling discovery of my life.
And once again I am lying at the center of my labyrinth. I'm thinking of how I can be happy. I may have found the answer. Every time I'd take Quinn to the hospital, I would see children in much worse shape than he was. And I would leave the hospital, no matter how sick Quinn was, overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for what we had.
That's how I feel now every time I leave the labyrinth. Grateful for this moment in my life, this moment when I can close my eyes and clear my mind and just be. I kiss my fingers and touch the ground where my mother's ashes and my other treasured objects are buried, and I say, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."