Throughout most of my life I lacked any sense of spirituality. I wasn't connected to my core being and instead fixated on myself as a physical being. Really, I've always kinda had the opposite of faith; I intellectualize EVERYTHING. The more I know, the safer I feel! I now know that it's because I was raised by wounded people who didn't feel safe to feel. So they taught me what they knew: numb your emotions by any means necessary, obsess over your body and intellectualize everything else. While this way of being got me (and them) by for a long time, it wasn't sustainable. Cause here's the thing, whether you numb your pain or not, your body is internalizing it and will eventually breakdown mentally and/or physically. This is what happens to me.
I've got many chronic ailments such as lower back pain, tendinitis in my rotator cuff and pain/tension in my left hamstring. I've got anxiety, body dysmorphia, insomnia and sometimes depression. All of these "issues" crop up at times of high stress, or as I'm learning, when I'm triggered. The good news is that the time between these flare ups is increasing, and I'm getting better at using real coping mechanisms instead of my bandaid techniques... my favorite bandaid happens to be being-busy-being-busy. Otherwise, known as avoidance. Otherwise known as running from my problems.
What I'm learning as I go, is that you can run Forest run, but your problems will be right there with you! And when you realize your problems are tailing you, you can numb them with food, booze, perfectionism, gossip and TV shows or whatever, but your problems will be right there like a f-ing barnacle. The only way to get clear on who you are and what you need to work on is to be still and know. (Yeah I just hit you with a Christian quote even though I'm not Christian.). Notice I didn't say: do and know everything.
Everything that I am today and will become is because of my newfound faith. I have faith in me, faith in a force bigger than myself, faith is humanity, faith in nature... faith in you. I trust that I'm being divinely guided and my job is not to resist the discomfort of life. I believe that every experience both positive or negative, is for my ultimate good. And because I'm able to surrender to the idea that everything is always happening for me and not to me, my life is filled with joy and abundance. I know that whatever discomfort I may be feeling is not only temporary, but it's pulling me toward a new discovery. It's peeling away layers of my identity to reveal parts of me that I didn't know existed.
Having faith doesn't have to mean being religious. You don't have to ascribe to any particular belief system other than what makes sense to you. Having faith is more about trusting when it feels impossible to do so. It means recognizing that you can't figure every damn thing out! It means you need to let go of the reins every once in a while and trust that the wagon will still get you to where you're going... just maybe not when you thought it would. It's not about everything around you changing, it's about changing how you see everything around you. It's about being still enough to feel what's happening in your body and listening to that inner voice... you know trusting your gut instead of trying to rationalize everything until you have a full blown anxiety attack. It's about honoring your own one of a kind experience of being human and accepting your individualized timeline that comes with it.
If you're resisting discomfort I invite you to try something different. You don't have to go to church on Sunday or even pray, but you can start by putting faith in yourself. Try to spend more time being still and undistracted. Work on trusting yourself and what your body is trying to tell you. Each time you choose to sit with yourself and address the "issue", you shed a layer of crap that has been limiting you. As a wise Pope once said: the world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness."
Thanks for reading,
There's a song for that: "Faith", by George Michael