Thursday, October 18, 2012

Trust first, then faith. That is my recipe.



I like the idea of trust as a noun, as in the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for instance. Used as a noun, the word is solid, a foundation. The earthy sense of trust, when used as a noun, resonates for me.

Trust seems, when I can access it personally, to be an inactive state, a base level confidence in my ability to see clearly, a foundational assumption that when push comes to shove (as it does in every human lifetime), I will figure out how to get through it. Trust is intimately connected to intuition. I pay attention as much as I can, I practice sensing the subtle energies. Of course I make mistakes when interpreting what I notice, but I trust that even in those circumstances, I will eventually see I've gone offtrack and will be capable of bringing myself back to center. Trust for me is not about perfect behavior, perfect thinking, it's about knowing that when I fall down, I can get back up. 

Trust reduces the need for the fantasy of control. We do have control over a few things, not much though. Trust, for me, instills a sense that I have the capacity to make good decisions about the things I can control, and the ability to release the urge to micromanage other people, situations, the weather, who wins the presidential election. Trust, in the Reyaverse, is four cornered, extremely stable, dependable. 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

To me, the above is the essence of trust. 


Faith, on the other hand, though the word is definitely a noun, feels more verb-like to me. Faith is something we engage with. We take a leap, or fly high, inevitably crash and burn. We have crises of faith and struggles aplenty. This is the faithful lifestyle, never boring and definitely not four cornered.

To engage with faith I must be sincerely willing to be vulnerable, revealed, doubtful, confused and yet still leap, sometimes tragically, sometimes squarely, sometimes in such a clumsy way. We, the faithful, leap even when it is unpleasant or embarrassing. It's how we roll.

The blindly faithful must leap and struggle, too, but they aren't well seated in the four cornered stability of trust. Maybe that's why they're always so afraid, hardened, embittered and blameful. I would be. But I can only guess as I am not blindly faithful to anything - really, to anything.

Here, a snip from a Mary Oliver poem (complete poem here) that describes perfectly my experience of faith:

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled --
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing --
that the light is everything -- that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading.  And I do.

Me, too!

Shalom.

2 comments:

Kerry said...

Your pics are amazing illustrations for what you say. And that poem is one of my very favorites in the whole wide world.

Reya Mellicker said...

Which one?