Tag Archives: Spiritual

F is for……Faith or Belief?

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Do I have a Faith or a Belief?  Do I follow a Belief or a Faith?  Is it a Belief system or a Faith in?

To be honest, these questions have come up for me while working on myself over the past few years.  I feel I have grown so much recently that there just can’t be anymore to room to grow….but I constantly find there always is.  Many of my Self-Discovery/Motivational books I read talk about Faith and Belief.  Having belief in yourself enough to make things happen, and having faith that what you Will into your life will appear.

I’ll be honest though, these two words escape me much of the time.  They are very difficult for me to discern, separate.  By definition, they are SO VERY SIMILAR that I tend to want to use them interchangeably.  But they are different words, aren’t they?, with different meanings, huh?  Why else would they have two separate entries….right?

(from Webster’s dictionary online)

Definition of FAITH

1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty

   b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions

2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

   b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust

3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs       <the Protestant faith>

on faith

   : without question <took everything he said on faith>

Definition of BELIEF

: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing

: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group

3 :  conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially    when based on examination of evidence

The more I struggle with the meanings and the differences in them, the more I realize you cannot have one without the other.  In my understanding of the two, you cannot have Faith without Belief.  Nowhere in the definition of Belief is there a need of Faith, but in the definition of Faith you must already hold a Belief.

 

Religiously speaking, belief would be the unwavering “trust”, infallible “knowing” that God/Spirit is there and will always be there; the state of mind that makes God/Spirit real to you.  But faith is the loyalty you have to God/Spirit even when you cannot hear them, see them, touch them, or even feel them.  Faith is the conviction you have that no matter the circumstances, you will always stand your ground.

I think it was very well explained on this blog I visited:

“What is belief? It is a principle, proposition, idea that is accepted as true; opinion, conviction; religious faith; trust or confidence. What is faith? It is the confident assurance in the character and nature of God; a strong or unshakeable belief in something, without proof or evidence.”……..“My faith says that God is good no matter the outcome of my situation. I believe that God can save the day. I believe that He can work miracles. My faith says that whether or not I follow Him will not be dependent on things working out to my benefit. It says that I will follow Him no matter what.”

It takes a belief to hold faith.

Belief in yourself is just as important; before you can have faith in yourself and always hold true to you…you must have a strong belief in who you are.

Once you are convinced or have conviction of who you are, then you can build the faith needed to always be your best friend and get out of your own way when it comes to building your dream life.  The hardest part of this all is finding the CORRECT beliefs about you.  It’s not an easy task…I know.  I’m not writing out my ass here, I’ve been there, I’ve walked it and I’m walking it still.  Believing in yourself actually is a very easy task; but it is the positive constructive, supportive beliefs that are so difficult to dig out and hold on to.  When you have the negative belief structure of who you are, you will always have faith in yourself to do no better than be the negative person you have grown to believe in.  Once positive and loving beliefs are put in place, then no matter how bad of a day you are having or how shitty things are in you life, you will always remain faithful in the fact that you are a gloriously wonderful person.

I chose this topic because faith is not just about religion or spirituality.  Faith is about you and the love you have for you. Just as the blogger stated …..“My faith says that God is good no matter the outcome of my situation.”, your faith should say that you are good no matter the outcome of your situation.

Learn to hold a great value and belief in you, the same you hold for your deity/ies; and so have faith in your inherent good and beauty just as you have faith in your God/s, or else you would not follow them so lovingly and loyally.

Bibliography;

nhamil75, blogcritic.org, Faith vs Belief,  http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/faith-vs-belief/

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belief

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faith

 

A is for….. Awakenings

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Awakening. What is an Awakening? Is it hard to do? Is it painful? Is it natural?

I would say yes and no to all of the above questions. (from here on out, please note that ALL within this entry is MY OPINION or MY INTERPRETATION this way I don’t have to continually say “my definition” or “my understanding”) My definition of an Awakening is when you have a sudden moment of realization. That immediate A-HA moment when all in the world makes sense; when you understand the workings of the Universe on a more intimate level and internally feel the connection between Us all. It’s that moment when you have reached a different level of consciousness, a level and place where you cannot turn back from. To me, that is an awakening.

Now, I also believe you can have many awakenings throughout your lifetime. A Spiritual Awakening is not quite the same as a Spiritual Enlightenment. An Enlightenment is when one has reached that level of “all knowing” and need not reach any further levels of Awakenings. An Enlightened One would be Buddah-esque in nature; having reached the highest level of enlightenment they can achieve. ALTHOUGH, I do not believe everyone has the same level of enlightenment, nor the same level of Awakenings. I believe that is all based on the energetic capacity that their spiritual self, their Higher Self has been matured too, or can handle. That will be for another discussion. Back to Awakenings….

For any one individual to reach their personal level of enlightenment, they must go through any number of Awakenings. These awakenings can be brought on by just about any action or experience that jolts their internal balance. Some of these Awakenings are like a slap in the face causing such a traumatic rush that they really don’t understand what happened. This could happen by near death experiences, seeing someone else have a near death experience, being a victim of some violent crime (pick one and insert here); but they don’t necessarily need to be harsh and negative. Watching the birth of a child, of any living creature can indeed cause such a reaction in the Self, experiencing a great amount of joy, or as simple as accomplishing some feat you never thought possible THEN being recognized for it. But this way of Awakening, unfortunately, does not always last.

When you are “thrown/pushed” into an awakening, your results are highly unlikely to last because you have not been trained (you as in your Higher Self) in how to maintain this level of awareness. I would like to compare it to Body Building or just plain ol’ weight training. I always heard that the brain/mind is just like any other “muscle” in your body. The more you work out, the stronger it gets; but leave it idle and it will become flabby. Just like a body builder must continue to work out daily to maintain their physique, so does a Spirit Builder need to work out daily to maintain their level of awareness. NOW, I’m not saying that once you reach a certain level and stop using it then it will disappear; no. Again, to the body builders. Even if they do not work out, they will maintain their level of muscle mass, only it will become weaker, softer, less cut and distinct. Their muscles don’t just vanish, but they can become less useful unless they keep them maintained. The conscious and mind is the same when you are talking about Awakenings. If you want to remain in the level of awareness you reached, or better yet, wish to progress; then workouts are a must. Visualizations, meditations, readings, writing, physical activities that will produce the results you are looking for are the kind of workouts that a Spirit Builder will need to be in practice of.

All in all, awakenings can be very difficult to achieve, or they can be dropped in your lap. They can be very painful mentally, emotionally and spiritually; but they can also be very energizing and peaceful. Organic in nature, yes awakenings are completely natural…..they may be induced by outside inhibitors, but even those in some way or another are natural.

If you wish to reach different levels of awakenings, or experience one period, I suggest you do some soul searching. I suggest you work hard at learning to navigate your inner You with what I listed earlier; meditations, visualizations, readings, writing, physical activities (such as yoga, tai-chi etc.). Whether you ever truly reach one or not, you will be working to raise your personal energetic level above the mundane one that holds you captive to this world; you will be developing a newer and better you; and you will definitely be changing your consciousness to be much more open to newer higher energies.