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Monday, 13 January 2014

You Gotta Have Faith



George Michael said it best (or did he?) and this year I’m on a crusade to have unwavering faith in absolutely everything.

I’m not a particularly religious person. Let me rephrase, I’m not religious at all. I am however, deeply spiritual and connected with the universe, well… trying to be more so. But I remember quite clearly, an argument that I witnessed among my schoolmates – a mix of devout Christians, atheists, agnostics and for want of a better word, shit-stirrers. The debate reached a futile state, one that it often culminated in with regards to the man upstairs and the institution of religion in general. Why. Why do you believe in God? How do you know there’s even a Heaven or Hell? When you are 17 years old, listening to snarky and insensitive remarks from one side of the table versus some pretty self-righteous and closed minded throwbacks from the other, it’s tough to decipher on which side of such a badly debated argument you stand. And then one of the debaters said, in a quiet confidence that made all of us listen:

“I believe because that is what I chose to be real. I would rather live, believing that there’s a God who watches over me and that there’s a Heaven for me to go to when I die. It makes me happy.”

This is probably the only statement that really sticks out in my brain because it made sense to me. I understood that this person had nothing to lose by believing all the wonderful comforts, strengths encouragements and assurances that his religion promised. The focus was not on the facts and figures and finite details of an outdated book of rules; it was on the core essence of the kind of life that one could have, which as it turns out is the kind of life you want to have.

I never thought I would one day find myself grappling with this idea of faith, I mean what is it exactly. It’s just belief isn’t it? I used to think so, but every day I’m learning to dig a little deeper and question the many layers to this pickle of a concept. What I’m realizing, however airy-fairy this may sound, is that faith is more like a chemical reaction, between yourself and the limitless, vast expanses of our world.

I’m a bit of a curious case because while I’m a logical gal who has no time for Dynamo, Big Foot or UFO’s, I’m also 100% devoted to the idea that anything is possible -science or magic, tangible theorems or just pins and needles. I don’t know how electricity works, but I believe in it when I see that filament fire up. I still don’t really get how what’s behind the camera ends up on my TV or how 3D printing works, yet I believe it with no doubt. Because it just is.

Think about the Placebo effect, think about survivors who, for all they know, may never see civilization again yet blindly believe they will… and what do you know. They make it happen.

I guess life and all its curve balls conditions us to be “realistic” about the future and the expectations we have for ourselves. Don’t get too excited about that holiday, because you may not have enough money to embark on it. Don’t buy that pair of jeans just yet, you might put on 3kg’s and they won’t fit anymore. Don’t let yourself ever really fall into stupid and unmerciful love, because people will hurt you and let you down. Don’t stretch yourself too far or get your hopes too high or even leave your house because you might get hit by a fucking bus.

Well… that’s one way of doing it. Or like my wise 17 year old classmate, perhaps you can decide the outcomes of those “threats” just by exerting an steadfast faith that all will work out, that things will slot into place just as they should, that a positive outlook which assumes the best in every person and every situation is inclined to attract opportunity and open your eyes to little scenic alternative routes on the way to getting what it is you truly want and desire.

It’s crazy how this changes the filter you view the world through. Maybe I’m being ignorant, didn’t someone say ignorance is bliss?

All I know is that I have nothing, (zip and zero) to lose by assuming a catastrophic nightmare isn’t waiting around every corner, and everything to gain by replacing criticism with encouragement, stress with excitement of facing a challenge or learning something new. If a control freak like me, can literally decide how I want things to play out in my day or my year… pfft, where do I sign up!?

Here’s to a year of absolute, untiring and resolute faith in all the abundant wonderfulness that awaits us!

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