Perspective, Defiance, Belief.
Posted July 5, 2010on:
So much of our life is about perception.
What if everything is okay, right now, always? What if we’re missing it the whole time because of how we’re looking at it? What if nothing was not okay?
What if our expectations, standards, and perspectives are the only thing making things not okay? What if we were to stop thinking in terms of right and wrong, to stop trying to make everything fit into an equation or a diagram, to stop thinking in “should” and “shouldn’t s”. How would this change us?
So many of us are fed such stringent stories and guidelines of faith and prayer and God that even if well intentioned (and I’m not sure it always is), it hinders us. Because there are discrepancies in the kind of belief you have before you see so many perceived bad things happen to perceived good people. Before you realize that no matter how much someone plays by the rules they can still lose it all or get burned. Before you see suffering and sickness and death strike with no order, not passing over the faithful. When you’re really out there living, nothing is like it was taught to you, you have to find for yourself what your faith is, what your prayer is, who your God is.
You have to find what’s within you, you have to build within yourself. The more you have within you, the less you need from anyone, anything else. And, ultimately, the more you have within you, the less you have to lose from around you.
This is how I come to belief- from within, from the place where I am defining for myself what belief is, who God is, what prayer is. From the place where I am letting go of all the definitions I’ve been fed.
I have decided that prayer is about energy, and belief. It is communion, it is communication. It is the way we live, our lives are prayers. And the times we stop to pray, we are aligning ourselves with the energies around us, we are drawing respite and renewal, we are releasing negativity, requesting assistance, we are communicating, we are connecting, we are believing that prayer matters, that our concerns matter, that we matter, that God exists, and that God cares, that God is able.
I have decided that belief is a choice. It is how I choose to interact with myself and my world. Belief, like love, is not earned, it is an effort from within.
I believe we can choose what to do with the shatter that comes into our lives. And that sometimes (or maybe all the time) it takes something falling apart for us to really dig in and develop some depth to faith and belief. I believe that belief is a choice to constantly make, I believe that the act of belief is a defiance of fear, circumstance, hate, and ugliness.
I think we get chances all the time to choose belief, or choose anything else in it’s place. And I think we have to be careful of what we choose, because there’s only so much room in us. I think that it’s something to constantly reconsider, redefine, and reshape as our lives and hearts and minds move through this life.
I think the dirtier we get believing, the more we know about what we believe. I think laying down belief for a little bit due to anger, disappointment, doubt, etc, allows us to see ourselves and our world without it and allows us to decide if we want it back and what amendments we want or have to make to it. I think it takes seeing what our faith is not to know what it is. I think that all of these things make our faith not only more authentic for us, but to others as well.
I believe not blindly and not because my world hasn’t shattered, but because it has, and I have laid down belief and I know who I am without belief and I don’t like that person. I believe because I have to if I’m going to get up in the morning, because I need to, because I want to. I believe, even knowing that bad things do happen, have happened, can happen, will happen.
I believe we are part of something so much bigger than we can see, something that we only occasionally get a glimpse at, still unsure what it creates in the big picture. Like a stained glass mural or patchwork quilt, a symphony; all the pieces needing the others to make the masterpiece.
I believe because I’m a fighter and I’ll fight off darkness with belief because I don’t have room for both in me. And while I know I have to enter the dark at times, I will fight to keep it from entering me. And I don’t always succeed at that, but I will keep defying it.
I have seen that there are tunnels and there is light. I believe not because I always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but because I know there is a light. I believe knowing that there is light before and after the tunnel; and there is a tunnel before and after the light. I believe that with each light, I can take for myself a portion to carry through the next tunnel, and I can do this until the tunnel has no more room for darkness, and I am with the light all the time. But I have to keep moving and I have to keep pushing the darkness out with the light; within me, around me, before me.
There is a beautiful release in belief and I think we talk about that a lot, but we don’t always talk about the battle. And it is both. Freedom comes at a price. It always has.
Because fear is an enemy, an army. Fear debilitates, censors, triggers the ugliest places in us, limits us, locks us into panic rooms with no light, no air. Fear is a wolf that comes to our door in sheep’s clothing and devours us. Fear paralyzes, marbleizes, tethers us to dry and barren places and tells us they are safe zones. Fear is a lie.
Belief is defiance of fear. Belief is free and open and empowering. Belief breathes life into us. Belief unchains us from regulations and codes and methods that were designed to control us with fear, manipulating our desire for control and sense of security. The only security I’ve found is belief. The only freedom I’ve found is belief.
So, through this, I’ve decided that I believe this about God:
When God is small, when God is punishing, when God is vengeful, when God is abandoning, when God is limited, when God is no longer magnificent and loving and graceful and magical and majestic and caring and powerful and a worker of miracles, it is because we have perceived God as such. It doesn’t mean any of those things are God, it just means that is what we have decided God is, and so, for us, that’s what God is.
When God is timeless and present and kind and understanding, it is because we believe God is so. When God is magnificent and loving and graceful and magical and majestic and caring and powerful and the worker of miracles, it is because we allow God to be these things in our lives, because we perceive God to be these things and with this perception, we bust the doors of our souls wide open and anything is possible.
I believe in God with us, in us, for us. God as companion, God as love, God as compassion, God as service, God as an artist, God as beauty, God as powerful, God as present, God as supernatural.
I believe God loves me fully, passionately, unconditionally, irrevocably, honestly, adoringly, and lives in me, around me, with me, through me. I believe this is true for everyone.
I truly believe we find what we seek, not we we demand, not what we wish, but what we seek, actively seek.
I believe when you see God as the fullness that God is, you begin to see God everywhere. You begin to see beauty in places and people you haven’t before, you begin to see the movement of the spirit all around. You begin to see, because you are looking.
When I let go and just be, just believe, everything is stars and light and colors and gorgeous. Everything is what it is and that is somehow fine. I find myself in places, with people that are both blessings and sanctuaries. It’s amazing the things you can enjoy when you’re not factoring in anyone elses standards or opinions and you are just being the being that you were created to be. It’s a beautiful high.
So I believe because I need to, because I want to, because I choose to. I struggle, I crash, but I keep coming back to this. I feel the most beautiful, the most fearless, the most alive, the most inspired, the most powerful, the most passionate, the most creative, the most hopeful, peaceful, joyful, loving, and kind when I am believing the things I believe. At this point, that’s all the evidence I need.