Someone I looked up to once told me point-blank: “You need to have faith.”
I stared at him for a moment. I’d just shared with him the troubles I was facing.
“I have faith. If I did not have faith, I wouldn’t be sitting calmly across you now.”
“Perhaps what you have is not enough.”
It can get quite frustrating, doesn’t it? No matter how well-meaning they are, when you reach out to other people in your darkest moments for a concrete form of comfort and relief – and they say: “Have a little faith”?
What do you mean, have a little faith? What do you mean when you say that the faith that I have is not enough?
When then, is the faith that we have enough?
When we’re finally not feeling anything – when anxiety, fear and guilt no longer have a claim on us? Does having enough faith mean being immune to the pain?
Does that not take away the entire human experience? Is not fear, anxiety, pain and sorrow quintessential for us to understand the forces that are changing us?
*end internal conflict monologue*
I have faith, don’t get me wrong.
Faith, to me, is the understanding and belief that whatever is happening, is taking place for a greater good, for a better future we have no conceivable notion of.
Faith is not the removal of any negative emotions from the equation but the ability to feel everything fully yet taking away their power to cripple us.
It allows us to embrace the fact that sometimes, the wrong choices and the worst circumstances bring us to the right places.
So when I struggle, it’s not because I do not have faith.
It’s because the process of growing is just hard.
And I need all the support I can get.
I would like to believe that the person who claimed I did not have enough faith meant well. After all, he went on to try to make me feel better by being extremely kind and thoughtful.
Then here’s the catch I finally understood upon reflection – he probably had no idea what to do in the face of what I’d just shared with him.
Most times, what we need is not someone to tell us to have faith, but to tell us that that we are enough. That we are allowed to begin to forgive ourselves for all our mistakes, bad & thoughtless decisions, and our flaws. To keep striving to go on and be better. To take the next step bravely, and to know that we will not be alone upon doing such.
We need someone to tell us that we are not alone.
To tell us we are loved, and worthy of that love.
Now, the tricky part is for us to ourselves understand that most of the time, the people who truly care about us have absolutely no idea what to say or do to make us feel better.
So we have to show them.
If you need the man that you love to just keep quiet and hold you when you cry – tell him just that.
If you need your best friend to come over with a tub of your favourite ice-cream and watch reruns of Suits with you – ask for it.
If you need space to just grieve and cry and be a slob for the day – say it.
They can’t read your mind.
Help others help you.
From my fair share of solo travelling and having a good taste of being independent, I’ve learnt that despite being able to be on my own, I would still choose having solid relationships with people who truly matter. Being in your own company does get lonely at times, no matter what the claims.
Despite how frustrating human relationships might get, it’s always better to try, and try again.
I stumbled upon the quote below and I couldn’t believe how much it resonated with what I was going through:
“Life will send tragedy hurtling into your orbit. It always does. And how you react to that tragedy, how you learn and shift and grow and the resilience you exhibit — all of these things are indicators of who you are. Your tragedy does not have to be your calling card. Though it might change your life, it does not have to be your entire life.
So you work through your tragedy. It won’t be easy, but you grieve and cope and vent and rage and adapt. You learn about life on the other side. And people will be sympathetic, and they will try to help, and there will be a fair share of pity. There always is; it’s inevitable. But you also model how other people ought to treat you, and so if you feed off of this pity, you’re bound to get more of it. If you shut people out, they will stop helping, and you will have to mend your wounds on your own. But if you show them that somewhere in you exists the same kernel of the person they loved before and can continue to love afterwards, maybe they can help you make it through the afterwards.
Tragedy may be inevitable, but moving on is too — it just depends what you choose to take with you.” – Ella Ceron
At the end of the day, we’re just trying to find our place in this illusion of a world and to keep growing through it all. The journey is far, but it will not be for naught, and we don’t have to feel alone through the process.
Who we allow into our lives, hearts and mind are amongst the most important decisions we will ever make, so may we decide wisely. May we remember that strong relationships take hard work and clear communication.
May we rise in the situations given to us.
May we always keep our faith.
Lots of love,