How Being Okay Has Shaped My Faith
I was recently asked to explain to someone (a self proclaimed atheist), why I believe that we are more than our physical reality…why I believe in something greater than myself, in the absence of proof. Essentially, why I have faith. This is the age-old question is it not?
I have spent the past few weeks pondering this question. Many atheists and others look at faith through the lense of religion and proof or the absence of proof in a higher power. To my knowledge, humanity has not uncovered any tangible proof that God, Allah or a higher power exists (at least from a religious perspective), yet many people have faith. Perhaps I am over simplifying, but it is the absence of this proof that is a stumbling block for many who require proof of the existence of something, prior to believing in the concept of faith.
Why I have Faith…
I recently stumbled across a post on Facebook which summed up the concept of faith for me in two sentences.
“Faith is not about everything turning out okay. Faith is about being okay no matter how things turn out.”
The universe is indifferent. It does not operate in terms of good or bad. It just is. My experiences have taught me that whatever the outcome, it is the right outcome. It is my interpretation of my experience, which then labels my experience as good or bad, positive or negative. Every experience I have is a learning opportunity for me whether it is seemingly good, bad, positive or negative. My lesson is there if I choose to see it. I will continue to experience whatever it is I need to experience, until I have fully embraced and accepted the lesson.
In any given situation, I have no idea how it will turn out. I may be able to predict the result with some sort of certainty based on past experiences, but if I am honest, I have no idea.
We have all gone through periods in our lives where we wonder: Why me? Not this again? Will things ever get better? Recently, my faith has been challenged. I am currently going through something where I do not know the outcome (like I should know right! lol) and it has caused me sleepless nights, stress and anxiety. When I am in this state, I forget to take care of myself and those around me that need my help. My eating habits change (usually for the worse), I stop exercising, I lash out at those around me, overspend, ignore family and friends, isolate, withdraw and the list goes on. I feel a tremendous amount of discomfort when I am in this state of uncertainty. My ego tells me I am a failure, no good, I will lose everything, blah, blah, blah. The worst part about this is that I start to believe Ego and my fear and expectations grow stronger. It’s a vicious cycle and when I’m in it, I feel like I am swept up in a tornado. During these times, faith eludes me.
But at the end of any given day, I’m okay. In fact, I’m better than okay. I am healthy, have beautiful children, a loving husband, a great career, safe home, food in the fridge and fabulous family and friends (just to name a few things). I am no different than anyone else on this planet. I have gone through a lot in my life. I have overcome addiction, litigation, financial obstacles, naysayers and failed companies. I have also experienced success in business, friendships, love, etc. However, no matter what twists and turns I have experienced, I have survived and flourished and I am still okay. Being okay is a consistent outcome.
For me, faith is not based on a religion, scientific study or tangible test result. The essence of the faith I have today is the knowing that everything will be just fine, no matter the outcome.
This knowing gets me out of bed each morning, propels me forward and gives me faith that I’m going to be okay.