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Faith and Finding Spirit

Faith and Finding Spirit

by Cate

I was talking with a long time friend the other day who has witnessed my growth spiritually almost from the beginning. She has been there for me through all experiences and was not a “fair weather friend” when life threw me some really harsh obstacles as well. I was very surprised when she admitted to me that she has not given any thought to her own spirituality and that she might be unprepared for her eventual death spiritually.

I asked her if she believed in “God” and she said, “I guess but only in the sense that I will say thank God but I have no idea what it means.” She then said she admired how much thought I had put into my own beliefs and just wondered how to do it. I was very surprised and asked her if she felt content to which she responded no. We talked about different disciplines to look at and if she found something she felt connected with she could begin there. She admitted that although she has many books she doesn’t read them. Years back she asked me to teach her how to meditate which I did but she has not practiced this since I taught her. I then suggested beginning and ending her day with counting her blessings of which she has many and how counting every single one can create gratitude and that gratitude can help to connect with a Divine regardless of what she would call it. She said she doubted if she could do that– count all of her blessings every single day but that she could think of some one day and others the next etc.

I reminded her of the horrible time I had in my life when I was injured and thought I would be unable to do anything as I had reached a point where I could not even dress myself and reminded her of all the times I had been evicted during that time due to hardships. I retold how I had lost my faith but needed it desperately and how I would pray every morning but not for faith, but for trust and, as things began to change that trust turned to faith. As for my condition, that too changed and I am, even though I still suffer pain, able to do whatever a day calls for. As an equestrienne I feared I would never ride again and now, I can ride once more. My point was I had two ways to react to my hardships. I could have chosen to give up or I could have chosen to expect my Creator to help which it did. I was trying to emphasize how hard it was for me to fight for faith during those times while she has never had to experience this. Yet, she feels empty.

She expressed what so many people do who do not understand the deep spiritual process they seek– a lack of motivation to put some time and effort into trying to connect with that power greater than the self. During my hard times I prayed every day often every second just to get through, refusing to accept what I was experiencing, denying it was to be that way forever. As a result I have found rejecting what we do not want to experience is a major step to changing our experiences.

To be honest I would have gladly chosen the life my friend has many times in that it was relatively free of pain, mourning, poverty, fear and so much more yet, I found my faith, my spirituality and my dear friend is struggling. I would have thought it harder to fight for faith while undergoing hardship but since this conversation I have been thinking that perhaps it is harder when the status quo is uncomplicated. Complacency can be a detriment to finding spirituality it seems not that there is anything wrong with being contented but personally I would think contentment itself could be a reason to feel blessed, thankful and to believe….

I hope my friend begins with gratitude as we discussed. Apparently spirituality has become something she would like to have or the subject would not have come up. Many wish to discover the “secret” those of us who are spiritual possess. What many do not realize is that it often takes a lot of self evaluation, meditation, reflection, self inventories and plain work.

Faith is not spoon fed and I have found the most fervent are those who have gone through the most, not the least of life.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. One does not have to be challenged to the brink of madness to seek faith for faith can fight against the madness of the world as it is at moment. But we have to seek it, not hope it will find us.

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