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faith

I’ve been exploring the word faith.  Grappling really with the understanding of what it means intellectually and then what it feels like to really take it in and practice.  Maybe I’m the only one that struggles with this concept, maybe I’m not…but I wanted an experience more authentic than the words I hear thrown around when we are afraid and struggling with our own worth and purpose.

I’ve been inspired, actually, by my husband.  He has the ability to open to the mystery and be ok with not knowing…trusting that it will all work out.  I admire this in him and, with all relationships, it has held a mirror up to my own faith.

Here’s the thing…”it will all work out”…is a statement that does not inspire me, in fact, it annoys me.  That’s because when I hear that, I understand it to mean that it will be working out well and it doesn’t work out so well for a lot of people (from my limited perspective) and I want us to all be well and happy at the end.  I get very concerned about the parts where I don’t have or know the plan and I am also aware that well and happy for me is not necessarily well and happy for you, but I still worry about this.

A teacher in a writing workshop once said, “you don’t need to know the end of your story.  You just have to write.  Write about this minute and all of its details, then write about the next minute, letting the story unfold in its telling.”

I think we all have experience in grasping for the next step or the next chapter or, god forbid, the end of the story and its guarantee before we even begin.  I know sitting, pen poised in hand over a page, waiting for something profound to say does not bring forth something profound.  The profound seems to happen when I least expect it, in real stillness or when I’m happily consumed with something else.

Who am I?

What do I want?

What is my purpose?

Who do I want to be?

I can’t write or ask these questions and then keep my mind in a place of waiting for an answer…clutching the question mark.  I actually have to let go of the question…forget I even asked it…have “faith” and then get busy doing something that I love, something that makes me happy.  In this minute by minute, day by day…one foot in front of the other approach…I find that I am eventually living the answer, the story.  I make my best choices, I keep trying, I keep working, I keep saying thank you, I keep loving and I keep giving and I am left with the hope that things will work out.  Here’s the kicker…I also have to really be ok with an outcome I may not have seen…because chances are pretty good that it won’t be and I’ll realize that all that worrying was a complete waste of time.  There is more at work than what I see from my small perspective and limited experience.  Perhaps, in that, I can allow for something even better than a plan I hatched on my own.  Is there ever a time when my thoughts don’t try to speak over the quiet voice in my heart?

Anne Lamott wrote, “the opposite of faith isn’t doubt, the opposite of faith is certainty.”

I like Brene Brown’s definition of faith:  “Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”

 

It is the time between sleep and awake…not quite dreaming and not quite thinking.  It’s the time of day when spirit expresses, when creativity unhindered by thinking is most awake…yet illusive.  To grasp at it is to chase it back into the night.

I’m hesitant to turn on a light to write…afraid that any action more than letting words express through me will cause them to disappear into something closer to thoughts and plans and ideas trying to negotiate their way to my full attention.

I’ve heard drinking water before bed will make your dreams more fluid and easier to remember but when I try to write them down in the night, I have a hard time falling back to sleep.  I’m learning to take note of the feelings I have in my dreams…messages possibly? as my subconscious processes all that it has taken in.  I think it must be showing me something I missed consciously…some nugget of clarity.

Angels and magic at work transpiring to inspire and guide and move us.  It is the magical place of stillness where creativity and a seed of faith are born.

 

it is early

light has not made its claim on the day

night has not released its grip

thoughts float like water

dreaming

Spirit speaks here

as I roll over, I wonder

if you are trying to tell me something

or if I am simply thinking of you.

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