To me, relentless faith in the midst of adversities means never giving up. It means finding one little morsel to be thankful for in the midst of chaos, uncertainty, pain, anger, fear, hurt and/or disappointment. It means crying out and praying to the point of exhaustion until all I have left is a tiny glimpse of gratitude. Gratitude that I am still standing or sitting or even laying down. Gratitude that I have not completely lost my mind. Gratitude that wells up inside as a glimmer of hope that I will make it through this situation. I will be okay. Everything will be alright. I also to try to think of one person or one thing that I love. Introducing love into the scenario helps. Is this always easy? No. But, I believe it is necessary if I want to continue to grow and to move forward.
To develop this relentless faith in the midst of problems, I must get still. Then, take the time to really get in tune with what is going on by exposing all of my feelings. I try not to hide or bury any thing that is going on inside of me. This burying and denying feelings seem to make the negative feelings expand; get larger. But, bringing the feelings out, thinking about them (but, try not to overthink) and talking about the feelings out loud, help to dissipate the negative thoughts. There is something transforming about exposing the dark to light. Darkness can not remain dark in the face of light.
This is how I handle life’s adversities. From dealing with a divorce, the death of my first child to the deaths of my brother, mother and father. From being told that I would never be able to carry a child again to having a cancer scare. From dealing with betrayals and false accusations. I may talk things over with a few close family members and/or friends. But, these discussions touch upon top layers; the thoughts that address my initial reactions. This type of release is beneficial because it is validation that I am not crazy, that I am not imagining things. But, once I’ve addressed this top layer and found a semblance of peace, it’s time to get settled, lean into God and work on the issues inwardly. It’s time to delve into the inside layers. I call this prayer. I call this quietness and stillness. I try to the best of my ability to stop thinking about the issue. Stop trying to figure out what happened and why. Stop trying to come up with answers. Stop trying to alleviate the pain. I just be. Earlier, I would just pray with my Bible close by. Now, I usually light my favorite incense, Satya Sai Baba, Nag Champa, Agarbatti, turn on soothing classical music (usually the harp), sit in my favorite recliner, close my eyes and breathe in and out. Sometimes I call on the name of Jesus by saying “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” or I call on God by saying “God, God, God.” This requires time, because I sit quietly until the music stops, usually a 10-song CD and the incense has burned out. I feel very blessed to be able to take this much time to lean into God. Afterwards, I usually feel a sense of peace and renewal.
I admit this is a process. I can feel good and complete about an issue one minute and the next minute, next hour, next day, next month… the old negative feelings resurface. I have learned that when this happens, I don’t get upset. I am gentle with myself. I expose the negative feelings to the light by talking to them, ” this is over,” “these thoughts and feelings no longer have any power over me,” “get thee behind me Satan,” ” I refuse to do this again.” I speak these thoughts out loud. Talking out loudly to myself is normal in my household. Or, if I want to be more private, I go outside, walk around and speak it out to God. Afterwards, I wrap the entire situation in love and try my best to release it.
When I was younger, I used terms such as the Universe, a Higher Power, Mother Earth, etc. Now, that I am 69 years of age, it comforts me more to use the terms God, Lord, Jesus Christ. I believe this is a personal preference based on one’s spiritual journey. Believing in someone higher than myself elevates my thoughts from human limitations to unlimited possibilities. When this happens, my mind opens up and I experience supernatural feelings of love and peace.
That’s it. These are my beliefs and the steps I follow to develop, maintain and live with relentless faith. I hope some of what I’ve shared will help you live a more peaceful, grateful, love-filled life.
Just remember, “Everything will be alright.”
Peace, Joy, Love,