Ida Lawrence, Contributor
What do you do when ‘always believe in yourself’ begins to crumble? Ask: What is it that you’re doubting. That seems to me, to be the question. There is a difference between believing in your beliefs, and believing in your Self, so let’s look at it.
After six decades, it seems that I still have an evolving belief system. The spiritual ideal holding that changing picture together would be a childhood wish for a clean heart and right spirit. I suspect that’s the case for a lot of us… remembering ourselves as children, we did have a desire to do right and feel clean inside… clean and free.
Little did we know what we were going to journey through, and how it would test us. We only knew that some things felt uncomfortable, and other things felt comfortable. Then there were pressures of fitting in, and pressures of the belief systems around us. Somehow we made it through to adulthood, with the clean heart/right spirit desire still there… hopefully not too dimmed by ‘reality’. At that point of adulthood, some of us would ask, “Who am I”.
Maybe we can consider this question the starting point of the individual. I didn’t get to it until the third decade of my life when I became what you’d call a spiritual seeker. I jumped into one book after another, and occasionally visited a group that purported to have answers. But eventually there was an end of the road and a profound knowing that I knew nothing. I read my last spiritual book… for a while.
Did I go the wrong way? No. Spiritual seeking is information gathering, and stopping seeking is perfectly fine. If you look and study and ask to know, and nobody has the answer you’re looking for, move on. Later on down the road the information you gained might be clarified by experience, and it’ll be just what you need.
What showed up in my life next, was doing. I found myself ‘called’ to service, and I don’t mean that a force in the sky called me. Something within me clicked, puzzle pieces came together, and I felt… this is my job.
And there was definitely a lot of doing to be done. In helping to address and understand the lingering effects of slavery and exploitation, I would be learning about what I had no way of knowing unless I went into it… another people’s story, their state of mind, their beliefs, their strength of heart, and their fight for a matrix-free life. So I dove in and learned a great deal about myself and this world and the power of the eternal spirit within the people.
A few days ago I talked to a dear friend who had done something similar: volunteered for a work that she believed in. After years of effort, the belief burned out and she walked away, realizing she would have to start below zero and rebuild her life. She felt regret that she had been so dedicated, and she asked me… didn’t I feel the same about the time and energy I had given?
I thought about it. There were things that had to be overcome, times when my family paid a price, but no, I didn’t feel any regret. At the bottom of my heart is gratitude. Sure, it would be nice if things were never hard and no one was ever hurt, but who’s to say where we would be without those years in the trenches? We deepened our knowledge of what is.
And the beautiful thing is that everything I learned in that work, fit with what I studied before, which fits with what we are all experiencing now… it’s an unfolding.
But still, her question led me to look inside and think about things. What am I doing when I serve. Who is it for… myself, or them, or something else.
My guess is that a lot of readers know what I’m talking about. Spiritual ideals and service do create conditions that we might call sacrifice… if we wish to. Or we could just call it life. When does a spiritual warrior ever say, “I want to live a life that asks nothing of me.” We don’t. We set out to learn and grow through experience, and we work to raise our energy so we can approach challenges more intuitively, with perception and skill, and a lot less ego and fear.
So, even though I’ve moved on from that specific calling, I’m simply on another leg of the same journey. There are hills and valleys, although I don’t think of them as so ‘hard’ anymore. To be honest, I see them as self-created for the most part.
Now back to the original question… what do you do when ‘always believe in yourself’ is shaken by doubt? Evaluate it truthfully. Are you believing in a belief system and not your Self? Is the ego playing a bigger role than you realized? Are you out of sync? Are you trying to control outcomes, and you need to let go? Is fear of others and their judgments and condemnations in there somewhere? Can you leave the intellect, go to the heart, and rely upon intuition?
We are living in an incredible time. As the global ego dies, it lashes out like a dragon in its death throes. People are crying out for help everywhere, the war is on, and the call to service and sacrifice is strong. What do we do and how do we respond? I would say listen for and surrender to the truth within. Answer prayers for help if you hear them in your heart, and you are able.
Belief systems may crumble, but your true Self is always there. Even if it takes a while, get to know who you really are and love the divinity within. This is where the spiritual ideals came from. You make your wish anew every day… just hang on to that love and believe in You.
About the Author
Ida Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has contributed to and edited two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Her latest book is entitled The Warrior’s Way to Heaven on Earth. Ida has also published a companion book of blog favorites from http://talk2momz.com/.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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