Thursday, March 15, 2012

Faith

A few months ago I was sitting in my therapist’s office telling her that I envied people who are religious, that I envy the faith they have that there’s something else bigger than themselves out there looking out for them. I don’t have that kind of faith. I’ve not had that kind of faith for a long time.

Over the past 15 years I’ve looked into a lot of belief systems in an attempt to try to find something that suits me. I pondered Christianity. I looked into Buddhism. I practiced Wicca. I studied shamanism. I was just about to latch onto Hinduism when I realized that religion is not for me. I just can’t buy it.

A few days prior to me sitting there telling my therapist that I envied people who are religious I had googled her. I suddenly got curious about who she was and what she was doing. I found an article she had written for a Catholic online magazine. I recall it was about the psychology of having faith and how that can help in life. When I told her about my own lack of faith I was fishing, I was curious to see what she would respond. In a way I guess it was my way of testing her.

I wasn’t prepared for the reply she gave me to my telling her I envy people who are religious. Not at all.

She simply up at me and said “There’s nothing wrong with having faith in yourself.”

“What? Like instead of believing there’s a God I should have faith in me, the kind of faith one has in God?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.

I thought a lot about that because it seemed so absurd. I have never had good self-esteem or confidence. I couldn’t even imagine what it would feel like having that kind of faith in oneself.

It’s taken a while for the penny to drop but I think it finally did. It’s not so much about jacking up your confidence and faith in yourself as it is letting go of sweating the small stuff. All the little things that you worry about that you always overcome but you make them seem like they’re big issues when you think about them. Allowing myself to stop doing so much of that has brought me a lot of relief but more importantly faith in me.

I don’t think I will ever be religious but I do think I can buy into this having faith in myself thing.

1 comment:

  1. it's all a process, don't you think? and sometimes it happens so incrementally and slowly that it feels like it's not happening at all. but then, there are days where you understand what they mean when they say leap of faith. and one definitely doesn't have to be religious for that.

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