“Now He asks for faith a little longer, even in bewilderment. For this will go, and you will see the justification for your faith emerge, to bring you shining conviction.”*
This is where I struggle. Faith. I still feel the need to control everything: my conditions, my circumstances, my environment, my outcomes. Of course, being in control in regards to taking action is a great thing – but I have to remember there is a greater plan, something so much bigger than I, and I need to remember to stay in faith.
With this, I find myself trying to define faith; trying to justify faith. What am I supposed to have faith in, exactly? Should I have faith that if I make some impulsive rash decision, if I jump off that proverbial cliff, that some magic net will appear and catch me? Am I to have faith that everything (and I do mean everything) in my current situation will work out for the best and there will be no more need to worry? Or am I, perhaps, to remain in faith that things are working out, “Unfolding perfectly” as I’m often reminded?
Just what am I supposed to put my faith into?
All three scenarios have the ability to bring three very different outcomes:
1. I say that if I jump off that cliff, we’re looking at stupidity on my part. There are just some things that you should not do. You should not leap with absolutely no Plan B. Some will argue that Plan B could be faith, perhaps, should be faith – faith that everything, given that you jump, will be provided to you as you require. But I’m sure there are some things that the Universe would object to based on sheer stupidity, right?
2. If I wish – yes, I used the word ‘wish’, for the second scenario, that everything (yes, everything) will work out for the best, just exactly when can I anticipate that happening? It’s already been a long time – a long, long time. I’m getting impatient. How many times must I be dragged through the mud before everything works out for the best? How much longer do I have to sit miserably, yet, patiently waiting? How much longer do I have just deal with it? It’s not as if I haven’t waited long enough. It’s not as if I haven’t opted for chances to improve the situation myself – you know, that whole taking action thing?
3. And then there is the third option of remaining in faith that it’s all unfolding perfectly. What does that look like? When does that happen? I place absolutely no judgement on the outcome whatsoever, I just remain in faith that it’s perfect. For the sake of being lazy we will resort to option 2. When the hell is it finally going to unfold perfectly? And again, how much more do I have to take before it is perfect – I’m sorry, in this scenario it already is perfect. Allow me to rephrase that: How much more do I have to take, seeing how it is supposedly perfect, until I don’t have to struggle in so many ways anymore?
I’ve lost my faith, I’ve lost all hope, I’ve lost my patience, and most importantly, I’ve lost my mind.
Enough’s enough. I’ve tried in so many ways and on so many levels to stay rooted in faith, to have patience. I’ve taken all the action I’ve been able. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where to turn, I don’t know what to expect – or not expect. I’ve surrendered, I have let go, I’ve done all I possibly could to let it be what it is, just as it is. I’ve regarded it as perfect, as unfolding perfectly. But yet, it’s only getting worse. And it hurts. It hurts like hell. Am I to now expect that hurting like hell is what’s meant to happen? Am I to expect that the lesson of all of this will come after I’ve become so disconnected and been wrung through the wringer? Seriously, what gives?
This is where I go down those rabbit holes because I don’t know what else to do. Left with no viable options, I feel I am forced to go figure it the eff out on my own. This is where I’m the not-so-good student: I know not the Truth of anything, I know not the Truth of anyone – and I call BS and shenanigans on the whole entire thing. There is judgement, there is finger-pointing, there is guilt. There wasn’t, but now there is. I find anger to replace the dejection and it’s just as counter-productive as anything else. My mind is gone, my brain is numb and the only reaction I can find is to get pissed off that I have to deal with this – and it just doesn’t let up.
I don’t know what to do.
And with being left with no conclusions, no resolution, no freaking idea what any of it means (or doesn’t mean) I do the only thing I can do – continue in the madness. I continue in the ways of pain and misery because I am too damned human to know how to continue to rise above it.
(And as I was just scrolling through The Course to find some definition of a Holy Instant so I can link to it and then continue to rant on how I’m out of them, I come across “The Call for Faith”. Dammit.)
T-17. VII. 1. THE SUBSTITUTES FOR ASPECTS OF THE SITUATION ARE THE WITNESSES TO YOUR LACK OF FAITH. THEY DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU DID NOT BELIEVE THE SITUATION AND THE PROBLEM WERE IN THE SAME PLACE. THE PROBLEM WAS THE LACK OF FAITH, AND IT IS THIS YOU DEMONSTRATE WHEN YOU REMOVE IT FROM ITS SOURCE AND PLACE IT ELSEWHERE. AS A RESULT, YOU DO NOT SEE THE PROBLEM. HAD YOU NOT LACKED FAITH THAT IT COULD BE SOLVED, THE PROBLEM WOULD BE GONE. AND THE SITUATION WOULD HAVE BEEN MEANINGFUL TO YOU, BECAUSE THE INTERFERENCE IN THE WAY OF UNDERSTANDING WOULD HAVE BEEN REMOVED. TO REMOVE THE PROBLEM ELSEWHERE IS TO KEEP IT, FOR YOU REMOVE YOURSELF FROM IT AND MAKE IT UNSOLVABLE.
T-17. VII. 2. THERE IS NO PROBLEM IN ANY SITUATION THAT FAITH WILL NOT SOLVE. THERE IS NO SHIFT IN ANY ASPECT OF THE PROBLEM BUT WILL MAKE SOLUTION IMPOSSIBLE. FOR IF YOU SHIFT PART OF THE PROBLEM ELSEWHERE THE MEANING OF THE PROBLEM MUST BE LOST, AND THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM IS INHERENT IN ITS MEANING. IS IT NOT POSSIBLE THAT ALL YOUR PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN SOLVED, BUT YOU HAVE REMOVED YOURSELF FROM THE SOLUTION? YET FAITH MUST BE WHERE SOMETHING HAS BEEN DONE, AND WHERE YOU SEE IT DONE.
T-17. VII. 3. A SITUATION IS A RELATIONSHIP, BEING THE JOINING OF THOUGHTS. IF PROBLEMS ARE PERCEIVED, IT IS BECAUSE THE THOUGHTS ARE JUDGED TO BE IN CONFLICT. BUT IF THE GOAL IS TRUTH, THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE. SOME IDEA OF BODIES MUST HAVE ENTERED, FOR MINDS CANNOT ATTACK. THE THOUGHT OF BODIES IS THE SIGN OF FAITHLESSNESS, FOR BODIES CANNOT SOLVE ANYTHING. IT IS THEIR INTRUSION ON THE RELATIONSHIP, AN ERROR IN YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE SITUATION, WHICH THEN BECOMES THE JUSTIFICATION FOR YOUR LACK OF FAITH. YOU WILL MAKE THIS ERROR, BUT BE NOT AT ALL CONCERNED WITH THAT. THE ERROR DOES NOT MATTER. FAITHLESSNESS BROUGHT TO FAITH WILL NEVER INTERFERE WITH TRUTH. BUT FAITHLESSNESS USED AGAINST TRUTH WILL ALWAYS DESTROY FAITH. IF YOU LACK FAITH, ASK THAT IT BE RESTORED WHERE IT WAS LOST, AND SEEK NOT TO HAVE IT MADE UP TO YOU ELSEWHERE, AS IF YOU HAD BEEN UNJUSTLY DEPRIVED OF IT.
T-17. VII. 4. ONLY WHAT YOU HAVE NOT GIVEN CAN BE LACKING IN ANY SITUATION. BUT REMEMBER THIS ; THE GOAL OF HOLINESS WAS SET FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIP, AND NOT BY YOU. YOU DID NOT SET IT BECAUSE HOLINESS CANNOT BE SEEN EXCEPT THROUGH FAITH, AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP WAS NOT HOLY BECAUSE YOUR FAITH IN YOUR BROTHER WAS SO LIMITED AND LITTLE. YOUR FAITH MUST GROW TO MEET THE GOAL THAT HAS BEEN SET. THE GOAL’S REALITY WILL CALL THIS FORTH, FOR YOU WILL SEE THAT PEACE AND FAITH WILL NOT COME SEPARATELY. WHAT SITUATION CAN YOU BE IN WITHOUT FAITH, AND REMAIN FAITHFUL TO YOUR BROTHER?
“Only what you have not given can be lacking in any situation.”
Great. Here we go. “Sigh.” Not as if I’ve not heard this a hundred times before – and recited it about half as many times. So now, here I am wanting to be angry and can’t be. Here I am with the need to reflect rather than project as I want to. Here I am aware of the need to be accountable to myself for all of this that I want throw on someone else. Of course, the situation was started, or maybe, perpetuated by someone else – but that doesn’t hold them guilty. None of us are guilty. I repeat to myself, “None of us are guilty.”
Aside from faith, which I’ve already established that I’ve lost, what am I not bringing to the situation?
- Patience. I have no patience. I have been increasingly supplying less and less patience to the situation, minute by minute.
- Understanding. I don’t care about understanding anymore. Been there, done that. I don’t want to do this anymore, nor do I want to understand anything about the situation or anyone involved. I just want to brush it all off.
- Concern about the situation. I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care! But – if I don’t care, how can I expect anyone else to?
- Joy. There has been no joy, no happiness. No wonder I am miserable – along with everyone else.
- Love and peace. There is no amount of peace within me in regards to the situation at hand. I hate it, I allow myself to hate it and want to continue hating it.
“Where there is faith, there is love; Where there is love, there is peace; Where there is peace, there is God; And where there is God; there is no need.”
– Leo Tolstoy
So tomorrow, I try again. I step forward, not in attempting to have faith in an outcome, rather having faith that what I bring to the situation will lead to not only Holy Instants, but also a realization that it is perfect, even if I don’t recognize it. I step forward in faith that I am learning what I need to learn, that I am where I’m meant to be and that a Plan B is never necessary.
*Schucman, Dr. Helen (2007-12-25). A Course in Miracles. Foundation for Inner Peace.