If you are struggling with faith in God, in yourself, or both, don’t think that you are the only one. Faith is just a confident belief, and not everyone is confident in these areas. However, everyone has faith in something.
“He travels with whoever looks for Him, and having taken the seeker by the hand, He arouses him to go in search of himself.“ – Al-Ansari
Below are some of the beliefs we all have to some degree, at some time in life. Many of these we were pretty confident of, but over time we learned that we were mistaken. If you continue pursuing this journey of discovery, you may find that you have a misunderstanding too:
- Nobody really cares about me. I’m all alone and my life doesn’t matter. I can’t trust anyone
- I’m bad because of the mistakes I have made. I am disgusting
- I’m not good enough. I’m stupid. I’m worthless. I’m boring. I’m hopeless
- I’m better than all of you. I’m right and you’re wrong
- Nobody that I value really wants to spend any time with me
Sadly, these kinds of ideas can be a result of the negative messages, said and unsaid, that were repeated many times to us by our parents or other significant people throughout our lives. It’s a fact that what the people who are important to us think about us, affects much more than we will ever know at the time. If they are criticizing or condemning us in harmful ways, it will enslave us to a belief that we are defective. Thinking that we are less than others. Less than who we really are. And it’s thoughts like these that separate us from others and inhibit us from having happiness in our relationships. In our life.
God, as best a human can understand him, is love. Unconditional love. When you take a moment to contemplate that there is a creator of all that is around you, a creator of you, and that source of life is love, hopefully you can realize that you are not a defective creation -because God does not make junk.
My father told me a joke. I laughed so hard that I was in tears. He told the same joke again and I laughed, but not a belly laugh like before. He kept repeating the same joke over the years and it went from a chuckle to nothing. That day I looked at my dad with a look of bewilderment. He caught what was going on and he said, ”If you can’t laugh at the same joke over and over again, why do you keep crying over the people who have hurt you over and over again?”
As wise as my father was, he didn’t know that I was the one who was hurting myself repeatedly. Or maybe he did and we just couldn’t talk openly about it. Not really sure because it’s so personal but I can say that once I got past some of my misunderstanding about my paternal father, I also got past some of the misconceptions about my Spiritual Father. And then I was able to forgive not just those that had hurt me but I was able to forgive myself for the harms that I had done. But it took me being courageous enough to really look within and do a personal inventory to see both my assets and my liabilities. That bravery could only come from knowing that God was with me and cares about me. Probably more than I care about myself.