Friday, April 19, 2013

True Faith and the Power of the Mind

It's easy to say that we have faith when everything seems to be going our way. Even when we hit a few rough patches, its still pretty easy to SAY that we have faith. But there is a very big difference between SAYING that we have faith and actually having it. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me to "keep the faith" or to "think positive", I surely wouldn't be contemplating a disability application right now! But the truth is, I do have faith. I don't just say it. It's not just a mantra that I repeat to myself to calm down, or to make a dismal situation seem a bit less dismal.

This is something that I have been pondering for quite some time now (this is what happens when you have hours and hours of time to get lost in your own head!). I've been the recipient of so many pep talks and "stay positive" speeches that I can actually recite word for word in my mind exactly what these people are going to say before they say it. Now I'm not being a jerk here, I love and appreciate the people who support me and have good intentions with kind words. I also know how awkward people feel around sickness, unless they are dealing with a sickness themselves. They don't know what to say, but they feel that they have to say something. Sometimes just to make themselves feel less guilty about not knowing how to behave around the sick. But each time I get the "have faith" pep talk, I wonder if the person giving it to me truly has faith themselves? How would they feel, think, and act if they were in my shoes, and not as an outsider looking in?

It's true, having daily faith is very important. It's important to think positive and to hope for the best. But it's more important to KNOW that things are going to get better, whether you say it or not. It's hard to's just something that you feel inside. I didn't always have faith. When my body began to seriously rebel against me, it was damn hard to believe that it was going to get better. It was hard to stay strong and not crumble when I felt like I was in the pit of hell. I looked for any way out of it that I possibly could find. I grasped at straws out of desperation, never believing in myself and my own spirit to see me through. I walked around telling people that I had faith but in reality when the going got tough true faith was nowhere to be found.

Do you have faith? Really and truly? Faith doesn't necessarily have to be about religion. True, I am Christian and I do believe in God and Jesus, but I also have faith in my own spirit, and in the purity of nature. Every day I think about my faith, and every day is a challenge to some degree. But, the real tests only happen ever so often, and it is during these times that I must put my money where my mouth is.

The day before yesterday, I went into anaphylaxis (severe and sometimes life threatening allergic reaction) after experimenting with a new spice. I'm not going to lie, the sheer terror of it all is indescribable, and its not something that I would ever recommend experiencing! Worst of all, this happened when I was out in public by myself. Was I going to have faith, or was I going to succumb? I got into my car and prayed, asking for guidance and safety to get me home. To be honest I don't even remember much of the ride home, I just know that I got there. When I got home and felt my reaction becoming more intense, my first instincts were to down the entire bottle of Benadryl, and if that didn't work to call 911. But something inside me told me to just sit down for a minute. At this point, my throat had swelled and my chest was tight. I closed my eyes and focused on breathing. The waves of adrenaline pummeled my body. My face felt hot yet the rest of my body was freezing cold. As hard as it was, I had faith. I had faith that I would get through this, and that my mind was more powerful than this physical reaction. I meditated hard, catapulting myself to another world away from the fear and violence.

After 2 hours, the worst had passed and I was left feeling like a rag doll. Even though my body felt weak and worn, my mind felt intensely stronger. I gave myself a big hug. I had made it. I got through it with faith and not with physical medicine but with mind medicine. I once again proved to myself that my faith is real and true, just like I did all those months ago when I threw out the "matter of life or death" Florinef prescription.

I believe that this was a big turning point in my healing. I believe that my body just got a little stronger, and I feel even more in tune with myself than ever before. The mind should never be underestimated! Its so much more powerful than we give it credit for. There are monks who can stop and start their hearts at will, just using their minds..who says that we can't do amazing things like that with our minds too?!

Now I'm not advising anyone to throw out their medication, or to not seek medical help if they really feel they need it! What I'm saying is that we should all stop and re-examine our faith, no matter what kind of obstacles we're dealing with. Do you really have it, or are you just saying it? Know the difference. Grow your faith...because it will be the difference between coping and healing. God Bless and Namaste :)

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