The Practical Magic of Belief

My son has reached the age where he believes in Santa Claus. I admit to being a bit surprised by this as he is a very logical child who needs to know how things work. Personally, I never believed in Santa. I pretended I did for adults, but in reality, I just knew he was a robber or at the very least, a peeping creepster. The Tooth Fairy? Now she was real.

Monster and I watched Klaus on Netflix the other day, and I was afraid he would put the pieces together. Instead, he asked why he had to be asleep and couldn’t see Santa. I replied with a very neutral, “Why do you think?” After a few seconds, he gave me his adorably serious thinking face and said, “Maybe he’s just invisible or something.”

Even with evidence to the contrary, children believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, fairies, monsters, and magic. As adults, many of us lose that, but in the loss of belief, we also lose the ability to truly believe the impossible is possible. We need evidence—real or imagined—to remain confident that something is possible or exists.

While I may think Santa is a creepster, I believe in magic. I believe in hoping beyond hope. I believe in speaking—wishing—things into existence. There is a big difference between hope and belief. There is magic and tenacity in belief. There is fear, or reticence, in hope. To compare, the definition of belief is “an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists” (Oxford), and the meaning of hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen” (Oxford). The two are in no way synonymous.

I wonder how adulthood would change if people began to believe in themselves the way they believed in Santa or other fantasy characters as a child. What could adults accomplish if they just believed it so? How amazing would it be to walk in the belief that life is beautiful, no matter what? Or the belief that no matter your creed or deity, everything happens for a reason, whether it is for your benefit or not? Even better, what would life be like with the belief that you are who you are and you are fantastic, no matter your socioeconomic, social, marital, religious, racial, sexual, or educational status? How would life change if everyone believed that no matter the time, space, or circumstance, they were exactly where they needed to be to get to the next level in their development?

I want to believe in myself the way I believed in a fairy that collected old teeth in exchange for money. Without rational thought or evidence to support it, I am choosing to believe that I am going to be okay no matter the circumstance, be it a trial or accomplishment, or just an ordinary afternoon in traffic. Just like I never questioned what the fairy did with the teeth or how she got that crappy job, I am not going to question my place in the world. I am who I am for a reason. What I am doing with my life is not happenstance. And at this very moment, I am exactly where I am supposed to be, having survived every single trial that I have with all the internal and external scars to prove that they happened.

I am magic. I am worth believing in.

We are magic. Every living being. You are a tiny spark of magic in a vast universe. You exist for a reason. Believe in that. Do not hope for a different you. Do not hope for another life. Believe in the timing and purpose of your life. Believe in the magic that is you.

Photo by Pixabay