Living in Faith

20150524_200928_LLSIndependently of our beliefs, all major religions emphasize the importance of having faith. A lot has been said about faith: it moves mountains, it’s about believing without seeing, he who possesses it is never alone. However, many of these phrases become in many people’s lives, a simple cliche we repeat when we do not know what to say. Because one thing is speaking about faith, and a very different one living in faith.

In countless occasions, I have questioned myself as to why do we live in such a constant dissonance with this concept. For example, it is very common to hear people who claim they believe in eternal life, confess their fear of death. It is very hard for me to negotiate this paradox, since if you loyally believe there is eternal life on the other side of the bridge, why then be afraid to cross it? Just like this one, we see many other examples in our day to day lives. It has always troubled me how those who portray themselves as the most devoted to their faith, are usually the first to totally lose their cool in a moment of crisis. Well, faith is not only about putting your situations in the hands of that superior being, it’s also about taking it as a matter of fact that the situation is already resolved in the best way for all involved, in harmony with divine order, and above all TO GIVE THANKS as if it already happened. That is how you demonstrate your faith. Because if you ask fearing you won’t be listened to, if you ask with shame, thinking you do not deserve the help you request, or if you feel your situations are a punishment, then do not expect a miracle.

Faith is not only to be verbalized, faith is to be demonstrated with your acts. With acts as “absurd” as the apostles following Jesus, who abandoned everything: their instruments to earn a living (meaning their fishing boats), their families, their homes, and they went following a man who sold them an ideal. I use this Christian faith example for it is the group I know the best. Imagine, my Christian friend, Jesus appears to you today and tells you: “I will teach you all the secrets of salvation and eternal life, but I need you to trust me, believe you will lack nothing, and to abandon your apartment with a beach view, your job at that private company that offers you health care benefits, a retirement plan, and a Christmas Bonus, and to stay away from your parents’ house, because I need you to spread my word to the ends of the planet”. Would you be willing to leave everything without hesitating and follow him? Or such sacrifices were only expected from people at the beginning of the Christian era? Fortunately, such big sacrifices are not always required from us, but I guarantee it is expected of us a faith that is demonstrated, not verbalized only to die drowned in doubts and complacency.

Once clear in our faith, we must take action towards that we wish, taking for truth it has already been granted to us. Behaving as if we already have that which we have requested, in harmony with the divine plan and for the good of all. Take those little steps that take us closer to our goal. It’s the old adage “Help yourself and Heaven will help you”. With this attitude, we demonstrate our faith. Just like the woman who touched Jesus’ robe among the multitude and she was cured of her ailment. She told herself: “If I only touch his robe, I’ll be healed”. Indeed, the woman was healed immediately, and Jesus told her: “Be encouraged, daughter. Your faith has healed you.”

20150524_200814Another profoundly important element in the process of demonstrating our faith, is to always maintain our head high, a happy mood, a serene spirit, and an eternal gratitude in our heart. The situations, as negative or insufferable as they may seem, always have a reason in the divine plan for our spiritual growth. As such, although we might not understand the reasons behind our sorrows just yet, we must feel grateful for the opportunity to face those challenges which later on, will bring us closer to the perfection of our being. We must see the blessings inherent in all processes of our lives.

Buddhists affirm faith functions as the inspiring energy that opens people up to trusting Buddha’s teachings. For them, faith is a process of confirming the teachings by oneself, through experimentation. It is a spiritual trip where we find PEACE and LIBERATION.

I invite you to commit to yourself, to begin that spiritual trip, where the goal is not other than the realization of your maximum expression as a human being. Because, as that beautiful healing song entitled “Ábrete Corazon” (Open Up Heart) says: “…to reach God, we must learn to be human”. (You can hear the song and read the lyrics here https://dotsub.com/view/b3b90dda-b999-4584-b617-3c4d5ab65d8f  ).

The Best Gift a Mother can Give to Her Kids

mother and daughter

I know I am not traditional. On Mothers’ Day, I’m sure you are used to be told how great you are, how sacrificed your mom profession is, and how much you do for your kids. But today, being as irreverent as I am, I dare to request that you reflect on your role on your kids’ lives.

You’ll see. A lot is said about all that mothers sacrifice for their kids, all mothers nag so their kids will “learn”, and how important it is for a mother to lean over backwards so her kids have certain things, learn certain things, and avoid certain things. Well, let’s examine motherhood in detail.

Turns out mom, and I include myself, women have an extraordinarily special and difficult role. We are interdimensional portals. Wow! That sounds like Star Trek, ¿doesn’t it? Well, we are. We are the vehicle through which a disembodied being, a soul, pure energy, takes a physical tridimensional body and enters in our material reality. Yikes! That sounds hard! Well it is, above all, because the fact we carry those beautiful creatures for nine months inside our wombs, occasionally leads us to think it gives us the right to feel we own them. Nothing furthest from the truth.

Mother, your children came into the world with a purpose (other than cause you stretch marks, gray hair, and end with your hours of sleep for the rest of your life). We all come to this world to learn from the lessons waiting for us, because, if we take advantage of them, they will edify us, and make us better human beings. And that includes your girl, yes, the one that fell in love with that “douche bag” with the pierced tongue, whom you can’t even bear to see. You know what? It is not your place to keep your girl from going through that relationship, and through its possible consecuent love disillusion (although that “douche bag” might as well be a saint. Stop judging people on their appearance!). One thing is to advise her, and explain to her BEFORE falling in love age hits her, all the emotions that she will experience when it happens. And remember, allowing her to watch that soap opera does not count as sentimental education (probably totally the opposite). Now, when the time comes for the girl to fall in love, she will follow her heart or her hormones. There’s nothing you can do to avoid that. For you to get in the way, will only interrupt the divine plan for your girl, and even if you don’t believe it, it delays her spiritual development. Look at it this way, if God sent her that experience, it’s because she can handle it. Remember God will never give us more load than we can bear over our shoulders, and also, he gave us a guardian angel who is willing to take that load off our backs and would carry it for us, as long as we ask for assistance (otherwise, he will respect our free will).

mother-and-sonBut you, boy’s mom, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you. Yes, you, the one worried that her kid the altar boy, the straight A’s student, fell in love with the neighbor’s girl, the low grades student, the one covered in tattoos, who has slept with half the High School boys, and is not what you wish for your kid. I tell you the same, preventing your kid from having this experience, attempts against his mission in life, since you interpose in the divine plan, and also, maybe that girl is the one that will love him more than anyone else in life (except you, of course ;-).

All these desires to keep your kids from having to go through what you went through or what you saw others go through, is not anything else but a reflection of your own fears. Sadly, we tend to inherit our own fears to our offspring. From the fear of cockroaches, frogs, and rats, to more important and transcendental things like fear of failure, disillusion, and rejection. And here lies our greatest challenge: to inherit my kids with the tools to create their own future and their own experiences, and not to “intoxicate” them with that which binds me. I will give you two very simple examples I dare to borrow from that illustrious Venezuelan who is no longer with us physically, but continues educating us through her wonderful literary work: Conny Méndez (If you don’t know her, google her. You will not be sorry to read her “Little Blue Book” (El Librito Azul – Spanish version pdf available online for free). I tried to locate an English version online but wasn’t successful. I’ve been wanting to translate this book into English for several years now. Maybe 2015 is the right time). Conny used these two examples that marked me at 13 years old, when I first read her.

Number one: Why do we tell our kids getting wet in the rain will catch them a cold? Isn’t it
the same as getting wet in the shower? If there is a scientific study showing how getting wet in the rain causes a cold, please, I will appreciate it if you send me this information. Believe me, I already googled it and all I could find was that external stressors might make people more susceptible to getting sick. But science says, people get sick when exposed to virus and bacteria. And if you ask me, I think the local water company’s water has more of those than rain water. Now, our brains are very malleable and trainable, above all in childhood, and it will very likely create the response for which it was programmed since babyhood. So much telling someone they will get sick if they get wet, believe me, their brain will comply and the person will get a cold. Number two: “Boy, stop doing that or you will fall and hit yourself”. May the mom who has never said anything like this (me included) cast the first stone. You know what? The worst of all is not that we are conditioning the kid to fear getting hit, the terrible part is we later tell him: “I told you you’d fall!” Of course he’d fall, since you forecasted it, informed him, nagged him about it, so finally, you convinced him. By this I do not mean you should not stop an unsafety conduct from your kids. That’s not what this is. But how many times have we said that phrase when there is no actual danger. Think about it the next time you are about to use it, and tell me if it was not an exaggeration for the specific situation.

It is important for us to remember our kids came through us, but are not ours. They areyoli dante2 individual entities (at least as long as they are part of this material third dimension), with a soul of their own, a mission of their own, and needs of their own. Your kids did not come to the world to study what you wanted to but never did (and if you are alive, you still can!). Nor did they come to take care of you when you are old (What a selfish myth! True love waits for nothing in return). Nor did they come to become your favorite sport’s star, sport for which he or she doesn’t really care, but you think they will get you out of poverty when they hit the major leagues. By all this I do not mean you cannot fulfill your mission as a mom. Your kids chose you (yes, before crossing the interdimensional portal, they talked about it with God). And they chose you because you are the perfect person to teach them what they need to learn in this life, or maybe, because they come to teach you (and tell me there are no children out there that are old souls, and know more about compassion and unconditional love than many adults). However, this teaching you must offer them, must spring from your love and not from your fears. Give your kids the space to be themselves, to explore their capabilities and spirituality openly and without being judged. And above all things, inherit them a positive mind, teach them to see the good in every situation, and offer them the respect they deserve as human beings. That is the best gift a mother can give to her kids.