“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”              – Martin Luther King,

George Michael sings in one of his songs: “You gotta have faith.” Faith is believing even when you do not know the outcomes. Faith requires existential courage. Faith requires the would-be believer to suspend their inner-most assumptions and believe in a higher power or the universe that things are going to work out. Faith is not only our religious or spiritual beliefs. It is the belief in everyday life when we simply do not know or understand how things are going to pan out.

I, like most of us, try to have faith. Most of the time it is really hard. We crave certainty in our lives. We want to know how things are going to turn out. We do nor like the insecurity of not confidently knowing the outcome of something. For me, faith is intimately linked to praying. I pray to try to ask God for the outcomes that I desire. Praying to God is setting an intention. It is my hope that by thinking it or speaking it aloud it will help to manifest what I desire. This is the essence of faith. This is asking for the universe to provide and asking God to provide and not knowing if They will.

Doubting is almost inevitable. Maybe there are some that have absolute faith, but my guess is that they are few and far between. Most of us have constant doubts, even as we try to hang onto our faith because what else are we to do? Faith, though difficult to hold on to, is an essential part of the human experience, like hope, happiness and sadness. We are tested again and again to hold onto faith in the most adverse of circumstances. As we face adversity we may have very little hope. We may think: How could God allow this to happen? Why would She make us endure so much misery and devastation?

Why bad things happen to good people is one of the world’s great mysteries and I certainly am not going to attempt to answer it here. But I will say that if we do not have faith, we lose out even more. If we have faith, we may not get everything we want, but we set our spiritual intentions for the restoration of what we have and also the dream for what we desire,

Gandhi said: “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” I have been so hurt by human beings. So often I feel like my life is not valued or valuable. I become cynical and say “I hate people.” But the truth of course is that I don’t hate all people and in fact I need people. We can’t let a few rotten apples spoil the whole bunch.When people mistreat us we need to take action to make them stop. We may need to sever our relationship. And we need to have faith that we will be okay without them and wish them well even though they have hurt us so that WE can move on. Forgiveness is for us not the object of our derision.

In conclusion, faith is a huge topic. You could write a whole book about it. But what I want to stress here is that it is a journey and we are going to mess up. It is not a perfect process but it is definitely worth the effort. Faith is the glue that holds our lives together. We would shatter into a thousand little pieces were it not for faith. So: you gotta have faith; we gotta have faith. It’s worth the effort.