Posts Tagged ‘strength’
Thank You for your joining me here in our cozy corner of the world. My wish is that you feel inspired, joyful, loved, and peaceful. May the summer possibilities free your heart.
Relax. Breathe. Allow your dreams to come out and play.
Today’s topic is something people have studied for centuries. It is an idea that has ignited many a passionate discussion and about which numerous books have been written from varying points of view. I feel, in my humble opinion, it boils down to making a singular choice and committing one’s self fully to that choice, which, in theory, sounds simple, though seems to require a delicate balance of patience, self-discipline, and skilled application.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
I was reminded of this very thing this past week as I found myself overly concerned regarding a specific decision. I was examining various possibilities and entertaining various scenarios, concerned with making the “right” choice while simultaneously fretting a bit and jubilantly rejoicing the changes forthcoming. The thought struck me that real character is claiming one’s own resourcefulness and trusting one’s own ability to choose wisely. It is ultimately saying, “Yes, I can, and I will” in thought, feeling, and action. True character, then, is walking in faith, knowing that all shall be well. I very clearly became aware that if I really and truly walk in faith, then fear is an illusion keeping me from living my dreams. If I really walk in faith, worry is only an insignificant thought. If I were living in faith, deep in my core would be a resounding peace that everything will always be okay regardless of circumstance or outcome.
It sounds so deliciously simple and blissfully easy, like a young child skipping through a daisy field, a simple choice, and if so, then why do I still sometimes question and doubt? Why am I quick to jump in when fear offers to chauffeur me around for a while?
Faith is easy when everything is going well, but then it’s not really faith, is it? “Going well” is simply a matter of perspective anyway. It’s easy to believe in something which you already see happening. What about believing everything is working out for the good even when it feels like the world is ending? What about trusting in divine power when the only reason for resilience is the whisper of a prayer carried safely on the wings of angels nestled in the hope that someone, somewhere will send relief?
Faith believes …always. That is faith.
The Princeton Dictionary defines faith as “a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny” or “complete confidence in a person or plan etc”
Okay. That is about as inspired of a definition as waiting all week to dine at a new restaurant only to discover that the cardboard from a microwave dinner has more texture and tastes more flavorful than whatever they attempted serve up as a gourmet meal. We’re talking FAITH here, people! Faith, you know, that little thing that allowed Jesus to walk on water. Faith – the fire that inspired pilgrims to risk their lives crossing foreign waters to establish a country based on equal rights. Faith – the passion inside visionaries like the Wright Brothers, who kept going even when everyone said it couldn’t be done.
Faith believes in miracles and possibilities. It trusts blessings are forthcoming in your life. It steps forward out of hesitation into possibility. It surrenders to a divine power and allows itself to receive help. Faith recognizes and welcomes opportunities availing themselves. Faith displays a peacock’s flair of splendid attributes, and though visually exquisite as they may be, absorbing and integrating them as part of one’s being is another matter entirely.
Here’s how I like to check and see if I’m living faith. Notice I said “living faith” instead of “living in faith”. I feel when you fully embrace something you become it, which in this case is living, breathing faith in motion. Okay – here’s how I check myself. Have you ever in the history of your life asked yourself, “Hmm. I wonder if gravity is working today. Maybe I’ll jump from a ridiculously high structure just to be sure.” Silly, right? Well, that’s faith – certain, solid belief. I’ll admit, sometimes I’m tempted to look for signs to “test” if my prayers are being heard. The ego jumps in with all sorts of questions, sidetracking with mental rubbish. Will this opportunity work out? What do I do now? Will I be okay? The ego is especially famous for his “what if” questions in every possible variation, which it knows will distract me for hours as my analytical brain attempts to untangle the ridiculously tangled ball of twine.
True faith is a resounding, “Yes, I know I am okay whatever happens.” Faith knows with absolute certainty that life is happening for you, that even the most challenging circumstances are creating something in your life that is meant to help you. Someone once told me that God only allows suffering that brings us closer to divine wisdom. If this is true, it further suggests that everything happens for our greater good and that faith, theoretically speaking, is a stroll in the park. This is such a deeply profound concept that I shall revisit it at another time when I can offer it spotlight and center stage for closer inspection.
Nick Vujicic was born without any appendages, with the exception of one digit protruding from his hip. He faced extremely dark times in his life and cites his faith as the reason he has kept going. Nick is a college graduate and travels around the world speaking to groups about the power of getting up every time you fall.
Bethany Hamilton is a self-professed soul surfer who, in her early teens, lost an arm in a tiger shark attack of the Hawaiian coast. Weeks prior to the attack, Bethany recalls a conversation with her Mom, in which she said she felt as if God was going to use her in a special way. When asked if she wishes the attack didn’t happen, she replies without hesitation, “No”. Bethany goes on to say that she’s living her life in a righteous way being of service to others and perhaps, had it not occurred, she would be tempted to step off the path she knows God has for her. Bethany continues to compete in surfing contests, and a feature film is being made about her life.
Faith honors that small, still voice inside that says, “Yes, You can.”
The 64th Tony Awards is the perfect example of faith in action. Millions watch as actors, dancers, composers, directors, producers, set-designers, vocalists, writers, and more gather together to celebrate the magic of Broadway. Thousands of talented performers wade their way through countless auditions, subsisting on soda, saltines, and Ramen noodles while cramming themselves, a half dozen at a time, into a miniscule one bedroom apartment in search of realizing the golden dream …and what keeps them going? Faith.
“This is the stuff dreams are made of.” ~ Eddie Redmayne
Scarlett Johansson, upon winning her Tony Award, thanked Liev Schreiber, for teaching her to, “Never anticipate anything,” and while she’s describing acting, it’s also a fitting definition of faith. Faith believes we’re supported in discovering within ourselves a wealth of strength and resourcefulness to process whatever comes along; therefore, there is no need to anticipate anything. How freeing it would be to get to that place of simply existing, trusting the process, and being peaceful, , and as Julian Norwich says, “…and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”
“Be here now.” ~ Ram Dass
One of my favorite movie moments is in Evan Almighty, in which God explains how prayers are answered. I’ll close with thought this to ponder.
“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”
What is faith? Faith believes in miracles while walking in possibility knowing Love answers all things.
©2010 Susan Stackpole www.susanstackpole.com
♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ~ ♥
Want to use this article for your e-zine or newsletter? Please include the following
Susan Stackpole, certified creative consultant and results expert, is the #1 coach for celebrities, VIPs, and people serious about getting results and living their best lives. Are you ready to ignite your potential, jump-start your success, and achieve quick, effect results while living your dreams? If so, please visit www.susanstackpole.com where you’ll find free resources for living your best life. While you’re there, sign up for the monthly newsletter, which includes celebrity tips for manifesting destiny in style. Contact Susan today for more information on mapping your destiny.