Peace - Keeping the faith
by Gopika Nath
To be able to eschew fear and embrace the wisdom of uncertainty, we need faith. But what is faith? Is it belief in an entity that will fulfill with absolute certainty our needs and desires? That life will always go our way as envisaged by us?
How does a mother face the death of her beautiful teenaged daughter, her only child? What does she put her faith in? How should she believe that this is in her best interests? How can she possibly conceive this to be true, right and fair?
All of us have deep wounds inside us that have been gorged because our pride, our egos have been hurt, or deeply prayed-for desires remain unfulfilled. Every kind of pilgrimage, penance or charity has been performed but the entity up there has not relented. Then what do we retain faith in?
Do we come to accept that we can live without, that this was meant to be? Do we try another methodology to achieve the same? Or do we continue to believe in the wisdom of our desires because they are still relevant to our needs, examined with truth, despite the resignation of repeated failure to achieve the goals that were defined?
Faith encompasses all these, because we can live without everything we have ever desired. It is indeed possible. Life shows us that there are many ways to live. It is a question of allowing our minds to accept that life intends for us to learn to live without something, carrying within us the immense pain of disappointment that may well ensue, so that we can learn to rise above this. Maybe life has something far better in store for us, if we accept the present circumstance with grace and dignity.
The possibility of exploring yet another way and/or strategy is also an option that life may present us with. The point is, to what extent are we going to indulge the insecurities that prevail upon us to imagine that we could not live without, and be happy? To what extent are we going to persist and have life deny our requests? How much pain are we willing to bear until we are prepared to give up? Really and truly give up. Not just retreat until the hurt is appeased a little and then try again, but understand that ‘‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it’’.
If you believe in the relevance of your quest, if this is something you feel utterly compelled to pursue despite being unsuccessful over a long period, which is testing your faith, time may well relent with some suggestions that offer hope. Maybe there is an alternative strategy to be employed, maybe the goal is more ambitious than you had envisaged and you need to try again. Or perhaps it is time to let go all thought of this intent. Maybe it was not meant to be, or then maybe you have done all that needed to be done and time alone can reveal what the future holds and how the hand of fate will now be played.
Perhaps the need of the hour is to accept this in good faith, facing the challenge of the circumstance and learning from it.
In life all kinds of possibilities abound. No one can tell what will be. Even astrologers speak of probable eventualities. However, what is ordained is not something that we can be totally unaware of, if we are in sync with our deeper selves. This holds the key to unravelling each one’s life’s mystery. If we are silently centred and have faith, which is an open, unconditional acceptance that whatever will be we can and will deal with, because of the power of the supreme spirit that pervades our being, then we do not need anyone or anything else. This is the ultimate test of faith.
For the spiritual aspirant, faith is not about being given hope that what we want will indeed be. The true seeker has to rise above every desire, every need, to believe in the power of the spirit and its potential to fulfill our lives without our dependence on people and things. Therefore, when life tests us, it is to see how detached we really are and how much we pretend to ourselves, when actually hiding behind pain and ego issues. What hurts the most is what needs to heal the most. Faith requires that we surrender to this. Then the course of our lives will flow with joy and ease.
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