As a psychotherapist, I know our minds are like both a floodlight and a vacuum cleaner.
Whatever we focus our attention on becomes illuminated and gets vacuumed right up into our self. The important question we need to ask: “Is what we’re illuminating good for us?”
We know how we are. It’s what the public sees and the impression we try to manage. But how we really are might better be described by our siblings, mate, child, a co-worker, or ex. But how we really, really are is often the best part of us.
Faith helps us reunite with that best part and, in some cases, resuscitates it.
Shakespeare said that in life we get the whole catastrophe. I’m sure we all can attest to that. When I was a child and my dreams didn’t come true, my disappointment was just for a day. But the older I got, the easier it was for cynicism and pessimism to taint my outlook and seep into my internal dialogue.
Such emotional spills dilute our faith in life, love and the natural acceptance of the inevitable.
Many of us want to transform, but transitioning requires commitment and heavy lifting.
It takes courage to close our eyes and let faith do its work. Just as patience breeds more patience, hope produces more faith, and faith generates more hope.
Our brains have a natural bias that scans, registers, recalls and then reacts to unpleasant memories.
Negativity, anger and depression redirect the circuitry of our brain, making future pessimism more likely. The remedy is not to suppress our feelings, but feel them and then override these subcortical storms with a realistic language of comfort.
Faith changes our brain chemistry, laying down new circuitry, like a freshly paved road. When we intentionally exercise faith, life’s ride is smoother and resilience increases. Faith can literally change the trajectory of our lives.
For me, faith has been like a big circus net. It has made it easier for me to let go. My faith keeps me from being blown about by every wind.
Phototropism is happening when you see an indoor plant leaning toward the light from a window. We lean toward people and beliefs that nourish our souls. We don’t specifically remember what someone says, but we’ll always remember how they made us feel.
The unfaithful part of me has never offered me good advice.
Faith allows us to be more reflective and less reactive. Faith has never been about how happy I am, but more about how I respond when things get tough.
Life has provided me with many sacred opportunities some would refer to as crises. Faith has allowed me to reframe such calamities as “redirection.” To me, faith is a journey within.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” And even though I’ve had to quickly build my wings on the way down, faith has never allowed me to hit the ground.
Thomas Scott is a Faith Walk writer for The Star. To comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.