What is Faith?

I used to think that I knew what faith was, but I am learning that it is so much more than I thought. When I was younger, I used to shake my head at people with blind faith. I am not someone who subscribes to dogma. I question every institution and everything in life until I feel comfortable with the answer that I derive. I have to digest things and see how they feel in my body before it has a home in my belief system. It’s always been me and I don’t think it’s ever going to change. I didn’t know that I was practicing faith.

“Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.”– Kahlil Gibran

I have new respect for faith because it’s not an easy thing to have in this world. Wherever it shows up, insecurity seeks to stamp it out, prove it wrong and make it feel guilty. In our world, there is pressure and criticism if you don’t share in the beliefs of others. Independent thinking is scary to other people and isn’t immediately appreciated, but faith requires it. I’ve always said that I feel better believing that there is some force or someone who loves me and is rooting for me in every instance. Whether you call it God, the Universe or the Source, I believe it is LOVE. We were created in love, reside in love, abide in love and survive in love. Yet, we find it hard to love ourselves and others. Our journey on this earth and everything that we have created is in the pursuit of love.  We do all types of things out of love and for love.

So what does that have to do with faith? I’ve learned that faith is unshakable certainty in the face of  uncertainty. It is trust in yourself and love beyond all that you see. It’s believing that something in this life wants you to win, to succeed, to love and be prosperous. It’s knowing that, even though the world may try to convince you that you aren’t good enough or have done enough to deserve love that you don’t have to worry about it because you already have it. You can tap into love any time you want to. It’s inside you. You can love yourself no matter who walks away. You don’t have to assign their blame to you. If they didn’t love you, it may be more about their insecurity than it is about you. If it’s about you, then you have to power and ability to change. It’s knowing you are worthy. It’s knowing you are powerful. It’s knowing that you have a purpose. It’s knowing that you don’t have to stop because there is an answer waiting for you as soon as you have the question.

How do you know that? There is no proof. There is no voice that is going to tell you. But, there is something inside you that believes what you are reading. You don’t know why, but it resonates somewhere inside you and it makes sense. There is a part of you that knows you are loved beyond measure and feels it. All you are seeking is validation from someone else instead of knowing it in your heart. You are merely looking to tell you something that you already know. They are simply reminding you of what you were born to be. Faith is remembering. Faith is remembering that you are a glorious, all-powerful being that is on a journey to find yourself and your power through love. Faith is loving even when it’s not returned and it seems like it’s not making a difference. You can’t control the outcome.

The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.- Tony Robbins

If you hold onto your love with a tight grip and are afraid that you will run out of love, you do not have faith. When you block the blessings of others, you block your own as well. Leave your love like a dollar on a bench and someone who needs it will pick it up and be grateful for their luck. Give love even when it’s undeserved. Actually, that’s the best time to give it because, like a petulant child, it usually a cry for love. I’m not talking about when someone is abusive and I am not saying that you have to wait for them to change, but instead of exacting revenge or diminishing yourself, leave them with love as you walk away. If someone is already damaged, you don’t have to allow them to imprint their damage on you. You don’t have to create a story of how you deserved their hurt. Bitterness and resentment is not loving to yourself and it shows absence of faith. If someone does terrible things to you, they have already experience terrible things in their life.You can have faith that you don’t have to do anything to hurt them because they had to be hurt to treat you the way that they did.  You can love them and pray for them even if you limit your time with them. Faith is not allowing outside circumstances to change your beliefs about yourself.

Faith is not the absence of fear. It doesn’t guarantee that you won’t feel sad at times. What it does mean is that when you are done going through those emotions, you can remind yourself that you are supported.You can tell yourself that it didn’t work out the way you thought, but something better is coming. It means that you  trust that everything will work out in your favor. You can feel the love of that support. If you really pay attention, you can see it in your life. It’s unfolding every day, even now as you read this post.