iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

GET UPDATES FROM Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
 

The Challenge of Staying in Faith

Posted: 02/13/2012 12:23 pm

What do people mean when they say, "Have faith"?

To me, this means we believe we are always being guided in the highest good of our soul, even when bad things happen. It means knowing that when difficulties occur, we have not been abandoned by God. It means, even when we cannot see the light, knowing that there is a light at the end of the darkness.

Sometimes it is very hard to have faith. The wounded part of ourselves -- our ego wounded self -- is always devoted to controlling the outcome of things, so when things do not turn out the way we expected, we tend to feel betrayed or abandoned by God.

"I try so hard to do things right, so why should bad things keep happening? It's not fair. Where is God for me now?"

"I pray and pray and still don't get what I want. What's the point of all that prayer?"

The problem is that the wounded self tends to do things "right" or to pray with an agenda in mind. The false belief of the wounded self is that "If I do things right or pray enough, then I can have control over the outcome of things." The wounded self thinks it knows what is in our highest good, yet it actually has no idea regarding the highest good of our soul.

Having faith means that we trust that our higher power is always guiding us in the highest good of our soul. It means that we remember that we are primarily on a soul journey rather than on an earthly journey -- that we are here to evolve toward love and joy rather than to control the outcome of things.

It is easy to stay in faith when everything is going your way. But what happens when things do not turn out the way you hoped? Yet, this is the very time when faith is most important, because without it, you are likely to feel lost, alone, angry, anxious, depressed and/or hopeless.

Many of our feelings come from our thoughts. Difficult feelings such as anger, depression and anxiety may come from thoughts such as, "I am alone in the universe. There is no God helping me and watching over me. There is no spiritual help for me to turn to." When you think these thoughts, painful feelings will likely be the result. These painful feelings are a source of inner guidance, letting you know that you are coming from false beliefs, and that you are being unloving to yourself.

On the other hand, you can remain inwardly peaceful if you choose to think thoughts such as, "Even though I did not get what I want, I know that God has my highest good at heart. I know that if I stay open to love and truth, I will be guided in the evolution of my soul's journey. Staying in love and joy and seeking truth are more important than the outcome of things, so I will continue to keep my heart open to my spiritual guidance." If this thought brings you peace, you know you are on the right track in your thinking.

Some indigenous cultures have a concept that I find very helpful in staying in faith. They believe that when we come into a body, only part of our soul enters the body. The rest of our soul remains outside the body and is what these cultures call a "double." Our double -- or higher self -- is the part of our soul that is here to guide us through our earthly journey. Our double holds all the wisdom and experience that our immortal soul has accumulated through eternity. Because our double is not limited by the confines of our body, it can see and know things that our mind cannot possible see and know.

At those times when your mind is quiet and you are open to learning about loving yourself and others, you can access the wisdom and guidance of your double -- your higher self. Then you know that you are not alone and that you are always being guided in your highest good. You might want to imagine your higher self as an older, wiser aspect of you -- a wise and comforting presence whom you can turn to for love and wisdom.

Imagine what a difference it would make in your life if you knew, from your personal experience of your spiritual guidance, that you are never alone.

 
 
 

Follow Margaret Paul, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/innerbonding