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Complementary Corner

Faith

Renee Lehman

(12/2015) Last monthís article dealt with how the world can distract us with fear, anger, hostility, and anguish; yet it is our job to quiet our fearful mind and listen to what our Heart is saying about loving. We must remember to always send ourselves a positive message and keep our Heart clear and loving. The possibilities are endless when we come from a place of unconditional love.

Then recently there have been multiple terrorist attacks. How, you may say, can you keep your Heart open to love? How can you have hope for the future and positive possibilities? By having FAITH! Faith in something bigger than yourself, and that there is a spiritual purpose for all things.

First, letís differentiate between belief and faith. Merriam-Websterís dictionary defines Belief as a conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence. Whereas, Faith is defined as a firm belief in something for which there is no proof or complete trust.

To further differentiate belief from faith, belief is a product of our mind. Our beliefs are usually deeply rooted in our culture and upbringing. Our beliefs can also be narrowly focused, based on our life experiences. And a belief, just because it has been handed down to us from our elders, is not necessarily true even though we think it is. Or more noticeably, a belief is not necessarily the only truth.

Changing our minds means changing at least some aspect of our beliefs. As Rea Nolan Martin stated in an article about Belief and Faith, "Beliefs are a product of the mind, but faith is not. Faith is a product of the spirit. The mind interferes in the process of faith more than it contributes to it. To have faith in the worst of times will no doubt require us to silence, or at least quiet, the mind. Faith is what happens when our beliefs run aground. The spirit can be buoyed by our beliefs, but can also be brought down by them when they prove inadequate, as they most certainly will at some point in the journey. Even the beliefs humans have held most closely have come and gone over the course of a lifetime or a millennium. Think of Galileo."

So, beliefs come and go. Faith does not. Faith is a way of being. Faith is similar to love in that it is an act. It involves trusting something unseen, and trusting beyond all rational reason. It is best achieved when you are actively demonstrating it. Historically, we humans have been given many opportunities to demonstrate our faith!

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, belief is a product of the rational Mind. The rational Mind has desires and intentions. It creates thoughts (through your beliefs) which create emotions. Faith is a product of our intuitive Mind. The intuitive Mind is meant to be our primary source for guidance. Faith is our path to the Heavens and to the Universe! What do I mean by this?

In a TCM perspective, at the highest level (spiritual level), everything happens for a reason. Secondly, everything is for good. We are all born children of the Universe. We were born into todayís society, not hundreds of years ago. Inside each one of us is the strength to handle everything that comes into our lives. The secret to living fully and fearlessly in our society is FAITH! Each of us must have faith that we are children of the Universe and that we have the ability to handle anything!

For example, I think that farmers exhibit great amounts of faith. They plant a seed, and have faith that there will be enough rain, sun, and warmth for the crop to grow so that they can sell it to provide a living for their families. Could you, would you, have the faith it takes to be a farmer?

When we are in the middle of a life crisis, it is impossible to KNOW with our rational Mind what God and/or Universe is really asking of us. The truth is, our rational Mind doesnít have to know! It doesnít matter. Our intuitive Mind, which is where faith comes from, will help us to stay open and teachable. Faith is an act of accepting "not-knowing." As Rea Nolan Martin once said, "Knowing does not create faith. Unknowing does."

So, when it comes to recent life events, evaluate your beliefs. What are these beliefs based upon? Are they really true? Is it possible to change the angle from which you are viewing these events? Can you attach no positive or negative meaning to this event? Have Faith that whatever is happening has a purpose. Keep fear out by allowing Faith to fill in the cracks of your understanding of the situation. Remember that Faith is an act of accepting that you do not "KNOW" the purpose of the situation. In time, the purpose will be made clear. It may not be in your lifetime, but have Faith that at some point in time, the situation will be clearly understood.

Finally, with regard to recent events, as Susan L. Taylor said, "Seeds of faith are always within us; sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish and encourage their growth." Also, as Mahatma Gandhi stated, "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."

More quotes about faith:

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
- Martin Luther King

"Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking." - Khalil Gibran

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

"Faith Is Seeing Light With Your Heart When All Your Eyes See Is Darkness." - Unknown

Renee Lehman is a licensed acupuncturist and physical therapist with over 25 years of health care experience. Her office is located at 249B York Street in Gettysburg. She can be reached at 717-752-5728.

Read other article on well being by Renee Lehman