The ‘F’ Word

By: Alex


Gift

Faith. That little “f” word that has been the center of controversy since the beginning of time. Whose faith is better? Whose faith is right? What the hell is faith anyway? This post will discuss faith as it applies to people like you and me, but before I get into that, let me tell you what this post WON’T be.

It won’t try to convince you that a certain form of faith is “right” while others are “wrong.”

It ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT bash or denounce any faith, or lack thereof.

Regardless of your religion, faith is key. Believing in yourself and your ability to push past the bullshit can change your life for the better. Adopting the cynical view that things are what they are, and that nothing (divine or mortal) can change that, only siphons you deeper into the pitfalls of life. Faith brings you out, and that is truly a gift. That is what this post is about.

For me, (and Wikipedia), faith is about trusting in something - in anything, really. It’s about believing (usually during times of chaos and uncertainty) that things can - and will - be better.

I’ll start by saying that my faith has wavered at different times in my life. After attending Catholic school from Pre-k throughout university, I was regularly exposed to (and eventually exhausted by) religious faith throughout my whole life. By the time I reached college, I lost my faith (in God and in myself.) Still, I made no attempt to unsheath why that change occurred, after years of always believing in God’s existence. That time was the least progressive (academically, professionally and personally) because I lacked direction. I had nothing to guide me, and I wasn’t interested in much of anything besides graduating and socializing (read: taking shots in the local liquor store and turning up from Wednesday to Sunday.) My motto was “It is what it is.”

Now, things have changed. First, I only take shots under peer pressure (I’m not built like I was back then.) Second, and more importantly, I have begun to rekindle my doused flame with faith. It started off slow: more conversations with faith-filled friends;  seeing the ways that they applied and attributed faith in their lives during the lows and highs. Then, I started praying, meditating, and…exercising. I realized that as my body made more gainz, I also started gaining more confidence and faith in myself. Then came gratitude: I was thankful that I could make my body do these things. Finally, I started thanking my higher power for all good things in my life. Fast forward some months and over 200 classes later: I’ve quit my job, I’m in the process of moving to a completely foreign city, and I’m only applying for roles that I’ll actually enjoy. All because I have faith that things will work out. Have I been discouraged? FUCK YES. After all the emails and applications that have been ignored, I would be lying if I said I have never felt dispirited. BUT (and this is key right here) whenever I have felt discouraged, I notice a little sign (from horoscopes, books, conversations with friends, or a strange timing of events) that has brought me back to this simple ideal: I believe I am capable of making this happen. Is it going to happen in the way I have envisioned? Maybe not. But my faith reassures me of my ability to materialize my dreams.

Faith isn’t just about believing in God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Faith is about believing in anything. Even if it’s just yourself. Faith has always been used as a tool to help us get over and across the fucked up things that inevitably happen to us all. It helps us to lean on and connect with each other in our times of need. Through having this understanding, we create hope. A hope that things will get better. As a result of that hope, we are more likely to act in a way that will produce that outcomes we desire. Some still may not be convinced. Too many bad things have happened and they don’t see the likelihood of their situation improving. But, how is that way of thinking serving you? Which is more useful - to have faith that things will get better (remember, our thoughts create our realities) or maintaining a dismal outlook that limits the possibilities of life?  Maybe I’m just an optimist, but I’d prefer the former.

Life has its disappointments, but why not have faith in something to help pull you through? What else do you have to lose?

Ah, but what is there to gain?

The answer: Everything.  


Toure Finds Faith


Application 

1. Stay away from negative people, places, and things. To help with that, write down one person, place, or thing that gives you a sense of joy. Then find ways to remain close to it. To maintain faith it’s important to keep a supportive and positive environment as anything negative can deter you from reaching your ultimate goal.

2. Remain planted in good soil. When you are struggling to stay faithful it’s important to establish a daily action that keeps you refreshed or motivated. If you can’t think of anything try this; write down your favorite motivational quote and post it on the inside of your front door so everyday you have a message of encouragement. Another option might be to join a gym *insert strong arm emoji*. Find what works best for you so that you can remain rooted as the storm rages around you.

3. Positive Affirmations - Every day, write and verbally read aloud a positive note to self. By speaking these things out loud, you are training yourself to act according to how you are defining yourself. The more you say it aloud, the more you feel it and before you know it, it becomes who you are. In reality it was who you were all along,  you just needed some convincing.

4. Gratitude - Understanding the good things that are already in your life will not only help you to appreciate your present situation, but will also allow you to more clearly see that more good things are to come. Every day, write down ten things you are grateful for in your life today. Focus on the good, and more good is sure to come.  

5. Read! There have been generations of people who have dealt with maintaining their faith and even recorded their journey. If you desire real change you will open up one of these books and use the experience of others to better your life! Don’t know where to start? Check out our books page for some of our suggestions.

 

Have a testimony? Email create@twentyfour.gifts and share what helped you persevere on your journey towards purpose.

Books = Knowledge = Power

Check out the Books page for some Power.