FAITH MONTH: DAY 5: “Faith is not about finding meaning in the world, there may be no such thing — faith is the belief in our capacity to create meaningful lives.” ― Terry Tempest Williams
If I had known what this life was going to be like in the first 30 years, I would have wanted to have a middle name of Tempest also. Just saying.
Some of these quotes are incredibly interesting to me. I search for new ones every month, because I want to stretch my mind into writing about these topics in new ways each time. (A huge shout out to my friend Roger for catching it that I wrote HOPE yesterday…all I can say is that I wrote about faith but put HOPE in the title! I have a cold, claiming cotton ball brain from that. Good catch Roger!)
So, back to todays’ quote.
We all look for meaning in what happens when there is a loss for us, whether we experience the loss in a group (like 9-11) or in a smaller group (like a flood or hurricane), or individually.
I think we get stuck, as humans, in the “WHY?” syndrome. No answer can give us comfort. Nothing makes sense. There is no answer, except the one our parents gave us when we were 2 years old, “Because.”
Life just IS. We talked about this a lot in Step 1 and Acceptance. Faith is a deeper path of Acceptance. We just don’t know what to put our faith into. We want to JOIN something. There is nothing to join in faith.
The hardest part of all of it, to my thinking, is that we gain an individual understanding, deep within ourselves of what our personal Faith is. We cannot transmit that to another person. We only get our own. It lives in our hearts, not our minds. No amount of coercion or conversation is going to transmit that.
When I sit in meditation or when I contemplate how I am going to write about something in a quote I have found, I wonder what words will convey my sense of awe and love and joy at this life I get to live. I cannot do that. Some of you may have an inkling, but you must get those things for yourself, in your own heart.
This is a tricky deal. We may gain abstinence from drugs and alcohol, but I have only met a couple of folks in all these years who got this deep spiritual experience and kept it for any length of time. I really believed, for many years, that it was something I would have to live another lifetime to achieve. And yet, here I am, and I am so amazed at how happy I am, no matter what happens.
Not that I have achieved full Buddha status, but that each of us is on a path to our own spiritual experiences and awakenings. Sometimes they are ridiculously simple, other times too complex to talk about because spirit doesn’t have language.
I love words, it is hard to convey what I want to say sometimes, because the words are too simple or trite and I cannot say what I want to say. But this quote screams at me that what each of us gets in this thing belongs to us. I cannot leave it behind for someone to inherit. Not one of the people I sponsor has ever gotten this, nor will they, even when and if they were to do what I do to get mine. There is no formula, no recipe, no combination of ingredients that will do it. It is a personal path for everyone.
I love this quote, because it so totally speaks to the idea that there is no meaning in what happens in this Universe that we can give to events. There is only the notion, the belief, the concept that our personal experiences of those events gives them meaning…for US. And with that, we can begin to live lives that are devoted to that personal path of enlightenment and meaning WE are here to have. Faith, in other words, is not a product of a religion, or dogma, or practice; but something we have to make up for ourselves as we go along. Just when we think we know what it is, it moves and changes and grows and blows up into something else. Our search for faith is where we find it. (That is an awesome new line, I think I will patent!) Good luck hunting my faithful friends!