Finding Faith

This is one of those posts I started and never finished.  It went into a pile of "do laters," along with the ones about Robin Williams, celebrity sexual assault scandals, and police-involved shootings, to name a few.  I started writing about a year ago, about the start of the new year, and my hopes and resolutions.  Then life intruded, and it was put aside.  Little did I know that inspiration to finish would come from Jim Carrey, the goofy rubber-faced comedian known for his bathroom humor.

Carrey was addressing graduates in a commencement address for Maharishi University, and showed an insightful, serious side, sprinkled with humor.  He was profound.   Here's a link for anyone interested in watching the whole thing: 
Jim Carrey commencement address

It is well worth your time.

The part that meant the most to me, which has reshaped my thinking, was on faith:  "Oh, and why not take a chance on faith as well? Take a chance on faith — not religion, but faith. Not hope, but faith. I don’t believe in hope. Hope is a beggar. Hope walks through the fire. Faith leaps over it."

What's been missing for me is faith.  Hope has been in short supply as well, but faith has been all but nonexistent for some time.  Maybe I had viewed faith as something that requires a certain set of religious beliefs, and there's a rebellious part of me that defies being told what to believe, or even to believe in anything at all.  In resisting drama, I have resisted faith, for faith's sake, and forsaken myself.

There have been situations in my life that have tried my soul, and denied me peace.  I'm not saying I'm unique; we all have problems.  I seem to be bombarded with the lesson of letting go.  Yet how can you let go without faith?  I'm not talking about the faith that drives people to church on Sunday though I have no problem with that.  I guess it's a faith in life, in the universe, in the big scheme of things... the faith that what is meant to happen will happen, and it will all work out.  There has been no deity handing faith my way, although I'm not an Atheist.  There's just been an emptiness, plodding along daily in an uninspired manner, waiting for something to feel better.  Some people call it depression.  I'm not sure I'd go that far; it's more of a shutting down of spirit, like hunkering down.  Either way, it's dismal.

I knew something was holding me back in my soul, but I blamed it on circumstance.  I listened to Jim Carrey's words and then listened again.  I realized that when I let go of the requirement to deify my faith, a funny thing happened: it began to return.  I realized my faith belongs to me, and I get to define it.

I want a deeper faith than to pray to someone that I get what I want.  I'm trying to be more in tune with the infinite, and the cycles of life, knowing that everything comes around eventually.  Maybe not in my way, or on my schedule, but that's okay.  I don't need to be in control, because something great and infinite is already managing that balancing act.  I have about as much control as a wave on the ocean, which will crash into the shore, then drift back to sea.  A wave doesn't have to worry about cycles, it just is.  A wave also doesn't experience critical thought, which can be a blessing and a curse.

Under the steady fluidity of a wave, obstacles eventually wear away.  If I adopt this philosophy I develop faith, even when things feel hopeless.  It also gives me permission to accept the choices of others, because they're riding their own wave, and it's pointless to control that either.  I have worn myself out when I've tried.

Faith is about more than letting go of control; it's an acknowledgement that I was never in control in the first place, and don't need to be.  There's no point in worrying about outcomes, because I can't do anything more than my best. 

So my goals for 2015 are to let go of the negative, take care of myself, and have faith.  If I can let go of worrying about others' choices, I can grow my compassion, because I'm not personalizing those choices.  So I will move through this year with renewed faith, hope, and compassion.  A tall order, but if Jim Carrey can pull it off, I have faith that I can.  There's a defiance in faith that I can respect.

My wish for everyone this coming year is to find your faith and peace in your heart.

2 comments:

  1. Great piece, Romy. When I lost my faith in religious dogma and God, I in fact started hating the word, 'faith.' And I have had hard time distinguishing between the words faith and hope. Because the kind of faith what you and I share could be sometimes more realistic and not too far-fetched like flying to heaven and spending an eternity with the creator of the universe. I try my best to avoid using the word 'faith' as much as possible when I talk about my beliefs and I tend to use the word 'belief' more since knowledge, faith, hope are all subset of belief.

    However, I'm a simple man and I like simple definitions. So hope is wishing something is true or will be true (sometimes based on good reasons) and faith is knowing something is true without any reasons what so ever. Now that I have giving a lot of thought about this over the years, I think I could clearly distinguish between faith and hope now if I consider time. For instance, I have hope and confidence that I will be able to achieve my shor-term life goals. And I have faith that I could achieve my long-term goals, because it's so vague and obscure and doesn't really matter for now because I can't be sure about what surprise life holds.

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    1. That's a really good point. I have been struggling with all of this for years, and I too struggled with the word "faith" for much the same reasons. It seemed to imply religion, and there's so much more to it. Thanks for your thoughts!

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