Instead of having one word for the year, I’ve decided to explore a word each month as a theme for insight, connection and growth. The word for January is FAITH.
FAITH is something that has not always been easy for me. I suppose it becomes easy when you have your darkest days, and something pulls you through. As I write this on Martin Luther King Day, I connect with a man who believed that all people could one day get along, prosper side by side and create a more peaceful and equitable life for the people of earth. That is faith!
Faith requires putting your future in the hands of a higher power and willingness to accept the outcome. It can exist without religion. I have learned that faith also can lead to delightful experiences when you let go and are willing to co-create the outcome by asking as well as receiving.
I realize now more than ever that there have been times in my life when I failed to ask for the help I needed. Why – because I did not feel important or worthy enough of the attention. I also made the assumption that asking might inconvenience a busy person or be an imposition. Asking for prayers is something I became very good at during George’s illness. Maybe it was because I was asking to help someone else. The beauty of this was in the response; I saw so much love and support coming in. People responded because they cared. Nobody seemed to be putout. They chose to respond.
Here’s the other area that can be tricky for the faithful. When the higher power sends us good things, we can ignore, resist or deliberately turn away. That can certainly happen because we aren’t paying attention. It’s hard to pay attention when feeling depressed, in pain or physically ill. It can also occur if we feel undeserving or overwhelmed by a generous gift. Has it happened to you? I know it has happened to me. I was so overwhelmed at times last summer that it was very hard for me to accept all of the kind gestures coming my way. If I failed to offer my gratitude, I am sorry. I am still learning my faith lessons about being on the receiving end.
Over the weekend, I had a little fun playing with faith. We celebrated my husband’s birthday with a fun weekend downtown, including dinner at the new hot spot, The Marble Room. During our dinner, I overheard someone ask one of the dining hostesses for a tour of this beautifully restored bank building. When our dinner was complete, the hostess helped us with our coats and the thought surfaced that I should ask her for a tour. Almost as quickly, I heard a voice in head shout, “Don’t bother her. She’s too busy. There are other more important guests she needs to tend to.” I silenced that voice and asked if we could have a tour. She was delighted with the request and took us not only to the downstairs vault, but also up to each of the gorgeous private rooms in the upstairs area. We had a luxurious, private and very relaxed tour. All because I asked and received. We were over the top impressed by the experience and very grateful to Ann.
Experiences like this are great practice toward changing the world. Give yourself credit for being worthy of both asking and receiving. Be open to the people you’ll meet and appreciate in the process and be ready to respond to the requests of others. The faith behind both asking and receiving is the glue that builds great societies and human experiences. You can be part of it.