Everyone has faith in something, and we all live by it. We are what our faith is. I’m not talking about a religious belief but rather, faith as being the driving force behind our thoughts, beliefs and actions.
It is the secret power that motivates us to act and realise what we know to be true in our hearts that is not visible now. It determines our personality and what we accomplish.
Faith is a firm inner conviction or knowing in which both the head and heart are engaged. It is not merely a belief, but belief reinforced with understanding. Belief is trusting in the reality of something without questioning or clear reason. That is why it is often described as being blind.
The emotion of fear is our built-in mechanism for self-preservation. It is useful in propelling us to act to protect ourselves against danger. This is good when the danger is real. But when the fear is unfounded, it can be detrimental because it clouds our ability to think and act rationally.
Faith strengthens us, brings hope in positive outcomes and motivates us to take the steps to manifest them in our lives. Fear, on the other hand, is debilitating because it robs us of hope. It drives us to make irrational, unwise decisions that bring us sorrow.
Faith empowers, fear disempowers. At all times, we have the freedom to choose between acting out of faith or fear.
Two types of faith
We have ready faith in outer things, people and circumstances and rarely stop to question them. For example, you know that when you turn on the tap, water will rush out; or when you press the switch on the wall, the lights will come on. You have faith that the people who built the roads, buildings, bridges, your home, gadgets and car did so with the right materials and expertise. When you travel by air, you have faith that the pilot knows how to fly a plane and will get you safely to your destination.
Life would literally be impossible without faith. We would not be able to live or function if we were to doubt or fear everything around us. This is faith in outer things.
Far more important than faith in the outer world is faith in ourselves and in a higher power that we can call God, Nature or the Universe. This is faith in the inner world.
We must have faith that the higher power has infinite intelligence and always ensures that we get what is perfect for our soul’s evolution. This evolution is the purpose for which we are born.
Even though we don’t see the whole picture and don’t understand why certain things are happening, we know that we are always taken care of. When we have such faith, it removes fear, brings peace and builds inner strength.
To the one who says, “Show me God, then I will believe in Him,” spiritual master, Swami Tejomayananda answers, “Have faith in God’s existence, then you will realise Him.”
We must also have faith in ourselves and our abilities. In trying times, we often lose faith in ourselves and give in to fear. We rely less on our personal insights and more on others’ opinions and outer “experts”.
Fear, self-doubt and negative self-talk deplete our energy. What’s worse, we end up attracting those very same unhappy scenarios that we think about.
Feeling fear requires no effort. But to move the mind away from fear and to hold positive thoughts requires faith, a strong will and self-effort. By consciously choosing positive thoughts we will be attracting positive outcomes.
Live and act out of faith
Faith grows through self-effort. A sure way is to read spiritual or religious literature regularly. This elevates the mind and connects it with the divine. Reading or listening to how others have overcome adversities through faith also helps to inspire us to grow our faith.
Empower yourself with faith. Then it will be easy to act out of faith, not fear.
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