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Finding Faith Within“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life long quest of the wise.” Shannon L. Alder
“Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility! Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate! Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness!”    C. Joy Bell C.
“Often those that criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.” Shannon L. Alder
“There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, gossip about you, belittle your accomplishments and judge your soul. It is a fact that we all must face. However, if you realize that God is a best friend that stands beside you when others cast stones you will never be afraid, never feel worthless and never feel alone.” Shannon L. Alder

Have you ever noticed how easily someone can knock you off of your game plan and cause you to doubt yourself? All they need to do is plant those little seeds of doubt or give the quick retort that leaves you questioning what they meant for days. We all fall prey to these people who come in the form of friends, family co-workers and unfriendly ties.

Adding to this problem is when we jump in feet first to help someone who really needs it only to be shot down with a look, or words of anger. It is without any doubt hurtful and we can only wonder why they refused  our help which I repeat, they needed. I for one begin questioning why they must dislike or even hate me. They can accept the lift from someone else but not me. It renders me quiet  with so many questions about doubt. Of course I always blame myself and my inadequacies.

I realize that sometimes we want to do our own thing and simply be left alone. On the other hand why is it certain people are disliked for the good they try to do. I feel like there is a conspiracy to get the "Helpers" to stop helping those in need. No wonder we pass by the helpless on the streets. We are trained to be impervious to their plight. Have we become such a competitive society that we are nervous about allowing someone else to take the reins for us and give us a  break?

I can't figure it out. I suppose some people believe it belittles them to exhibit any inferiority. They must be in control or only let the ones they trust help out. Of course that means they don't trust us. Is it our attitude or are we disliked more for our virtues than for our faults? Seriously though one is less willing to offer assistance to another due to the rebuke. Now we might have a person believing we are not mindful because we did nothing to help out. We doubt our ability to  be f assistance.

Many  spend volunteer time working at churches, or town activities without any thanks. they do it because they enjoy helping people. However as I reflect further I am saddened that so many volunteers  complained about finding so much indifference that they did not even receive a hello. those working freely for the common good toss their indifference aside and willingly support those who need help. They are not looking for thanks or honors but it would be terrible if they get burnt out and walk away. It is awesome that many people are not gaining material worth but act out of kindness for humanity and that is enough. We understand that indifference rules our actions towards each other but every time  we act with mindfulness we turn the tides towards concern for others.

I suppose we worry about getting involved and having others judge us or peg us onto certain lists. As hard as we attempt to remain neutral there are those moments that erupt and cause us to defy our neutrality and stand for something. As Benjamin Franklin declared "You have enemies? That's good it means you stood up for something." We have gotten too complacent and comfortable in our ways. Life becomes a selfish existence as we are solely interested in our own comforts and pleasures. The needs of others are so far down on our list that most days  we don't consider anyone else.

Mindful is not a word commonly used in our daily speech, yet if it became everyone's way of living would send us all on a higher path. More love would be spread and less pain would surround us. Indifference would be the new ignored word. How awesome that would be.

I know we don't foster indifference but neither do we pack it up and send it away. A beautiful world of love and happiness can become a reality if we allow compassion into our minds and hearts. Once we begin thinking about others we begin feeling good about ourselves. It is a feeling that you can't really describe. That is why so many of those people who help others continue to do it even though they receive no thanks or any kind of reinforcement. The light is felt within and the sense of supporting humanity gets stronger.

If we could do one small act for another every single day we would understand the importance of that  action and be inclined to do more. If I need help I don't want the person who exhibits indifference daily. I want the mindful person who will notice my need and hear my cry and then come to my assistance. We can't say we are too busy, have too much work, need a break, need to do something for ourselves, or want a vacation from work. We can very easily respond with a yes I am here for you.

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."    Robert Hughes

“I am convinced that the jealous, the angry, the bitter and the egotistical are the first to race to the top of mountains. A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious where ever you stand.”
Shannon L. Alder

“A man’s spirit is free, but his pride binds him with chains of suffocation in a prison of his own insecurities”     Jeremy Aldana

Families30“Disbelief held me down inside my footsteps, making my body heavy but my heart wild.”  Markus Zusak

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”    Steven Pressfield

“Humanity does not suffer from the disease of wrong beliefs but humanity suffers from the contagious nature of the lack of belief. If you have no magic with you it is not because magic does not exist but it is because you do not believe in it. Even if the sun shines brightly upon your skin every day, if you do not believe in the sunlight, the sunlight for you does not exist.”    C. JoyBell C.

I find it too easy to trust others and I end up hurt and then in disbelief regarding their honesty. I suppose that is what makes most of us become a doubting person. We might go to a party with every intention f having a good time and immediately  get hit with another's angry mood or wrath thrown towards us. Maybe we go home wondering why and as much focus given we come up with no answers. The disappointment is huge and sometimes anger and disbelief creep in about their kindness towards us. Of course the sadness takes over and we are left with only unhappiness.

Sometimes I wonder if it is my turn to take the punishment so to speak. I go to a party with every intention of having a great time. The let down is tough. Instead of questioning the person who caused my disbelief I go home and relive the day and torture myself a little more. The only bit of pride left  is almost invisible and I look for answers in my own behavior. Perhaps I was mean to them in the past, or said something offensive to them unintentionally at a previous time. Their bad mood   caused them to lash out. The end of the reflection generates no new answers which is almost more painful because the truth might be they simply don't like me.

It appears easier to accept but not really. When you truly care about these people even if they don't reciprocate it is deeply humiliating and humbling. You believe in your heart without a doubt there is no recourse. Now  your  choices are difficult. If you choose the higher road you suck it up and try to stay out of the firing range just to keep your sense of self from being hurt. Some people no doubt choose revenge and they go after their target full force. There are two people feeling degraded. I don't see that as a good thing and I can't find any relief from one's own humiliation by degrading another.

It feels necessary to withstand the onslaught to discover some truth. The reality is at times we believe we are owned by misery, problems, obstacles and painful histories. I prefer to own them instead. Yes I have had a painful past, I keep it close to my heart as a reminder of my endurance and strength. Moving forward doesn't mean we forget the past as much as we overcome it and carry the sweet and sour pieces of it with us along our journey.

The hurts don't have to engulf us and burn us up. Instead they can grant us the power to forgive and respect every person's sufferings. Painful episodes remind me of my vulnerability and the defenselessness of others who do not see an ambush coming. The pain no longer owns us and we become  the owner of the wound. It is a wound of courage and defeat rather than an energy that forces us to crash and crawl.

Nobody is ever strong all of the time and it takes practice to refuse striking back at those who hurt us. I know there are times when I might strike out at another person because they said or did something I didn't like. My nerves are frazzled and my pain is strong while my pity is weak. At those moments I have to avoid releasing cruel remarks or actions. The power comes from my ownership of my pain.

Hold back your disbelief of others. They have their own battles to fight and survive. Have faith in their ability to overcome obstacles and defeat careless insensitivity. I would bet we have all been there. Our power and control always comes from our ability to own  our moods, attitudes, words and actions rather than allowing disbelief mixed up feelings of pain, anger and ego to shamefully own us and cause us to damage another human being.

“There is a feeling of disbelief that comes over you, that takes over, and you kind of go through the motions. You do what you're supposed to do, but in fact you're not there at all.”    Frederick Barthelme

“Impossibilitarians are defeated before the battle even begins. The best attitude that accommodates failure is disbelief. You can't do it because you believe you can't! You can do it because you believe you can!”    Israelmore Ayivor

“Whenever you can’t balance what you see with what you believe you have conflict.”
Shannon Alder

“Hope greets your desires warmly while doubts insult your efforts bitterly!”
Israelmore Ayivor

Choosing To Live 4"You don't always  have to defend yourself in words. Silence gives people the clue you have better thoughts in mind." Pinterest (anonymous)

"Anyone who has never made a  mistake has  never tried anything new." Albert Einstein

"An old man said "Erasers are made for those who make mistakes." A  youth replied, "Erasers  are made for those who are willing to correct their mistakes!" Attitude matters. Anonymous

How difficult it is to discover the self and uncover some hidden truths about  the ways we sabotage our life. I suppose we are thinking that is not true. I know I attempt to discover who I am all the time and understand myself. If I discover a problem I try to fix it or if I discover something worthy I work to make it better. I don't want to waste my time on falsehoods but the truth in my attempts is I want to discover what makes me who I am.

It is almost impossible to face our anger, fear, impatience, distrust and so many other negative emotions. It really is easier to find our goodness when we have just helped a friend or co-worker expecting nothing in return. I believe we need those moments in order to accept some of the things about ourselves that might need some work. I don't wake up in the morning thinking about what it is I should work on or improve unless it is the garden.

It feels like we hide from the self as if we really don't  know who we are. Likely we all know our faults better than our virtues and most of us myself included,  discover so many faults that we stop searching for anything good believing we are just not that good of a person. Even the boastful people  may be simply covering  their honest beliefs about self and boast so they can cover-up the truth.

I am thinking that unless we choose to discover how many good things there actually are within us and our lives we won't have the guts to face what it is that needs some fixing or tuning up. Nobody is fully bad or good at every second of every day. There are some happenings that cause us to offer assistance in some way and throw out positive vibes in our words or actions.

I think  we try too hard and we don't take notice of baby steps forward. We only recognize the huge steps of progress made. There are many days when such progress can't be achieved and one can feel like an underachiever. At times it isn't that the bar is too low or too high but that we are so busy and lost in our thoughts. There is so much on our brains that we think it is a waste of time to reflect on anything.  I have said it myself to others that I don't have time to reflect.

If one takes a moment to let that statement penetrate the brain we understand the significance of that statement. What are we doing that is more important than thinking which is what reflection is all about. If we give up thinking we give up our humanity and become robotic.

There are days that appear to verify this belief. Reflecting makes a person come to understand what is more important to accomplish. The value of someone else's needs becomes prominent and altruism begins functioning. Can we jump to the point of understanding that this altruism is what makes a person consider another to the point of giving up their life if necessary for that person. That is mindfulness at it's best.

Many people falsely believe that they would probably act cowardly if in a position to choose. Nobody knows how they would react. Granny may be the person who leaps to the rescue for all we know. So many of us are not sure and we don't actually know nor have we tried to discover the real person inside of us. A real person is weak and strong. A real person makes mistakes but learns from them and attempt to do better. A real person sees the good in others and is not afraid to praise that good because it doesn't bring him down in any way by praising another. A real person makes the time for others when she doesn't have any time to give. All of these are forms of altruism. It is placing others before self  and it applies to family friends and strangers.

Perhaps if we witness and discover some good in us we will search to fix what is wrong without fearing it. As long as we refuse to face any blame in self, we continue making those same errors. If you want change then you must do things differently. If we want improvement we can't be afraid to face what we don't want to see or discover within ourselves. Those small areas of blame can be reworked only if we observe them and work on them.

I know I hide a lot and I am trying to change that. When there is a disagreement with someone I tend to review all the things I said and did that were correct in attempting to improve a problem. I view the other person's mistakes in what they did to make things worse. In the process, what I did to make things worse is ignored and what the other person might have done to make things better I overlook. Neither of us end up seeing eye to eye. I go away pretending I was right and they were wrong but in my heart I know the truth. Now the problem is covered a bit deeper so it will be tough to look at it and resolve it.

Now if one plays this game throughout their life you can appreciate why nobody makes amends or peace with siblings parents children mothers-in-law or daughter-in-law or friends. We just make connections to different people rather than face the issues. To self discover means you get the urge to transform yourself for the better regardless of what you will discover along your path. It is the ultimate path of discovering truth and transforming.

It isn't scary to look at the self and there is nothing to fear when one finds the real person with all of his faults and virtues. It makes life easier to live when you can let go of the worries and fears brought on with hiding and doubting who we are. We do have items to alter but we have so much hidden goodness that we never discover because it is covered up. Let yourself out and let the real you emerge.

"Anyone can love your looks but it's your heart and personality that makes someone stay with you." Anonymous

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." Aristotle

“It takes courage...to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” Marianne Williamson

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson (Invisible Man)

resentment"Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother." Kahlil Gibran

"Faith is to see what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. People hate the truth for the sake of whatever it is they love more than the truth. They love the truth when it shines warmly on them, and hate it when it rebukes them." Saint Augustine

"Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe." Voltaire

"The truth is like a lion, you don't have to defend it, it will defend itself." Anonymous

I used to actually have the belief that I did not doubt anyone. I pride myself at leaving my bag in a church bench when I go up to the alter at the front of the church. Wow I am a trusting person. Simple acts like that made me have faith in myself for being a trusting person. Now I have my doubts. I looked up doubt in the dictionary and found such definitions as hesitation. I am crushed already because I am a very cautious person unless there is an emergency. Reservations and misgivings appear to be almost natural for most of us. After all we all sense that there are a lot of people "OUT THERE" who will hurt us if they have the chance.

Many times we meet new people at work or through friends and we are uncertain about whether or not they are worth our knowing  or trusting. Unless they prove otherwise we keep a bit of a distance. The more I thought about it the more I realized that we do keep space between those we know well and those we have just met. We might pretend we trust others but deep down there are lines we draw if we are honest with ourselves. How about disbelief and suspicion? So many times the new person may be the one who is accused of taking something or doing something. Many times the one who was in err is the least one suspected. We all act surprised but persist in our reservations and misgivings of the stranger.

I know when our son or daughter comes home with the new boyfriend or girlfriend we question them in such a way as to draw out truth or anything hidden. That may not always work but it makes us feel better. We disapprove of anything that seems suspicious and we are skeptics if the truth was told. I remember parents who felt the television to see if it was warm which meant the kids were watching it. Other parents counted the cookies or checked on the amount of chips still in the bag before they went out for an evening. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Our skepticism is real yet we believe we are trusting individuals.

When it dawned on me that I was really a skeptic it bothered me. There are those that might differ and say it keeps people safe but does it really? If people want to deceive us for real, I believe they would be quite proficient at it and generally hurt or harm us. I suppose it is what we don't see coming that gets us. We perhaps spend so much time making sure of the honesty in others that we miss the ones who are distrustful and deceitful. It likely is the one who first gains our trust and then uses that trust to abuse us.  We don't see it coming.

Where I am going with this is that spending so much time preparing to keep our doubts under wraps is sometimes a waste of time. I know we should not venture out at night alone in a crime ridden area but fearing all people places and things leads us down a suspicious road. I know of some people who are afraid to hug a child because of the multitude of abuse that is on the news. All they want is to send their love yet others have made it impossible to be relaxed in such a situation.

Kids must distrust strangers no doubt but how sad that is. Are we not demonstrating trust within our own lives? Are we all so questionable that we have a belief that others are also questionable? I still melt it down to competition and winning. We keep some secrets hidden so that we can win and that is a distrustful person. I am not always sure what it is we win but so many people don't share their thoughts or ideas because of the competition they feel towards others. I don't see this as honest.

In a way we are secretive and not up front about things as  much as we think. If we hear of a good sale or a college that is giving out scholarships we may not let too many others know about it so that our own chances increase. If we had trust in God and the ways of how it should go perhaps we would be more honest, and take our chances about the way something will turn out. I have always found that things work out the way they were meant to and we can't really control it no matter how hard we try.

I remember one time when my husband lost a job and it appeared so bleak. He had worked so hard not to be the one cut. In the end he got a better job and was so much happier. We look back and are grateful he got cut. Being late for appointments, losing jobs, being chosen last or not being picked for a committee we had hope for are all common happenings in our daily lives. If we had more trust in the value of the occurrences whether wanted or not wanted, we might find our life is smoother and calmer than we ever believed. If we don't doubt we can be content with the results.

All our upsets cause us turmoil questions and doubts. Having faith and belief is a profound way of trusting that all is well and will turn out better than we sense at the moment. We can't control anything like we believe. Hiding or doubting won't make us winners or losers. Maybe our kid wasn't meant to go to a certain school or college. When we connect the dots we can see how this caused that and that made something happen. It only happens if we follow and trust in the outcomes.

Our son may refuse to go to college, and upset us and make us quarrel about it. One day he becomes the fireman he wanted to be and saves many lives. If he hadn't done that he would not have brought life and hope to so many people. I think adults must begin having faith and trust if we want to inspire it within our kids. I include myself because I was surprised to find how little I trusted when I thought I was endowed with so much faith.  Instead of competing, or knocking each other down, or attempting to best others with our knowledge money or power, perhaps it is time to pick each other up, offer the prize to someone who works hard without any praise or honors. Notice people who support the minds or bodies of others who are in dire need of help. Use  your power to aid others in any way you can.

Within our own environments there are so many occasions for us to help another. Sometimes it can be something as little as shutting our mouths and allowing another to voice an opinion. I am guilty of stepping in with unsolicited advice and usually am put in my place for overstepping my authority or knowledge. Of course if we have faith in one's honesty we would not judge byt simply accept the opinion quietly and of course do what we know to be correct.

The best support is that big smile that says I see you and notice you and you are worth acknowledging. So many of us are unseen, unnoticed and barely ever acknowledged. It makes a person afraid to speak. Now that is  not wise. I think that is why we hide, compete and distrust so much. We never have faith in us or our ability or worth. If we did we would not distrust so much. The honesty could develop and we would find more certainty rather than suspicion and doubt.  I I still want to keep my faith in humanity and in a deity who is driving the car while I sit in front of the wheel.

"Starting something new or making a big change requires effort persistence and motivation. Doubt fear and worry will only slow you down. Focus on doing your best now and celebrate every step of the way." Doe Zantamata

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

"I am thankful to all those who said no. It is because of them I did it myself." Albert Einstein

"Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will." Anonymous

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