Now let’s be clear, I am not talking about religious faith. If that’s your idea or definition of faith, have at ‘er. But it is not what I am talking about here nor would I post about religion as that is not my thing. It’s not up to me to tell someone else what they should or shouldn’t believe. With that out of the way, lets get back to the post.
The faith I am talking about is something completely different and is more along the lines of hope, with a twist though. You know what I mean because we all do it everyday of our lives. We get faced with a choice and when we decide on what choice best fits, we begin to hope that we made the right choice. But here’s the twist or problem with hope in this context. When we “hope”, we take ownership away from ourselves and thrust it out to the universe. We believe that by hoping the planets will align, the birds will soar overhead, the sun will shine the waters will calm and everything will happen as you had “hoped” it would. It would be great if that happened but ask yourself, how often have the thing you hoped for turned out exactly how you wanted them too?
What if you begin to replace hope with faith? So, when you get presented with a choice, you make it and have faith that you made the choice that was best for you. You then sit back, figuratively that is, and let things happen. You take ownership for what you decided and the course of action you put into motion. If things work out, you bask in the glory of it all. If it doesn’t work out, you have faith that you will make a better choice next time because of your learned experiences from making the wrong choice. See the difference? Very subtle but the results are huge, especially when you extrapolate them across your lifetime.
Now I know you are wonder why are you reading this philosophical dribble on a blog about PTSD. Well, if you have been following from the start, you know that sometimes my PTSD brain takes me on these wild SQUIRREL ! moments. But, I can usually right the ship and get back on course so here’s the reason.
Since my diagnosis, I have been functioning on the premise of faith, although I didn’t really realize it. At first, I thought it was hope but over the last few months I came to the realization that it has always been faith. Faith that what I am doing is the right things for me to do. Faith that if I get up out of bed each morning, I will be able to put yet another piece of my PTSD puzzle in the right spot and get closer to the big picture view I am seeking. Faith that if I put in the work, I will reap the rewards. And, faith that my PTSD isn’t in vain, that there is a reason and purpose for it.
I also began to realize that at various points in time during this journey, I have taken a number of leaps of faith, both figuratively and literally. But let me tell you about the literal leap of faith that I believe was the most instrumental in my healing. I had the ability to take part in a high ropes exercise in which, while rigged up with ropes, I jumped off a very shoddy platform that I feared would collapse under my weight. I jumped trusting or more appropriately having faith in the climb Master’s skills and abilities, particularly his math skills in properly calculating the weight to stress ratio on the ropes. I had faith that I would be okay if I just jumped and that is exactly what I did. I jumped and my life was forever changed for the experience.
What I learned was that there will be times during my PTSD journey that I will be in uncomfortable positions in which I will be forced to make a choice. At those times, I must accept that I just “gotta have faith” and make the choice that I think is the right one. So far, it has been working for me. But there are also times that I fear what it would be like if I didn’t have faith that my PTSD journey is unfolding exactly as it is supposed to happen. When that doubt arises, its easily pushed away by remembering that this type of faith isn’t something that lasts an hour, a day, a week or years. It becomes ingrained within your thoughts and evolves into part how you live your life. So, you might not reap the rewards in the near future but if you truly have faith in what you are doing, at some point, you will begin to see the fruit of your labours.
Faith, you gotta have it.