Keeping The Faith

Keeping the faith is hard work.

When things don’t work out the way I want them to I start railing against the Universe: “Why are you putting me through this?? I hate you for doing this to me! Why can’t it happen the way I want?!?” etc. I get angry and pissed off and feel like screaming. Basically I turn into a petulant child.

It’s funny though because I’m getting upset things aren’t working out the way I want them to. Little ole me really thinks I know what’s best for my life as opposed to the force responsible for life and death? As opposed to the force that causes the world to spin? As opposed to the force that causes flowers to bloom and the sun to shine? Really? Really?

I think of something a friend said to me recently. She said every moment of anger/sadness/frustration is a love poem from our creator and it’s up to us to decipher it. I see how my frustration boils down to a lack of patience. How I want things to happen NOW, this instant. But some things cannot happen now. Some things take time. I see how my creator is trying to cultivate patience in me and unshakable faith.

And if I really think about it I’ve been shown time and again what’s best for me happens. I’ve been shown time and again my wildest dreams are ant-sized compared to what my creator has in store for me. But I’m human so keeping the faith is hard. I have a tendency to doubt.

For now I keep dusting myself off when I stumble on my path toward steadfast faith. For now I keep picking myself up and I keep going forward because I know where I want to be. And this? This is not it.

I want to be in a place where my faith does not waver. I want to be in a place of constant trust and surrender. I want to be in a place where I have no doubt my creator is taking care of me. Where frustration does not exist because rather I savor what’s in front of me. Where I understand things take time and I may have to wait a little bit. Where I am ok with the questions and the ambiguity because I have hope and faith things will be turn out and they will be glorious. Where I trust even the crappy hard things are in my best interest.

And I have that wish for others.

I dream of a world where we all turn our frustration into something positive. A world where we have patience. A world where we understand everything is in our best interest. I dream of a world where trust and faith reign supreme. Where we all truly believe the universe is taking care of us. Where we open ourselves up and surrender to the divine will. Where we allow ourselves to be carried like sailboats on the water because we know there is a force greater than ourselves guiding the way.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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5 comments… add one
  • Heather Busher Feb 2, 2009, 2:31 pm

    Beautiful! I will live in this world today. The change starts right here with me! and You! and everyone who reads this. I love it. Thank you for sharing ALL of you!

  • blue-shadows9 Feb 3, 2009, 12:05 am

    This idea that the universe/Creator is taking care of you seems to be widespread among people of faith. My Christian grandmother and Muslim ex-boyfriend both share it with you.

    I’m curious. Exactly what is your explanation for the fact that some people’s lives legitimately suck? Is the universe not taking care of them? Why not?

  • Rebekah Feb 3, 2009, 3:47 am

    Great question. Several things. First I think some people’s lives suck because the laws of nature have to be obeyed. In my spiritual philosophy we believe one of the laws of nature is karma – that for every action there is a reaction. So for instance person X kills person Y. There needs to be a consequence/reaction to that. In my practices we would call that individual karmic reaction a samscara. And since I also believe in reincarnation, all that karmic junk, all those samscara build up and carry over from one life to the next. So some people’s lives suck because of all the stuff they did in previous lives as well as their current one.

    Where spirituality comes in is the reactions can be softened. The car accident has to happen but instead of totaling the car it can be a fender bender. Do you know what I mean?

    So I think samscaras are one aspect. I think the other layer centers on free will. God can only intervene so much you know? There’s that expression “God helps those who help themselves?” While I’m sure there are some people who say, “I was sitting on my couch and out of nowhere my doorbell rang and it was someone offering me a job. I didn’t go looking for it or anything!” I think for most people it doesn’t happen that way. We have to make an effort to do things. So if I’m too scared to apply for my dream job, I won’t get it and my life will continue to suck. (That’s an oversimplification but do you see where I’m going with this?)

    Along with that the Universe can’t do everything, you know? Also because that would interfere with the laws of nature. That means we as humans have to help each other out. That means we are responsible for those around us because I don’t think of God as a being who sits on high and says “ok, your life will suck and your life won’t.” God cannot make everyone’s life peachy because it would interfere with all the samscaras they have to burn.

    I also think of it as a matter of a trajectory. We make a choice and our life will spin in one direction like cue ball. We make another choice and our life will spin in another.

    Did I answer your question?

  • blue-shadows9 Feb 3, 2009, 2:43 pm

    Yes, that does explain to a reasonable degree why some people’s lives legitimately suck, and without blaming them for what they’ve done in their current lives, too.

    However, it doesn’t explain why you would think the universe is looking out for you. What if you did something horrible in a past life and the bad karma is just waiting to come out and screw up everything?

    And when something bad does happen, how do you tell whether it happened because you set your life on the wrong trajectory or because you had bad karma in the first place? Or did you set your life on the wrong trajectory because you have bad karma? That is, can aspects of your own personality or actions be agents of karma, or are they totally separate?

    Let me know if I’m using the wrong terminology here. I’d hate to go around saying “bad karma” forever if the correct term is “samscara.”

  • Rebekah Feb 3, 2009, 8:16 pm

    In Sanskrit “karma” means “action.” Samscara is the individual reaction. For instance, I got stung 23 times by yellow jackets when I was 15. I would say I burnt a samscara with that experience. Samscaras can be good, by the way. Winning the lottery or becoming President of the United States is also a samscara. People in the U.S. say “karma” instead of samscara, but that’s ok because that’s what they’ve heard before.

    So there are two layers. Samscaras influence certain events in our lives but we also have free will. Barack Obama had the samscara to be President of the U.S. but he could have chosen not to run in this life, so he would have burnt the samscara in another life. So samscaras do influence the events of our lives and our personality to a degree but not completely. And we usually don’t know if what’s happening to us in this life is because of past samscaras or because of a samscara we picked up in this life.

    Also we constantly accumulate samscaras, which is why it’s important to be a good person. To live a moral life. A good person will pick up fewer samscaras that a murderer.

    However, there is a way out of the trap because otherwise the cycle would go on forever, right? This is where spirituality comes in. When someone is on a spiritual path they can 1.) burn their samscaras faster and quicken their path to God and 2.) stop accumulating samscaras in the first place. Meditation/prayer is supposed to burn the samscaras in a gentle way, to transmute them if you will, so instead of a car accident you just meditated for half an hour. Also by doing service for others samscaras are burned. And lastly if before every action you take you recognize the action is God and not you, you won’t pick up anymore samscaras because you are surrendering the consequence of the action. You’re giving it up and giving it to God.

    Ok, so there’s that whole piece. Now, onto your question of why I think the Universe is watching out for me. The first reason is I’ve been taken care of thus far and therefore logically the trend should continue. Secondly when people are on a spiritual path, when they open their hearts and minds to God, they are open to help. That answer probably doesn’t satisfy you but it brings me to my next point.

    You know how people invoke Jesus, Buddha, Krsna, etc? That being acts as a guru, in Sanskrit guru means dispeller or darkness. So in my practice I have a guru. A man who died in 1990. The guru is also supposed to intervene on our behalf. The guru acts as a protector, a guide. So when I say the “Universe” is taking care of me, really I mean my Guru but since not everyone has a guru I interchange it with “universe.” And there are countless stories of gurus (not just mine) saving people’s lives. And I have really felt my guru intervening on my behalf, like when I kept getting housesitting jobs one after another. I know that probably doesn’t satisfy your question but some things have to be taken on faith, you know?

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