Is it better to hope that everything will be okay or is better to have faith?
I was watching an incredible TED Talk by Andrew Solomon recently (a must watch) and he touched on the tragedies in his life and how he prefers to rely upon faith rather than hope. He made the point that hope is less concrete, it is wistful and a beggar of good fortune whereas faith, religious or otherwise, is a solid foundation of knowing that everything will be okay.
When I lie awake at night listening to the frogs settling down in the wetland I have the occasional freak out (read that as often not occasional) about life and it goes along the lines of the usual bumf that we all worry about; health, finances, love, relationships, security etc and it is not pretty. I can waste hours staring at the ceiling and worrying about what ifs and they achieve absolutely nothing. No matter how much I worry it won’t change anything and life will inevitably go down the path it is meant to regardless of how much I think about it, procrastinate and panic like a mad thing.
So lately I have taken to giving both hope and faith a try in my darker moments and seeing which fits best. Bear in mind that when anyone worries, logic and rational thought go out of the window on a holiday, so it is quite difficult to grasp at sane options such as hope and faith but it is possible. I gave hope a try and rather liked her. She was a cheerful, effervescent kind of soul and being hopeful definitely has a place in my heart and brought me back down to earth with a smile on my face.
But faith? Now we are talking the good stuff. I am not religious but I absolutely do have my own faith and leaning on that as I stared at the ceiling in worry felt fantastic. That old soul, the one you can rely on anytime of day and night that makes you feel comforted and safe, no matter how awful your problems are, that is faith. He is a pretty awesome character and I found that if I just breathed deeply and reminded myself that life will do as it plans and I will be okay, then I found my sleep.
Both hope and faith are powerful tools for getting through difficult times in life, for those moments when we are alone and need to rely on our inner strength to get us through. As part of my journey I am drawing on hope and faith more often than I used to and it feels really good. I have been through enough challenges in recent years to know how it feels to hit rock bottom more than once and I wish I had known as much about hope and faith then as I do now. Perhaps it would have been less of a roller-coaster, though who knows. All I can know is that this inner strength is a soft blanket that I can carry anywhere I go and yet it weighs nothing and demands no maintenance. It is the ideal comfort for grownups, especially when served with a healthy dose of cake, and I strongly suggest you cultivate one of your own.
‘A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort’
– Herm Albright
Team Rowlands – The wonder in teaching
Cristian Mihai – Heart
The other side of ugle – Morning mantras
Princess of the light – Happiness is like a butterfly