I've known Nikki for more than 10 years. We met when I was in the thick of my corporate "career" (faking professional by day so I could party by night, pretending to be an extrovert) and shortly after transferring to the department she was in, she became my supervisor. To this day, she's hands-down the best boss lady I've had the pleasure of working with because she has always been my friend first. Some may say your boss can't be your friend, but because she was mine I worked even harder for her. She frequented family events, played big sister, reviewed my work performance and doled out my raises and bonuses, and even filmed my wedding for me so I'd remember what happened that day.
For all the writing and talking and contemplating I do about spirituality, there are plenty of days I don't want to think about it, much less utter or type a single word. Nikki is the friend I go to when I need to be grounded in my basic humanity. She reminds me there is beauty in unsuspecting places, like cemeteries, and not to take myself so seriously. We wax poetic about how our days are, literally logging every single minute of mundane activity, swapping silly stories, anecdotes, and recommending binge-worthy Netflix shows or movies to suffocate our brains with mindless entertainment. I especially appreciate when Nikki tells me in great length the plots (beginning, climax, twist-ending and all) to the books she reads that I'll likely never read.
In my twenties, when I knew everything, Nikki was dedicated to teaching me the value of considering multiple perspectives - especially when I'd find myself in the midst of some elusive triangle of drama and I had to be on the "right" side. Because of her commitment, I've crafted that skill over the years and this blog is a clear indication I've learned it's not about being right, it's simply about being yourself.
Responses by Nikki Kapic
What do you believe, and why?
I don't know how to respond to this because I don't think anyone's ever asked me, or I've never really thought about it. I believe in humanity and in a higher power, but I don't believe in religion. I believe different groups of people interpret that higher power in various ways and make similar but divergent rules to abide by. I don't believe those rules came from a higher power; I believe man created those rules. What I think I'm saying is that I believe in God but I don't believe in the Bible. I think the Bible is one of many religious texts people use to believe in God but I don't think you need it to believe.
How did you discover your beliefs?
My beliefs evolve over time as I learn and grow. My mind is always open to new or different ideas - sometimes I agree with them and sometimes I don't. My beliefs probably started with childhood; I was raised by non-practicing Catholics, and attended six years of Catholic school. My parents encouraged my brother, sister, and I to learn about other religions so I've always tried different churches, which is why I probably see things as very similar but different among the varying types of religions.
How do you interact with your beliefs?
I say, "Hello. How are you?" I don't know! What do you mean by interact?
I keep it to myself. I feel that my beliefs are mine and I don't want to share for fear of criticism. And I do my best to not criticize others for their beliefs. In fact, I like to hear about others' beliefs so I can learn more about what other possibilities there are out there. I've never been one to stick with a single thing because I think that like life, everything is growing and evolving and so your beliefs should as well. I don't think there is one answer but many possible answers.
What do you do when you doubt your beliefs?
I think really hard about what brings on the doubts - Are there valid reasons to doubt? Are there other ideas that make more sense? - and shift, change or adapt my beliefs to what makes sense for me.
To read more My Discovery Process submissions, you can find them here.