Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. – John Wooden
At some point or another, we’ve all said the phrase, “keep the faith.” We say it to encourage a loved one who needs hope. We tell it to ourselves to help get through a rough patch. And when we say it, we mean it. We know that faith is powerful—sometimes life-altering-feeling.
But what if we are keeping faith in all the wrong things?
I’ve come to realize there is such a thing as negative faith. Instead of believing that the best is going to happen, we believe that the worst is heading our way. Holding our breath, we wait for the next bumps of bad luck. We anticipate that even when something is working in our favor, it won’t last long. We worry—and then worry some more—about things that may never come to fruition.
In this version of reality, tragedy, trauma, deceit and despair are always a phone call or text away.
Yes, it’s true. Hard things do happen in life. Sometimes there can even be a domino effect of heartache after heartache, tears upon tears. We lose love or loved ones. We don’t get the job we want or we feel stuck in place, unable to see what’s next.
The problem isn’t in recognizing the negative things that occur. The trouble arises when we begin to believe and trust in them. The danger is when we convince ourselves that these situations have a hold over us!
We start to believe we are cursed or walking around with a perpetual storm cloud. We have faith—faith that nothing good can ever happen to us. This can cause us to become closed up and withdrawn.We want to protect ourselves from potential hurt, rejection or disappointment. Enjoying life and living in the moment seems pointless—since all we can see is the negativity looming nearby.
It’s a vicious cycle that appears out of our control. It feels like we are the pawns or victims of a game we are not actively participating in.
Here’s the thing. Keeping faith in the negative can feel safe and comfortable. After all, we never have to worry we can’t handle what comes our way because we were already imagining, anticipating and preparing for it.
That’s what we believe, anyway.
But having negative faith does something soul-shrinking. It chips away bit by tiny bit, on an essential part of our being. Hope. Without hope, the good in our world is drowned out.
This makes us miss out on all the wonderful things that are happening too. We can’t enjoy them as much when everything is tainted in a negative glow. Keeping faith in the negative can also block anything positive from entering our lives—at least for a lasting time.
We can’t welcome new memories, people, and opportunities when our hands and minds are already full of fears and worries. There’s simply no room!
We can do something about it, though. We can slowly let go of the negative beliefs we carry and change our mindset to a more positive one.
It all begins in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you. – Unknown
Thoughts are a powerful force. Each morning we wake up with a thought. Those words become the soundtrack for our day. These thoughts become the beliefs that can make or break our days. Eventually, the days connect together and turn into weeks, months and years.
Those years become our lives.
Changing a negative thought to a more optimistic one may not fix all your problems, but it might just put you on a more positive path for that moment.
If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves. – Maria Edgeworth
It’s not easy to always be optimistic or constantly radiate rays of sunshine. In fact, it can be hard and exhausting work.
But it can be worth it.
If we vow to make a conscious effort to be less focused on the gloom and doom, we might find that things look a bit brighter, feel a little lighter.
And what happens next is magical. We may start to believe they actually are.
Trying anything new always feels difficult at first. It’s challenging to break old patterns and belief systems, but eventually, it becomes easier. Eventually, it won’t feel like you are trying. One day you will wake up and realize that it’s become more natural and innate.
It becomes a part of who you are.
Make the choice to invest in positive faith, even when things are difficult—especially then.
Have faith things are transpiring exactly as they should, in their divine time. Trust that there is no curse targeting you and no storm cloud destined to darken all your days. While you may not be able to control everything going around you, you can control your thoughts.
Trust it because it’s true.