Faith begins with the tiniest spark of inspiration, a desire placed in us to create, express or experience. A little tiny seed, a piece of hope, a longing for something more to evolve within and move out of us. You may have felt this spark many times and felt that pull towards greater expansion to maybe buy a home, create a project that would help others or provide beauty and delight, or have a baby. This desire for greater expansion from a prompting for greater manifestation of the divine from within you does not come out of fear or ego. It is the divine wanting to emerge from within you, which is expansive, delightful and holy.
While inspiration may be the impetus for faith, faith doesn’t just come in a dream or on a mountain top or in a day of fervent prayer and neither does clarity and understanding. If you were given perfect clarity and vision there would be no need for faith. That means faith requires being OK with not knowing and not having all the answers.
Faith means not knowing
Faith is trusting you have and know everything you need right now. You can sit in a chair all day and read and learn about what to do or meditation what to do but more often than not, the information, direction and assistance comes from first taking action without having all the information, direction or assistance. Often times these things are provided with each action step of faith taken into the unknown. We take the best action we know how and trust the next step will appear and so on and so forth. One step of faith at a time. Sometimes knowing too much clouds the vision right in front of you.
Faith is being willing to risk getting it ‘wrong’.
Because faith is not about having a perfect knowledge or having all the evidence, there is no other way to grow faith than through experimentation. That means taking arisk and potentially getting it “wrong”. How do we develop faith in any skill, like riding a bike, learning to dance, or play an instrument or anything else we learn how to do? We try, learn, try, learn and try again. Through experimentation and hindsight, we observe the things that strengthened our abilities and the things that didn’t. If we try to do something new and find at first ourselves not to be as competent as we had expected, do we curse God, shame ourselves and say, “see, there it is again, I knew it wouldn’t be possible” and continue the same story of unworthiness, shame, victimhood and blame? Or do we step back and take an objective look at what is and see what needs to be adjusted, brush off our ego and try again? It’s not persona, its principle. We can learn to embrace that child-like part of ourselves that is willing to explore and play and fall and get up again. There are no mistakes. A mistake is merely a missing of the mark to gain better clarity of the correction in the course taken. It’s all growth, it’s all evolution. We can choose to wallow in self-defeating sabotage and self-pity or we can have a little compassion on ourselves and others and simply adjust our lens or perspective to see another possible way.
I remember the first time I came to that awakening that my life was not a mistake, I was not a mistake and that life was simply one great big playground. Too often I spiraled down the engulfing trap of helplessness and self-loathing. I have worked very hard to prove my worth, striving to do what is right and good and excellent. Because I had so much worth and value wrapped up in my performance and abilities, the slightest shortcoming would cause me to demean myself as a person. The more I demeaned myself, punished myself, kicked myself, the easier it was for me to feel like just ‘throwing in the towel’ and giving up and the harder it was for me to do the things I wanted to do. It became a self-fulfilling prophesy to prove my own unworthiness and helplessness. The worse I felt about myself, the worse I did – the worse I did, the worse I felt about myself and so on and so on. Giving myself permission to just play and try and learn without the inner reprimand of taking any short coming as a personal character flaw, gave me the freedom to take risks. This sense of freedom also helped me move forward and develop more supporting habits with a lot more ease and grace. I have felt the demands of perfect and it’s a lot of pressure. Life is so much more fun without it.