Written By Lisa
I started off a little while ago wondering what faith means to me… I wrote that I think it means undisputed and fully-earthed belief in something, and so much so that the belief is almost unidentifiable, because it’s just so there. For example, my faith in my legs. I get up in the morning and I expect to stand up, be able to walk around in my room, and move about my day. It’s unquestionable because it’s such a deeply-rooted belief.
I trust and have faith in my legs.
I don’t think that it’s about knowing, it’s more about believing. Knowing is, like, rational and intellectual- it needs reasons and usually other people’s opinions or approvals. Believing is just… “Yeah this is true to me”. My legs will work tomorrow. And the beautiful and soft thing about that is, that it doesn’t demand shouting about. I don’t need to prove to people how well my legs work, I don’t need to overemphasise and brag about all of the things me and my legs did on a day and how amazing it is that they work. That would be strange. And I feel no need to. Because I just deeply believe in them.
And if someone were to tell me (besides a reputable doctor 😉) that my legs are just going to stop working, that there’s something wrong with the way that they function, I wouldn’t fall to the ground in despair and question everything I thought I knew about my legs. My response would probably be closer to “Uhh… Okay. I don’t think so though”. They’re just a part of me that I believe in.
And then I think about putting that faith into my self-worth. Having it just be there. Having it sit so deeply and solidly within me that it’s not even obvious, but I can still see and feel and reap the benefits of that faith every single day. Having faith in oneself is elegant and very subtle, it’s just: “I believe I am enough”.
Thinking about faith taught me about how I can talk and think about myself. I was reading a sheet I got from group when I was thinking about this first, and the word “talents” caught my eye. What happened was, I thought “I’m good at creatively visualising ideas”, and felt comfortable. But then, I saw someone else asking me what my talents are, I saw me clamming up and being shy to venture anything, and then when I did answer, it was cautiously, with a question mark at the end of the sentence. Because I didn’t believe in the talent, expected the asker to disagree with me, and needed their approval. That’s no faith. With faith I can say “I have this talent”, and I believe it. It’s about me and my relationship with myself. And if the previously dreaded scenario occurs, and my companion says “No, you’re not good at that”, it’s not even a big deal. That externality does not change my internal belief that I am talented with my drawing. It’s not even a case of starting an argument and saying “You’re wrong!”, but more like, “Oh… Well it works for me, I like what I do. So I think I am good at it 😊”.
Then, as I explored, I accidentally started learning about how much to let others’ opinions affect me. I found that others’ opinions were a very important module of faith, and they’re both definitely both on the same branch of the recovery tree 😉. It helped me to recognise that faith is above and stronger than others’ opinions (and not in an aggressive way. Just confident).
Going back to quote myself: “That externality does not change my internal belief that I am…”, and feeling that. To me that means not letting ugly words into my heart, my core, and where I hold my beliefs anymore. It means blanketing that core in faith. It doesn’t even need to be a shield, words can pass through, but when they do, they’ll have my faith-blanket fibres all over them 😉, so all I can say is “Oh! An externality!”, and remain feeling the same.
If I’m at my blanketed core, and I believe what I believe about myself, nothing can hurt me. I believe I am enough. (Blanket or superhero cape 😉?)