“Change is the only constant.” – Heraclitus
How do you feel every time you look up at a clear, starry night sky?
Does the dazzling sparkling spectacle bring up feelings of awe, reverence and wonder?
Or does this vast expanse of dark nothingness incite a sense of eeriness, vulnerability and humility?
If you’re like most people, you probably experience a combination of these various flavors of emotions.
Since the first caveman has set foot on the planet, we have been trying to decipher our relationship with the omnipotent and all-inclusive power that presides over us all. Pagan and tribal sects venerated Mother Earth and devoted a lot of energy towards nurturing their connection with the fundamental elements, because they believed that our fate was directly connected to whims of the natural world.
As beliefs began institutionalizing and formalizing, more and more people began seeking psychological support and security in established religions. People were especially needy of the faith-based lifeboats that religion offered because they lived in a society where they were subject to the eminent dangers of death, torture and oppression. There were no scientific theories or ethical frameworks to protect them.
We have come a long way since then as we continued to evolve as a race. People have developed more confidence in their own capabilities, their governments and their communities, compared to earlier times. We now live in relatively more stable and predictable times, therefore we feel more in control of our destinies and less fearful of any external contingencies that could potentially overthrow our life.
Still, there are times when we are reminded that we are not the only ones calling the shots, such as when we hear about tragic stories of the innocent being hurt or killed in unexpected events such as natural disasters, automobile and airplane accidents, or something as jarring as wars or terrorist attacks. These events wake us up to the reality that we are still vulnerable and that all we can do is manage the odds.
Now I don’t mean to paint a depressing picture of doom and gloom here. The point that I’m trying to emphasize is that we can’t always rely on an overly secular, analytical and strategic approach towards living. During our decision-making process, it is critical that we account for that mysterious, unknowable variable that cannot be explained by rational thought because it is beyond our human comprehension.
Fate and destiny play a significant role in every person’s experience and are mostly beyond the limits of our knowing and predicting. For this reason, it is imperative that we honor the mysterious forces that pervade in the whole of life. Living in this world requires a belief in our own power to shape our fate while maintaining a sense of humility and respect towards that which we can’t understand or control.
Some people find sustenance through their religious beliefs and practices. I certainly believe that all religions offer a treasure trove of wisdom and insight on how we can develop faith in the unknown. For those of us who prefer more pragmatic approaches, we can get comfortable with uncertainty by having an open attitude and maintaining a flexible attitude when dealing with unpredictable external forces.
While it is up to us to do our best to maximize our chances for our success, there will always come a point when we simply have to let go of our control over a situation and surrender it to the cosmic forces of the universe. This is where having faith becomes essential in the process of manifesting our dreams.
In addition to following religious doctrines, there are several other effective ways by which we can keep our faith afloat. We can find hope in inspiring stories, books and movies. It can also be found in creative activities, engaging in acts of kindness, and following a regular spiritual practice that is customized to our preferences. You can find more ideas in Thomas Moore’s seminal book, Care of the Soul.
If you are someone who is concerned about what the future holds in store for you, here are a couple of reasons why I believe it is important for you to bolster your faith in that which you cannot see yet:
- It gives us hope and a purpose to live: Having a sense of faith in the possibilities to achieve an extraordinary life is what will spur us on to pursue our ambitions. Like a soldier, we find purpose and meaning in our struggles, convinced that we will eventually come out on top as winners. We feel alive and connected to a sense of purpose because we know for sure that better things are in store for us.
- It gives us strength in the face of challenges and difficulties: Fear has a debilitating impact on our psyche and spirit. It is the darkness that can permeate our soul while faith is the light that will illuminate the shadows caused by fear. Faith will empower us to stand strong and weather the storms of life with courage and endurance. As the saying goes, “Your faith can move mountains, doubt can create them.”
- It increases our chances of manifesting what we want: When we have positive expectations regarding favorable outcomes in the future, we are more likely to manifest our desires. From a strategic point of view, we will feel more motivated to take action and stick with it. Metaphysically, we tap into the magic-like forces of the Law of Attraction that will eventually bring our dreams to fruition.
- We can become a source of courage and support for others: When we work on fortifying our belief in the unknown, we simultaneously increase our capacity to be a pillar of strength for everyone else around us. When others lose faith, we can be their rock by providing them with the wisdom and love that they need to restore their hope in the promise of a better, brighter and more beautiful tomorrow.
I’ve always believed that the experience of flying on a plane is the perfect metaphor for finding faith in our lives. Whenever you step onto a plane, you must have belief in the mechanics of the plane and the pilot’s skills in safely maneuvering it to your desired destination.
We also have to be prepared for any bumps and turbulence along the way, knowing that as long we have hope and faith, we can be sure that our temporary abode in the skies will stay on course and provide us with the most majestic views during our sojourn.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: What are some steps that you’re willing to take to have faith in the unknown?
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