Faith Versus "Reality"
Many "new age" teachings talk about having faith, taking a leap of faith, or being faithful in the face of "reality." But what does having faith really mean? Does it mean ignoring our current state of affairs in favor of having some pie in the sky outlook on life? Or does it mean simply believing in possibilities that may not be completely fathomable or foreseeable in the moment?
I believe that there are different extremes of faith that each of us will need to choose between in order to find a version that best suits our current frame of mind but, at the same time, a version that challenges that frame of mind, even if only a little bit. The bottom line is, whatever type of faith you choose it must be one that feels believable to you, at least to some degree, because the full power of faith will undoubtedly be diminished through any doubt or resistance you feel towards it.
Faith only works if it is greater than your fear.
Think of the concept of a pendulum swing for a moment. In order to swing the other way the pendulum must pass a certain threshold before the direction of it changes, right? So think of one side of the pendulum swing as doubt and the other side as faith. If the pendulum swings just a tiny bit more in the direction of faith, that makes it at least 1% more probable. And as that faith grows, so does the pendulum swing in that direction. Now, there may be times when the pendulum swings back the other way, but that is only transient and will change as long as we set the direction and intention for where we want that pendulum to go.
And so, all it really takes to change our momentum from doubt to faith is a slight change in mindset. For example, on a scale from 1-100, one being doubt and one hundred being faith, even if you are at 51%, that is already 1% closer to faith than doubt. And the closer you get to 100, the more you will see the pay off from that.
Here's another example. Think of tuning into a radio frequency. The closer you get to a certain station, the clearer the message becomes. When you are fully dialed-in you can hear the station with crystal clarity. But, when you are far off of it, all you get is static or a station that you don't really like. And so, the closer you get to your desired frequency, the closer you get to your desired clarity. Faith kind of works the same way.
No one said, however, that this was necessarily going to be easy. We are very pragmatic as a species and most of us like some sort of concept of proof before we buy into anything. But in a way that's the problem, i.e. we are so focused on getting proof that we forget that sometimes proof comes from having faith. It is not easy believing that somehow your situation will improve without knowing exactly how. It is not easy taking action that seems counter-intuitive to your present circumstances. But sometimes that is exactly what is required (even to a slight degree) in order to change your momentum and have the pendulum swing the other way. The key is to have more faith than fear. Otherwise your actions will likely be taken in vain (which will cause you to doubt even more). And so, if you are going to take the leap, you are going to have to believe that it is at least somewhat possible for you to achieve what you desire. Otherwise it might just be a waste of time, and possibly make things even worse (by inspiring more fear within you and subsequent rash decisions).
So how do we begin to cultivate more faith and less fear?
It's simple: Practice. Baby steps, or leaps of faith, either way it is totally up to you. But most of all, it is about getting into the right mindset so that you get the most out of your actions rather than sabotaging yourself even further. Believe in possibilities and take a step (big or small) with faith and see where that leads you. And if you do start to doubt, pay attention to your doubt to faith ratio to ensure that you change your momentum when needed so that you do not create obstacles in your own way.