Faith

I have never been good with faith. I used to think that I had some, but time has shown me that I was just desperate to believe anything.

I like to pretend I don’t need saving, like so many of us do. I am not very different from most 20 somethings. I have a job, it’s not what I want to do, but my boss is a great guy, and I don’t dread going to work every morning. There is a certain emptiness that comes with this job, like any job you don’t love, but it isn’t a career, and I have pushed my negative feelings aside to be kinder than necessary. Dealing with people all day has shortened my patience, and muddied my rose colored glasses, but I am tougher skinned, and even more determined to do something better than my superiors (if the better game is actually “better” and not just different).

It is the first time in my life that I don’t have anything figured out and I am drifting, more lost than I expected.  I have people on the sidelines that are watching this happen, but trying to help me. I am the one who is choosing not to fight and that realization is scarier than I want to admit. As the days turn into months, and the months turn into years, it is taking longer than I thought to find inspiration. Lifeboats keep passing me by, but the one labeled salvation hasn’t stopped for me yet.

How do you save someone who is drowning when they’re out too far for the donut?

I don’t have faith in many people or things, and I can’t say for certain that I believe in something higher. I know that we are not alone in the universe and it would be pretty sad if we were, but the extent of what I believe in is limited. I guess I associate faith with something oppressive, and what people believe has drastically shaped what we allow and accept. I don’t want to be another person who is so presumptive that everyone has to believe what I believe.

I believe that we are all shaped for greatness in some form or another, and maybe that greatness isn’t going to translate to being a household name. Maybe that greatness is just being an amazing person to someone no one knows. Maybe that greatness is just smiling at someone on the street who is debating on dying tonight. Not all greatness is known. I choose not to define my worth by these things.

The yoga class I took a couple nights ago reflected on this. One of my favorite instructors has the same philosophy on faith as I do, and doesn’t incorporate much faith in her classes because she finds that she doesn’t know much about the subject.

Yoga can be a very spiritual practice, and for some people, this is what their higher power is. I don’t know the whole history of yoga, but it has been a very interesting topic to me. I feel an unmatched sense of peace when I practice. It has been the only healing balm for my heart and mind that has resulted in putting a more positive version of myself forward into the world. It has grown to be the most reliable thing in my life. I don’t know where I will be this time next year and while there is such power and possibility in that truth, the uneasiness of it still pricks my mind, leaving blisters. I needed to learn to bend, but not break. I have felt pretty alone in this. Maybe we are all playing this game where we act as though we have it all figured out; maybe we are all secretly screaming in a quiet room. I am going to put my faith in the latter and hope that whatever events that lead me to the next step, everything is exactly on time.

This favorite teacher of mine (who always seems to magically know what I am feeling), proposed the idea that we should have faith in ourselves most of all and not beat ourselves up for not mastering one pose (if there even is any such thing) and to practice with the body we woke up with today. Through steady practice, I have found this to be especially true. There are days when holding bakasana isn’t an issue for me, and through steady practice of lizard pose, I can put my forearms to the ground. It used to be tough for my iron hamstrings but through steady practice, I have become stronger and stronger day by day. I can hold my plank pose for over a minute, even though my abs scream in pain, but I have noticed my stomach getting more firm. I am more impressed at what wasn’t accessible before. I am slowly making progress, and learning to be inspired by others, not be in competition with them. There are days when it is easier to throw in the towel than it is to pull myself into another attempt, but I have chosen the latter, and been better for it. I write this because I know that there are people out there, like me, who looked at a pose and thought, “There is no way I could ever do this.”

The truth is, plainly and truthfully, that whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.

I know this sounds trite and hackneyed, but it doesn’t mean it is any less true. I have to have faith and whether it is just in living everyday, at least it is something to make the world a better place to someone somewhere. I have to believe that I am helping people, because what’s the point if you’re not contributing to the positive in life?

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