Faith is a Formless Thing

My faith is like a small bouncing ball out of a vending machine. It bounces up and down and then I have to chase after it. And now that I just wrote those two sentences I have a further realization that perhaps that’s not faith after all because if I had it wouldn’t it be more static? And I certainly wouldn’t have to chase it down.

I see people all around me in support groups that have strong faith. They don’t lose sleep over whether they will have the wolf at their door kicking them to the street. Nor do they worry about losing a job, or becoming too ill to work. They have faith that their Higher Power has a plan for them.

For me, I’ve had too many bad things happen that I feel like I always have to ready for the next bit of bad. Faith feels scary to me, like I’m giving up the 24 hour watch, like I will miss something big.

I don’t know what else to say about this. The subject stumps me completely. Full stop. I know nothing. I only know that having it will likely bring me more inner peace because people that seem to have it appear that way.

About a year ago a good friend made a suggestion that worked for him. He suggested that I choose a person to trust. He said that as I start to trust this person more with sharing things about me it will be easier to contemplate having faith in a Higher Power. I’ve done that, found someone to trust. However, I’ve not experienced having that trust rollover into full-on faith in a Higher Power. My faith is intermittent, like bad wifi in a cafe. For now, that will have to be enough. I can’t eke out what isn’t there.

a grey hoodie and black yoga pants

It is entirely possible to wear a grey hoodie and black yoga pants too many days of the week. Initially, one might not think this is possible. But, after three and a half weeks of not working, such attire has become a uniform of sorts. And uniforms inevitably start to have an unfun feeling to them. The grey hoodie and black yoga pants have become the uniform of absenteeism, illness, and feeling down and out. The grey hoodie and black yoga pants have gone from fun after work/weekend lounge clothes to a uniform I no longer want. I now find myself at a loss when I arrive home in the evening as I am already in my “evening lounge clothes.”

My weekly laundry is now down to one easy load full of yoga pants, t-shirts, and other related exercise and lounge wear along with the usual socks and underwear. Yesterday I had an appointment that required “real clothes” and I had to unearth my favorite black and blue Ralph Lauren dress with a long black flowy jacket. I put on the dress and jacket with the pearl necklace my sister gave me for my birthday years ago, black pantyhose and long black boots. It’s amazing what clothes do to the spirit. Just putting on this outfit restored some of my sense of usefulness.

Shiny orange running shorts and a print t-shirt, soft from repeated washings, with a chihuahua dog on the front that states, “No more stinkin’ tacos!” make up the new evening lounge wear. Given that the temperature outside has started to plummet, there is little chance that this getup can become the new uniform of being down and out.

Just do it, one tiny step at a time.

You made breakfast at home on a Saturday. You can’t recall the last time you’ve done that.

Short-lived success. Now you feel the cloudy swaths of dissociation floating around you.

But, somehow, the floatiness passes. It actually passes without you having to leave the house. This has never happened in the past. You’ve always had to leave for it pass.

And so you heated up soup for lunch, watched tv, and took a peaceful nap.

You woke up, and drafted a poem. Then you made french toast for dinner. The enormity of what has happened has not escaped you. You cooked three meals in your apartment in one day, three meals! You feel like you should be doing a victory lap of sorts.

You realize that it’s the small victories that are actually the large victories in this journey.