I'm just going to let this post flow from my thoughts to my fingers...
You know you're alive when something changes. That robotic feeling from life stops when something dramatic happens. It can be emotionally, physically, or just witnessing it happen to another person. You don't actually understand the ups without the downs. This post is about the down moments. I take it that life wants to challenge me. I take the challenge. As easy as it is to let it affect me and those around me, I try to breathe deeply, think logically, and plan my next move towards that solution. Undoubtedly, it is much easier to just give up and go cry in a corner and receive sympathy.
Personal beliefs have truly formed in my 20's. I didn't know what I wanted to believe in growing up until I became independent. Parents are there for guidance, advice, and influence, but they aren't there to tell you that the way you're transforming into you own person is right or wrong, that's your decision. I don't believe one religion is the right one, but I also don't believe religion is all wrong. And that is where I separate religion with faith. Faith, to me, is believing in your own impressions of the world, universe, and higher being. I now see how people in very deprived situations turn to their faith as their only resort.
As someone who likes to consider themselves as independent and needs to have control of every arising problem, I think I can fix the problems myself. That's not how life works - I know this, but I can't help but try to do everything myself. The majority of the time, it is best to do things for yourself, because it's really tough to find anyone that will do things the way you need them to. And when all things fail, I turn to my faith. My faith in the universe that everything happens for a reason.