A Lack of Faith

Unfortunately I have no faith in a peaceful future.  Life is exhausting.  I fear that I will always be stressed out, poorly planned, thrown together, insecure, not good enough. Someone will always get sick, or get into a fight, or disappoint me.  Ah, disappointment, an inevitable part of life. In the past I tried desperately to please everyone–teachers, parents, significant others.  Something clicked one day and I realized it doesn’t really matter if you please someone or not, because there will always be the inevitable disappointment that you didn’t quite measure up.  I have no idea why I experience these feelings of hopelessness that don’t belong in the blessed life I live, with a husband who truly loves me for who I am, and a pair of gorgeous kids.  The hopelessness emerges from the fear that I will never feel any sense of true accomplishment, or that I actually did a good job with something.
How do I go about fixing this? A peaceful life eludes me. Therapy and pills have their limits.  “God” is not going to solve my problems because I am the only one who can solve my problems. There exists the possibility that I don’t have problems; that perhaps I create my own problems, my own crises, my own personal dramas. The silent yet menacing voice in my head never quiets, never stills, never allows me to rest; it lurks inaudibly, it pulses like a current beneath the surface of everyday. It’s the voice that silently points me towards the things I know will never grant me the solace I am perpetually seeking, who convinces me “it doesn’t matter anyway.”  I am spiritually starving; hungering for a sense of peace, a sense of purpose, a sense of knowing why this creature was brought into this world with such unlimited gifts for music and creativity, yet lacking the tools to bring herself to her fullest potential.
Fortunately that potential still exists. Potential never goes away; it simply hunkers down and rests inside, dormant, waiting for an opportunity to hone itself into what it was meant to be, brought into existence. Potential is the hunk of clay, unshaped and hideous to the ordinary eye. Potential is the block of marble, the raw diamond, the chaos of unorganized sound, the field of wheat. Within the limited confines of this decaying body, there lies potential still untapped, forces of life energy that are stopped up by the black tar of unexorcised demons. There is anger; so much anger. From where? From what? There was a time I was driving towards the bookstore in search of the right words to push me out of rage, when the realization came to me that this was not my anger I carried, but someone else’s. I did not own it; it came from outside of me, and whoever unknowingly handed it over to me was as blameless as I was.  In that moment I was given the knowledge that I needed to let go of that anger, to release it back into the void from whence it came, instead of continuing the cycle and handing it over to another innocent soul.
Humans are born to help and serve one another. When I consciously assume the mindset of a servant, I am immediately more peaceful. Teachers are servants; subconsciously I chose the profession of teacher because I possess the ability to help others along their life’s journey.  When faced with a challenging student, I must ask myself the question “How can I help this person?” and the answer almost always follows. I must now ask the same question of myself, the most difficult student I have ever taught. Instinctively I know what must be done, for the tools are already there. They are simply rusty from being carelessly left outside in the rain, like my garden shears that somehow always wind up half-buried in the dirt.  There exists a tiny kernel of hope; I try to cling to it, talk myself into taking the next tiny, heavy step.  Forward.  There is no other option.

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One thought on “A Lack of Faith

  1. Beth Jarvis says:

    “potential is the hunk of clay, unshaped and hideous to the ordinary eye.” –well put. I identify very much with what you are saying in this post. Blessings on your journey.

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