What is faith?
My father had faith. Dad was a Catholic from way back when they used to hold mass in Latin. He believed so completely in God and that if you do the right things, you’ll end up in Heaven. Naturally, he raised my sister and I to follow the church teachings as well. Say our prayers at night. Be “good girls”. Go to confession. And go to church.
I can’t begin to tell you how much therapy I had in order to undo some of the guilt-ridden weight that I carried for years because of “faith”.
I was not with my father when he died; I was a 21 year old mother of a toddler, struggling in an abusive relationship. So spending much time at the hospital with him in his last days was just not possible. But I did arrive to the hospital almost immediately after he passed. While my sister and I waited in that horrible room where they put families so they can begin to process and grieve, my uncle, my father’s brother arrived. He came over to me and while I stared out the window wondering what on earth was going to happen next, he said to me, “Your dad is in a better place now. He’s in heaven with his mother and he is out of pain and happy.” Faith. He believed it in his soul.
I wasn’t so sure.
In the years that followed, I avoided the concept of faith like the plague. I had no interest in it; I felt it didn’t serve me at all. I did believe in myself however because I came to learn early on that I was the only person I had to depend on so she better be STRONG. Sure. She better have faith in herself.
So I did.
But over time, as my journey has continued in life there as been a consistent yet undetectable in any moment, change in perspective. Nothing remarkable happened causing a shift in my thinking. The best way I can describe it is a slow but steady awakening. Through meditation, self-reflection, a LOT of therapy, and a lot of listening. Over time, this is what I’ve come to believe.
I don’t know if there is a god, or greater being but I do believe there is a life energy that is universal. Universal. That it defies our understanding or description. I believe we can all tap into that energy if we choose to and allow it to lift us when we are low, guide us when we are uncertain. Maybe that energy is just us. I don’t know. But I believe in it. I have faith.
I have faith that the universe is striving and conspiring for your success; you just need to believe. That doesn’t mean it will always be easy. It doesn’t mean there won’t be suffering. But I believe within the impermanence of every single thing, there is a lesson of either patience or awareness. Be patient; this will pass. Or be aware because this WILL pass. And that is faith too.
I look forward to what I learn next. I hope you’ll share your thoughts on faith with me.