Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Sometimes it’s difficult to keep the faith. We’re told we’re supposed to always have faith. Faith in God, faith in family, faith in ourselves, faith in our government but it’s sometimes difficult to do.
Sometimes faith is difficult. I wish I had some magic answer on how to keep faith when times are difficult, but I have none. I’ve had more than my fair share of crises of faith in the past couple of years, and I’ve tried to share them with my readers openly, honestly and faithfully in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, knowing that they are not alone I might have helped somebody.
Today, a crisis in faith is an epidemic. People are struggling with fears of the Covid-19 pandemic and its extremely high infection and mortality rate, as well as the side effects. They are struggling with the loss of income and insurance, loss of faith in the government and their ability to handle the situation, loss of faith in the restrictions of freedom to protect our most vulnerable citizens. At a time that we should be pulling together as a people to defeat the virus we are struggling to find our commonality.
I have no answers in today’s blog. I can’t tell you how to get your faith back if you’ve lost it, but I know how important faith is. All I have is a topic today. Not even a message.
I’ve lost so much faith over the past couple of years, faith in the system, faith in people. What hurts most is faith in myself. I’ve been getting messages from a recruiter on a regular basis. He seems to have looked at my credentials and has noted that I’ve been setting my sights lower and lower, and, he claims he can get me interviews. But I have been setting my sights lower because, frankly, I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to reach the heights I have in the past. I have lost faith in myself, which saps my ability to even try anymore. And, no, I don’t know what to do about it. But it’s that lack of faith that is keeping me in this despair.
Maybe this is what lack of faith does. Maybe without faith we are stopped in our tracks. But without faith, how do we restart? How do we resume a job search if we don’t believe that it’s possible to find one, or, indeed, if we aren’t convinced we deserve another chance? For that matter, how can we find love if we don’t believe in ourselves?
There are a few things I do when it feels as if there is nothing left. Usually the best way for me to start feeling better about myself is to do something nice for somebody else. My friends are used to me periodically asking that they do something nice on my social media page, usually for some stranger. It helps to feel like I made a difference in somebody’s life.
A friend of mine recently paid for the car behind her at a coffee drive through. Typically, she would drive on, but she decided to pull into a parking space to enjoy her beverage. She said that it was fun watching people smile as the person working the window spoke to them and watched their gestures as they seemed to decide to pay for the vehicle that followed them. She never saw the end of the giving but was truly happy to see the joy she had spread.
Hugs help a lot. When I am feeling like this, it helps more than I can say when a friend is willing to just give me a hug. Sadly, being single, a quick hug is typically the best I can do, but spending time snuggled up with a special woman is just that much better. It’s kind of a moot point these days, though, as social distancing means that even hugs are out of bounds these days, and worse, the people who would hug me all live quite some distance away. It’s not even worth the drive to meet them since social distancing means it’s safer if I don’t enter their homes, and frankly, there are no places open to eat or spend time together anyway.
So, what’s the point to all of this? I honestly don’t know. I’m feeling like I’ve lost faith, in myself, in my country, and I frankly have no idea how to get it back. But if you’re feeling the same way, please know that you’re not alone. We’re all struggling, we’re all worried, and we’re all in this together.