Break Away From Negativity to Find Faith in the Possibilities
“My mind is never faithless, for faith is an aspect of consciousness. I either have faith in the power of fear or faith in the power of love. It seems easier at times to have more faith in the power of my problems than faith that they can be miraculously solved. Today, I choose faith in love."
“Faith in a positive outcome doesn’t mean I’m denying a problem; it means that I’m affirming a solution. Where I put my faith directly influences what happens next.”—Marianne Williamson
I read Marianne Williamson’s words prior to my morning meditation, and they resonated deeply with me. I can remember times in my life when everything appeared dark, and all I could focus on was the problems. At these times when I lost my way, I lost faith that there could be a solution to my pain and suffering. I lost belief that life could be different. I couldn’t envision any other way of being in the world other than my current approach to life. I didn’t believe that a better life—a happier life—was in the realm of possibility for me. I experienced this darkness with my first hip degeneration, after my father was murdered, and after my seizure disorder became so active that my life changed drastically. Little did I know that my own thinking helped perpetuate this cycle of my so-called miserable years. Instead of grieving, feeling my feelings, and moving on, I simply got stuck in the quicksand of my overactive brain.
I think this is what Marianne Williamson is referring to in her quote. My thinking was mired in negativity so much that my brain created a habit of this. I was, in essence, trapped by my own thoughts and was unable to perceive any other paradigm.
I have discovered through coaching and life that I am not alone in this fascinating addiction to pain and suffering. I once told Kim that believing that life can be different from what we’re currently experiencing is a key ingredient to creating transformation. I still believe this. After all, we are what we think. There are many people who believe the stories that they have about themselves and their lives are absolutely 100 percent true. I understand this thinking all too well because I too used to believe that my thoughts, especially my negative, berating thoughts were 100 percent true. It’s a painful place to be. I feel compassion for others who currently feel trapped in their own lives, and I like to introduce them to the notion that our thoughts may not always be true and are worthy of investigating. Many times with guidance, people can discover a new way to perceive their circumstances, and the world. I can’t force people into a new way of thinking, just like I can’t force myself to perceive the world anew when I begin to spiral down into the depths of pain and suffering.
Sometimes, I can support myself by coaching myself to investigate my thinking around a particular issue. Sometimes, my busy brain is so busy that I know my best step is to ask for help from another. It’s wondrous when I have begun the descent into the dark sludge of my thoughts that exerting energy to reach out and make a phone call or an appointment with a coach or therapist helps me to climb out of the well of decline. Simply reaching out and asking for help sends a message to myself that I believe there is another way. The message says: “This is not the real you thinking these thoughts! Some crazy creature has taken up residence in your brain—get help to find the real Nancy again!” Asking for help is a sign that I believe or I have faith that life can be different.
Having faith and being open to possibilities that life has to offer is an amazing first step to any transformation. We will be sentenced to our stories of doom and gloom as long as we believe they are true. When we allow ourselves to believe in the possibility of being happy, being successful, rising after we have fallen down, and living our lives more peacefully, then the astonishing shift of perception can begin to work its magic. Consider these questions as you analyze your thinking.
- Are you currently being faithful to your problems?
- Would you like to learn how to be faithful to transformation?
I’m happy to support you when you decide to take the plunge to living a more peaceful life.
This week, I got to meet Greg Louganis, a U.S. Olympic diver, LGBT-rights and HIV/AIDS activist, and author, and Jeanne White-Ginder, mother of Ryan White, an eighteen-year-old who died of AIDS after receiving a contaminated blood transfusion for his hemophilia treatment when he was thirteen. Greg is this year’s recipient of the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award. Both Greg’s and Ryan’s stories are amazing tales of courage against all odds. Greg is widely considered the greatest diver in history. However, in Greg’s own words, this did not come easily. He was put up for adoption at 8 months old. Additionally, he stuttered as a young child, which led to his being teased when he was young. He began to believe that he was stupid. So, he thrust himself into learning how he could excel with his body. Additionally, Greg is gay and hid this from the world. After all, most people who were gay in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were in the closet. At some point, Greg learned that he was HIV positive. He openly declared to the world all of these aspects of himself and more in his 1994 autobiography, Breaking the Surface.
There is a new HBO movie on Greg Louganis’s life called Back on Board that I recommend. The 1989 television movie, The Ryan White Story, is also worthy of your attention.
On more than one occasion, I have shared some wisdom with all of you from Marianne Williamson. It seems only fitting that I share the book that I read each morning prior to my meditation. However, I love all of Marianne’s books!
Until next time,
Safe Space Life Coaching