Faith! faith. What is faith? Is faith believing in god? What is god? Well, we all know (if you have read my other posts) that I think god is our connection to our internal self. Our true self. Our soul. Our inner being. Because everything is connected...so your soul is everything. Your soul is you, your soul is me, your soul is the universe, the earth, the trees. Your soul is a tiger, your soul is the newborn, your soul is infinity. So, if faith is the trust in god, which is the trust in our inner-self, then faith is the trust in everything.
Phew. Ok. So what the heck does that mean in practical terms? What does that mean on the days we wake up gripped by the inner-fear of whatever is going on in our life right now; whatever is our current biggest struggle. Be it, finances, romance, health, family, global warming, humanity and on and on and on. Pick all the above; there are plenty of things in all of our lives to focus on to prove to ourselves that it's futile!! The jig is up. Life sucks and I'm a huge failure. And trust me, we all have days like this. My last one was actually Tuesday. Yep just two days ago and today I'm sitting and writing a post about faith. And why?? Because I have found a way to foster this faith in myself, so thoroughly, that even an anxiety filled day just a mere 48 hours ago, that had me comatose in my bed, reeling from the fact that I am still single after divorcing 13 years ago, that my business is 12 years old and still nowhere near the scale I had envisioned, that I do soooo much self work and still wake up so unbelievably depressed sometimes that all i can do is lay in bed, cannot keep me down. The screaming meanies may visit my thoughts but they cannot rock my internal faith.
I'll tell you what that internal faith looks like. My brain. "You are an unlovable failure". Internal me "I hear ya, and you can hang for a second, and I'll love you, sad mean thoughts, but you are not reality and even thought you feel bad today, you are going to be fine tomorrow."
Does that sound too simple? it's not. I have trained my inner-self to come out, big and bold and wise when needed, to talk my brain off the ledge. My inner-self is very kind and patient with my, sometimes, insane head and always wins the battle in the end.
How did I train my inner-self? It was a lot diligent work, that I often failed at, but always went back to. I have listed all the things I do and have tried in a past blog post, so I'm not going to do that again. I'm gonna talk today about the one, very specific thing I do to retrain and reprogram my thoughts so that I can lead a happier life filled with faith.
Mantra. Yes. Mantra. You can pick it, whatever you want it to be. Mine has changed a few times. Pick your manta and I'll explain how to use it. To me a mantra is just a little prayer that disrupts your wandering, sometimes mean brain, and connects you back to your inner-self (god). Your Mantra can be, god please help me, sat nam, gods will not mine, soul please take over, scooby doo I love you, just whatever calls you back to your soul (god). Simple enough, right? And now I'll give you a very concrete way to use it through example.
For many years after my divorce, I was obsessed with the fact that my ex was re-married to the women he left me for and that they were 10 times (in my mind or in reality) more happy and successful than me. And I felt like no matter where I turned, even when I was trying to not think or see anything about them, the universe constantly, put them and their life in my clear vision. I would try and stay away and someone would bring them up, or one of their posts would pop up on my popular page, or I would go to a blog and there would be an article about them. I felt like I could not get away and they occupied way more of my thoughts than was healthy. My unhealthy obsession was seriously attracting information on them into my realm. And not only was it attracting info on them, but it was blocking my access to happiness, success, love and to my inner-self (god). Finally I was so fed up with myself that I said NO MORE and I picked a mantra to relieve me from this insanity. The mantra at the time was, "God please remove this obsession", and every-time they popped in my head for even a tiny mere second, I immediately, over and over said this mantra. After about a month I felt relief. After about two months people stopped bringing them up; I stopped seeing signs about them out in the world. After about three months they scarcely entered my thoughts. After about 6 months I just didn't think about them and no longer needed to practice the mantra. After about a year I was able to open my heart to the thought of them and feel genuinely not affected. After about two years when they randomly popped in my head I thought of them fondly, with love and admiration.
Through this simple tactic of constantly retraining my mind by interrupting the harmful thought and connecting back to god, I was able to move past something that was very painful (and rooted in other childhood trauma and abandonment fears) and not just move past it, but eventually get to a place of love and forgiveness. It's so simple and has been so effective in my life. It has completely instilled in me an unshakable faith. I know now, deep in my heart, that even things that bring me pain, even hard times, eventually will make me grow and heal and become a better person.
I can take it one step further. Not only do I feel affection towards them, I am 100% thankful that I went through everything I went through with my ex. That is probably a different blog post, but because of everything that happened I have a way bigger and better life today than I may have without that pain. I know it's annoying and cliche, but everything happens for a reason and with enough time and clarity you can find growth and gifts from all of your most painful experiences. And knowing this makes it sooooo much easier to get through the hard times. Now when they appear I go, "ok hard times I'm ready for you, and I'm so excited to eventually find out why you are here and to receive all the eventual gifts form your arrival" (there are also swear words and moping in between my mantra).
Find your mantra...and practice it like a full time job. And in time the peace that comes from true faith will become part of your second nature. It doesn't mean, no more pain, it just means a sturdy bedrock of peace for your pain to play out on. That peace comes from complete faith in EVERYTHING, because you understand you are, EVERYTHING. So no matter what the universe slings at you, you will know that your connection to self and to everything and to god, will not only get you through it, but eventually make you a better, happier person. This is real faith and it's already inside you.