“Without exception, spirituality – the belief in connection, a power greater than self, and the interconnections grounded in love and compassion – emerged as a component of resilience.”
Personal stories and research alike provide rich evidence for faith, spirituality, or some sort of practice of that type to be of supreme importance…
To have measurable, positive health outcomes…
To enhance already good areas of our lives, to make them great…
To bolster us against the sh*t storms of life.
Whether it’s Brené Brown asserting that spirituality (of any kind) kept coming up in her research as a requirement for “Whole-Hearted Living,” Duke University’s combination of spiritual studies and health sciences research indicating the same, resilience studies continuing to show the power of connectedness, or yogis reminding us that uncertainty (and the subsequent trust required to live with uncertainty without losing your mind) is something to be embraced, faith is actually – in a very practical sense – very good for a lot of things in our lives.
I didn’t say religion – I said FAITH.
I think the essence of faith is
– hope “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” Hebrews 11
– grace and gratitude
– devotion to that with which you are aligned
– loyalty and honor
And faith in action looks like
– reaching out to others as well as receiving help from others
– letting go of certainty
– embracing mystery
The key is PRACTICE. Practice exercising your “spiritual muscle.”
Faith – like love – is great to feel, but it becomes transformative and powerful when it is done, when it is put into ACTION.
Faith – like love – is a verb.
Faith – like love – is enhanced with gratitude.
Faith – like love – is meant to be experienced.
Faith – like love – is limitless.
Faith – like love – exists along a spectrum. Faith includes doubt, fear, and insecurity, too. Faith becomes richer, I think, when we embrace all elements of it.
Faith – like love – can sometimes be the belief in things unseen, intangible, and indefinable, from God to your belief in your ability to do handstand when you’ve never done one before in your life! and everything in between. 😉
Faith – like love – involves trust, and unknowing, and surrender. It is choosing to see the beauty within the mystery.
Faith ….is love?
What do you think? …
What is faith? And how do you practice it?
*originally written July 18, 2015. Modified in 2017. –> If this topic interests you, please check out my book Just Roll With It: 7 Battle Tested Truths for Building a Resilient Life, in which I dedicate an entire chapter to this very concept of faith.
*Feature photo taken by me in Costa Rica in 2015. Book photo by photographer, Marie Davey.