What to Do When You Don’t Have Faith

 

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

– Voltaire

It happens. Sometimes, we just lose faith. Life experiences, our own or that of people closest to us have an impact on our faith. I am not talking about religious faith – I am just talking about having faith in whatever you usually believe in, or want to believe in. For some people, it could be a belief in God, that things are meant to be a certain way, or that God knows best. For others, it could be faith in life, in the universe, and that everything will work out eventually.

We need faith to keep going. We need faith to make us get up when we fall down, because we need to feel, we need to believe that there is a reason for getting up. 

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do will sink and drown. Instead you relax and float.

Alan Watts

Yet, when we first learn to swim, we struggle and flounder. Some people never get over the fear of drowning, and never learn to swim. Because they can’t find that faith within themselves.

What if you are at a place in life where you just don’t have faith?

It could be a lack of faith in life, in love, in your abilities, or even in humanity as a whole. What then? What do you need to do so that you don’t wake up everyday, faithless and depressed, wondering why you should get out of bed at all? 

Faith can’t be forced. Faith is about having a belief in something that you may not see, or hear, and have no logical certainty of its existence. Sometimes, it is difficult not to question.

John Bunyan, the writer of Pilgrim’s Progress and Grace Abounding, and a famous Protestant dissenter of the 18th Century, wrote Grace Abounding as his memoir of conversion (conversion from someone who questioned the existence of God and religion, to someone who believed). But the interesting thing about Grace Abounding is that it is not your typical, “I found the light and now everything is wonderful” kind of memoir. Even after Bunyan found faith in religion, he continued throughout his life to question it. His faith kept wavering, as questions of “What if” kept appearing. 

That “What if” can keep showing up in non-religious aspects of life too. 

Do some of these doubts seem familiar?

What if I never succeed in my chosen career?

What if I never find the right person to love and be loved?

What if I am a failure?

What if I fail at parenting?

What if I fail my friends?

What if I go through life, not having a clue about what I want?

What if I die, full of regrets? 

When we lose faith, life can be full of these “What ifs”. 

Working on having faith is an important thing, and you do need to do that. But what to do in the meantime?

HAVE HOPE! 

When you are lacking faith, that absolute belief in things, then have hope. 

Hope is a waking dream.

– Aristotle

Keep dreaming with your eyes open. You don’t need to have faith to dream. You just need to dream, fantasise, muse. Dream that dream. Keep imagining the life you want. Just hope. Keep sending those positive wishes out in the world, and hope that whatever’s out there – God(s), the Universe, or just a random connection of stars – is listening. 

Just hope. 

 

 ACTION  YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:

Journal about your current level of faith, or lack of it. In what areas of your life, are you doubting your faith? What hope can you provide yourself? 

 

 

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