“Faith is not about everything turning out okay, faith is about being okay no matter how things turn out” ~ Unknown
Unlike the previous posts, this may not ‘speak’ to everyone. Still, I hope you’ll read it and, maybe, find something that might be of help.
Brought up in the Hindu faith, religion has always played a big part in my life. I’ve had my ups and downs with religion, with the ‘downs’ involving a lot of getting angry, verbally so, at God. Although I maintained a daily prayer practice, there were many times I questioned the veracity of my faith. Whenever I’d read about people talking about their faith getting them through a seriously hard time, I used to wonder what that felt like; I never believed my faith was that strong or could ever be that strong.
Like I said in the previous post, when I first started divorce proceedings, I had my practical head on and concentrated on that. It was only later that I realised I needed something more to replenish my well of self, which was getting depleted faster than I was topping it up.
I still went through the motions of praying, but I wanted something else, something more. Trouble is, I didn’t know what. As I rooted about, trying to find something that resonated, I kept coming back to meditating, but I’d never done it before and, to be honest, didn’t have much of a clue. I thought ‘proper’ meditating involved emptying the mind, which proved to be a non-starter for me; the harder I tried not to think about things, the more I thought about all kinds of stuff!
When I talked to Hatty about it, she suggested trying a guided meditation. There are tons of them on Youtube so, I listened to a few to find one with a voice I liked and I did – Melanie Beckler of AskAngels. Her meditations involve channelled messages from the archangels. That appealed to me as I’ve always loved angels.
I ended up listening to a lot of Melanie’s meditations on Youtube. I find her voice and delivery very soothing. I’d usually listen to a meditation before going to bed and I’d end up falling asleep while listening to her. Funny thing is, I’d listen to the beginning of the meditation, fall asleep then wake up just as she finished. But it worked. I started to feel calmer and sleep better.
I also spent time learning more about angels. One thing that surprised me was learning that they’re non-denominational, which means that they help anyone, regardless of religion. The more I discovered about working with angels, the more it felt right for me. And the one I feel closest to is Archangel Michael.
Another thing that appealed to me was oracle/angel card readings. As it wasn’t something I’d done before, I watched some on Youtube and stuck with the few that resonated with me. Then I bought a deck (Doreen Virtue’s ‘Messages from Your Angels’) and was pleasantly surprised; the cards I pulled daily made sense for whatever my situation/question was. Gradually, I bought more decks. I don’t use them all as some work better for me than others, namely Ganesha, Archangel Michael, Jesus and Kuan Yin.
I’ve learnt to trust my inner knowing; I don’t ‘look outside’ for guidance as much as I used to. I’ve learnt to realise it’s ok to not know the answers to everything because not every situation has an answer; it just is what it is.
Before you think that I’m about to apply for sainthood, there are many, many times I still react and throw my toys out the pram. But I don’t beat myself up about it like I used to. What matters to me now is how quickly I get myself out of the tantrum. And that, for me, is a measure of the strength of my faith.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall” ~ Confucius
Obviously, all this is what works for me personally; I’m not going to insist that my way is the only way to find and strengthen your faith! It all comes down to personal choice.
What I will say is, if you haven’t tried it, do give meditation a go. It’s nothing to do with religion, anyone can do it, regardless of what you believe or don’t believe. One of the things that put me off meditation for a long time was that I mistakenly believed there was only one way, a ‘right’ way to do it. I spent too much time worrying if I was doing it right, was I spending long enough on it, and getting annoyed that I couldn’t empty my mind of thought. Then I came across Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation master. The way he explained meditation dispelled all the mystery; I’ve learned more from him about meditation than anyone else.
“Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys” ~ Madeleine L’Engle