Faith isn’t about the days when the launch brings in thousands, when the spouse comes home and gives you a kiss and asks you how your day has been and actually listens to your answer, when everyone is healthy, when you have a fully funded emergency savings account, when you get 10 interviews and 3 job offers and can take your pick.
Faith isn’t about when you’re following the rules, when you’re doing what the seven step system details for you, when you’re going along with what everyone approves of and what you’re supposed to do.
Faith isn’t about when you feel close to God, when you feel loved and cared for, when you feel brave and able to tackle anything that comes your way because of all the support and strength and power you have behind you.
Faith is about those other days.
When you send out the big email and get no response. Again. When you apply for the jobs and only receive contributions to your pile of 40 rejection letters. When your spouse doesn’t make eye contact when he comes home from work and you do the dishes so you can hide your silent crying from the kids. When no one replies to your texts and you wonder if friendships are an exercise in futility. When your kid gets sick and the doctors are condensing and the insurance company won’t pay for what she needs. When you’re using a gas station credit card to buy generic milk and white bread and non-organic bananas because you have no cash for the regular grocery store, much less Whole Foods. When you wonder if the higher power you’ve been praying to this whole time is just a collective figment of humanity’s wishful imagination and you’re just another fool.
Faith is about what you do on the days when you don’t feel any faith.
Faith is about continuing to go on – even though you’ve failed so many times you have lost track, even though you don’t believe someone could love you, even though you’re not sure why anyone would hire you, even though you’re afraid you’re a terrible mother, even though everyone thinks you’re crazy, even though you don’t think you’ll ever feel better, even though you don’t know if anyone or anything is listening when you kneel down to pray.
Faith is about being in the dark, lonely pit of doubt and futility, and doing it anyway.
Faith is when giving up becomes unacceptable.
There are a lot of things you can use to help you continue on those dark days.
- Having friends or coaches who you can help you remember that the darkness and doubt are liars.
- Creating routines of meditation or prayer or yoga or walking in nature or another spiritual practice that you do even on days when you don’t feel like it.
- Reading or listening to stories of other humans who continued to have faith, even when they had absolutely no logical reason backing them up.
So, what about you?
What do you do on days when you don’t have faith? What helps you to keep going on, when things are bad?
Please share your ideas and resources below – it would help us all to hear them.
Next week I’ll be sharing with you one such collection of stories of people who refused to follow the rules even when things didn’t always go well and everyone thought they were nuts – so you can learn from their stories, use it to bolster your faith, and see how you can apply it to your life.
That program (Question the Rules) is not the right thing for all of you, so I’ll share my updated review of the latest version of this program next week so you can make the best decision for your situation. (Of course, I arranged it so you guys get a big discount for a couple days, to make it more accessible for those who need it.)
In the meanwhile, if you’re having a bright everything-is-going-well day, then congratulations and blessings to you, I’m happy for you!
If you’re having a dark, confusing, futility-laden day, know that you’re not the only one.
And, know that it gets better. I promise.