When Faith is Shaken

I’m often amazed at how different we can react to similar situations.  Our reactions are driven by our thoughts, by our perceptions and largely by our faith.  When I say “faith”, I don’t mean it in the religious context per se.  I refer to faith more as a level of confidence and assurance beyond the confidence in our own ability.  Faith refers to the depth of our belief and confidence in other people and the way that the universe works.

Generally speaking, I am a person of solid faith.  I believe that most people are good.  I believe that the universe has a way of sorting life out for us, beyond what we are capable of controlling.  I believe that even the most difficult situations will teach us something profound that will change our lives for the better.   That being said, I know that people still cause pain for others, life sometimes still sucks and some days are just too hard.  But with a little faith, those moments are much more bearable.

I’ve blogged about it before.  People who cause pain and our ability to control our reaction to it.  If we have solid faith that people are mostly good, we aren’t likely to get angry.  We are more likely to exhibit compassion and empathy… to ask questions as to why and to give feedback to minimize future pains.  All actions in the best interest of the evolution of society.

They call it the light at the end of the tunnel, the rainbow.  Whatever the cliche, it boils down to the simple fact – things can’t be shitty forever.  If you absolutely believe that you’ll be more equipped to handle the shitty times as passing moments on a giant timeline that will fade in meaning and memory. Of course, we will never know when things will get “sorted out” but we can have faith that they always will.  It may be a week of tumultuous times or perhaps a year, but in the eyes of the universe – even a decade is just a blip on a timeline.    Why spend energies focusing on the pains of the moment rather than accepting the tests and challenges as they are presented.  If you have faith that you don’t always have to struggle, that you can get life together you can swallow those lows that life will always inevitably bring.

Where does this come from, you might ask?  Well I’ve realized that my faith is shaken and it’s got me asking myself what do I need to do to rebuild my faith.  Faith in people, faith in the company I work for, faith in my decision to move, faith in my relationship.  It’s all wavered at some point in the last 2 months.  And it’s changed my ability to cope, my ability to triumph and my ability to take joy in situations.  It’s affected the way that I react and interact with people. In short – it’s really not good.

It’s all internal, I realize.  There isn’t any one thing that happened that I normally wouldn’t have been able to take in stride, but let’s face it.  I’ve made a pretty life changing decision to uproot the family and move to the boonies and I can be honest and say I don’t know if that was the best choice.  Not having faith in my decision has created a domino affect in other areas that has left me feeling insecure and unsecured.

So what do we do.  One amazing thing about the power of thought is that once you’ve identified the thoughts that are causing the negative behaviors and reactions, you can change them.  It’s re-writing the dialogue that goes through our minds.  When the critic inside is spitting out the negative thoughts, we just catch them and hurl them back with a more rational thought process.  I thought it might be helpful if I shared this internal battle as I go through it if for no other reason than to practice what I preach.

Thought:  “What am I doing here?  What have we done?  This is hard.  This is ridiculous.  Have I broken my family?”

Response: “You are taking a calculated risk to try something.  You will never know if it was the best decision.  You thought enough about it to know that it made sense to try.  It’s pretty amazing.  Scary, yes.  Wrong, no.  And of course it’s hard.  Anytime you start a new life it’s hard.  You have to start over getting integrated but you brought the most important part with you and that hasn’t changed.  So yes, it’s hard.  But not as hard when you are all doing it together.

Thought: “I’ve broken my family.  I don’t feel like we’re a team anymore and I don’t think this is going to work out”

Response: “You haven’t broken your family. What does that even mean?  Are you implying that you aren’t a cohesive unit?  That there is fighting amongst the ranks?  That’s not broken, that’s personal reactions to the unknowns and that’s normal.  Do you really think that this isn’t going to work out?  That’s really up to you to decide.  Do you want it to work out?  Yes? Okay then.  Is it possible that it could work out?  Yes?  Okay then.  So it will.  Right now your family is going through a shape shifter machine.  You are all on the assembly line belt moving through and as you look around you don’t recognize much of your surroundings.  It’s scary.  If you don’t keep your eyes on your family it feels lonely.  You can’t see what you come out like on the other side but you can know that your whole family is going through the change together and your whole family will come out on the other side.  You can also rest assured that your family is strong enough to take whatever shape comes out the other side of this upheaval and turn it in to an amazing experience for everyone.  You know that.  So it’s not true that your family is broken.  It is true that the upheaval has caused you to take your eyes off of each other and has you focusing on the wrong place.  Get your family foundation planted and let the rest of the world settle around you.”

Everyone needs a pep talk.  Don’t be shy.  I hope that me sharing the pep talks I have with myself in the mirror helps someone else through a tough time.  Here’s this week’s coach’s corner:

“Look at this.  Look at this amazing place that you are turning in to your home.  Look at the memories and the laughter that you have already had in a few short weeks.  This is our new life.  And it’s amazing and it will continue to be amazing.  Take a deep breath and feel that.  Feel the decompression.  This is what your family needs.  Space to breathe and feel and laugh and love.  Space.  Have patience with getting things in order.  It will take time.  It took five years in your last place, why would you expect it to take weeks here?  Settling is part of the process.  This is the hand that you picked, card by card you chose these ones.  Let’s play it out.  Have some fun. Your family is strong.  And stronger now.  So Stop worrying.  You got this. You know it. So Enjoy it”

Have faith.