So, what about faith?
This won't be pretty, believers.
This article may come as a disappointment to many that find it via search engine. I'm sorry. I'm sorry if the ideas that I'm going to present to you are out of your reach. There is only one type of faith that can heal (sorry, Hindus). If someone asks God "what do I do?, where do I turn, how will I handle this?" then they are already setting themselves up for failure. Leaning on some mythical creature in order to gain strength...well, just isn't strength.
It seems everyone's always talking about "my faith in God brought me through this tough time", or something of that nature. Really? Let me be the first to jump up and ask "are you friggin kidding me?"
In 2005 I suffered a serious injury. This injury and the complications that followed changed my life forever. They changed me physically, mentally, and to some extent, emotionally. Without going into too much detail about the exact nature of these injuries, at the time I'd left the hospital they left me completely unable to do 90% of the things I was passionate about. When I speak of passion, think of this as an obsessive love of sorts. They were all things that I'd become accomplished in by working very hard.
When I say "unable" I mean just that. I eventually took on every challenge that I'd posed to myself over my lifetime of diligence.
Here's what kills me. After many long months of hard work, on many occasions, when I'd speak to people whom I didn't know, they would say "thank God you're okay now". Thank God, really? Oh, then let me thank God for the chain of events that led to my condition. Seems fair, doesn't it?
Nope. I put myself in a position to be injured- and while the complications that arose afterword were completely out of my control as I lay in a coma, they would not have been set into motion had I not made some poor decisions first.
Thank ME! I thank me for having the fortitude to press on and regain some of the things that made me happy- things that I truly love. I could have laid there and done nothing- laid there and prayed that I would have the strength to go on- prayed for God to help me or release me from the pain and cure my disabilities. I didn't. I took action and aggressively pursued my passions once again. I did have the support of my close friends, my family, as well as "onlookers" who saw me trying. This article is a product of one such friend's faith in me.
Another friend and mentor has been instrumental in my "recovery", too. All of the people whom I feel are important to me have helped in some way, But, Joe, and you too, Louis- you two have had the more faith in me than I thought I'd deserved. I do this for me, but the thought of disappointing you two still looms over me. This drives me, too! "You have to do it for you" is a profound statement, but not an all-encompassing mindset.
Things that change our lives for the worse are very hard to understand. The one question that NEVER need be asked is "WHY?". It doesn't matter why something happens (to a very small extent, it may). The question is "WHAT?" What am I going to do about this? My answer was "I'm going to beat this". Now, I had (and still have) many, many obstacles to overcome. I didn't focus on one 'til I was happy with the result. I'm never happy (totally satisfied) with a result- and where passions are concerned, there is no result- because there can never be an end-point to a passion. Passion is infinite!
Here's what I did. I compartmentalized. I would work hard on a single task for as long as I could, but this was on a per day basis. I would work on another task later that day, or intermingle frames of time throughout the day. If I have three school projects, all of which are extremely complicated, but none have a due date (this is hypothetical- go with it), then provided I put my best effort into each one, I will receive my BEST grade- not just a passing grade. Passing grades are for those who seek to only achieve the status quo. Those people would have crumbled under the weight of my situation.
I'm starting to sound pretty vain at this point, aren't I? Well, look again. Vanity is repulsive! The vain among us really end up resting on their laurels, rather than slamming tasks head on and pushing forward.
Vane persons do not welcome criticism! I welcome criticism in every aspect of my life. Someone else may find fault in something that I may never imagine. Even if I'd realized that fault, someone's critique may put my shortcoming into clear view.
I'm sure I don't sound spiritual, either. Well, let me put it this way. Your ghosts and goblins don't make my spirituality. I do not believe in God, but my spirit is there. Spirit doesn't mean religion! Phrases like "it's in the spirit of the game" clearly show what spirit I speak of. While I believe my spirit is gone once I'm finished drawing my last breath, it lives on in my and helps make me what I am today!
Is anger bad? I say "not completely". I'm pissed as Hell about what's happened to me. I direct that utter rage forward, against my targets. Anger is one of the most energy packed emotions there is. Combine that energy with the strength of love and great things can happen.
Anger used constructively is good. When anger festers, it can be one of the most destructive forces there is. Anger as energy= power! Anger+ self pity, doubt or weakness= destruction. Anger is the mitochondria of my spirit's cells. It's the power plant- a nuclear reactor whose half life never appears.
Think about how strong you felt the last time you were enraged... Think about how focusing that spear head into the heart of your woes can help. Just think... never stop thinking- never take your eyes off of your goals. Nothing can stop you- nothing but death.