“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Sometimes it seems easier to give up. That's the truth. When everything feels like a struggle, there's a part of me that whispers, "Surrender, you're being foolish, quit, find another path."
To be honest, I hear this voice almost every day...yet I haven't given up. When I get a royalty check that's not quite what I need, it's disheartening if I start doing the math of time spent writing and marketing compared to pay out. When the kids go at me because we don't have what other families do or can't go on the vacations we once did, doubt whispers, "See? What more proof do you need? Quit. Give in."
Perhaps it's the stubborn Norwegian in me that keeps me plugging away. Or maybe it's just this absolute faith I have in myself that's always been there...sometimes buried deep but always present.
Where does faith in oneself come from? Some people would say God, but that only leads me to more questions like what is God? Who is He/She? Why would faith in myself be given from an outside entity? I don't think it is from outside, I believe it's from within. With all of the spiritual studies I've done in the past several years, I believe we are all Divine. Meditation has helped me connect with that ever present flow of faith that runs through my core.
When I was as young as nine years old, I remember lying on my parents' roof and watching clouds with my ever present notebook full of scribbled stories by my side. I'd dream big dreams and never doubted they'd come true.
That's the odd thing...in all of my adult life, with all of the challenges and curve balls life has thrown at me...I still believe in those dreams. As long as I can remember, I've said I wanted to be a writer. No, correct that, I said I would be a writer. Period. No "if", always "when".
Even after Sean's death, I knew down deep in my heart that I needed to stay the course. I heard myself telling people "I'm going to keep writing" without it being a conscious choice to speak. When people told me to move from the mountain, questioned me taking Bree out of elementary school, and hounded me about getting a more socially acceptable job, I knew I was doing the right thing by listening to myself rather than others.
Why? How? Every day I hear those doubts, yet every day I brush them aside and keep moving forward. Yes, it's faith...but I'm the first one to admit I've been angry with God, the Universe, Angels, anything and everything. I've had shouting matches rather than prayer sessions...crying jags rather than peaceful meditations. I've questioned my Karma by reflecting back on every little thing in my life and saying "it wasn't that bad, for God's sake, gimme a break."
Faith in yourself is something that can't be taught, nor can it be given. It must be recognized. It must be accepted. It must be seized. It must be embraced. I believe that when you acknowledge your gifts, when you believe in your abilities, you are being Divine. If God truly created us in His image, then who are we to doubt our strength?
Yet daily the doubts whisper, "you're screwing up, give in" and I ignore them. With the world presenting its own challenges, it's necessary to keep the enemy out of my head.
Faith to me isn't about following a religious dogma, it's about trusting in the intangible and believing in the goodness in ourselves and others. Faith to me is being compassionate with myself when those doubts enter my mind, listening to them, seeing them for what they are (usually fear), and then letting them go.
Faith. For such a simple and beautiful thing, it creates a lot of controversy between people who like to put it in a box and wrap it in a bow of their religious choosing. To me, faith is much bigger than that and transcends definition. It's also intensely personal.
There's a part of me that's still that little girl lying on my parents' roof who dreams big. Instead of gazing at clouds, I now stargaze as often as possible and marvel at this wonderful world. Yes, I have struggles and sometimes get frustrated that things aren't happening according to my timetable, but then I have faith that it's all unfolding as it should. If it weren't, I wouldn't be here writing right now, would I? Maybe I wouldn't be here at all.