HOW TO MAINTAIN FAITH IN FIVE EASY STEPS

Dr. Ni By Dr. Ni, 14th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Personal Development>Spiritual Development

Daily steps we can take as human beings to have a more faith-filled existence and make decisions with more confidence and trust in ourselves.

Introduction: The Booth At The End

HOW TO MAINTAIN FAITH IN FIVE EASY STEPS
Niama Leslie J. Williams, Ph.D.
Copyright July 2013
1,277 words

for the faithless
for the hopeful

Priests and nuns are not the only wonderful human beings who lose or question their faith. While the Catholic Church continues its struggle to keep both laity and those trained in ministering to congregants within the fold, I have taken to watching a Hulu Plus program entitled The Booth At The End. Not to keep track of the devil, as many feel is the proper title of the man who doles out tasks in exchange for the granting of wishes; no, I watch for psychological reasons and to plumb the intuitive wealth of the show.

Invariably, people come to the man at the diner with spiritual dilemmas; they don’t call them by that name, but they are troubled, and they come to him with their version of a solution to what ails them. They ask for many things, and every time the task they are given is some version of a correction or a suggestion to guide them toward realizing the true power of the challenge they face. Although the show calls for a delightful exercise of brain power to see the message in the task, even more enjoyable is watching to discern if the wisher will ever interpret properly for him or herself the message within the task.

The steps for maintaining faith are incredibly simple. Recalling my repeated advice to listeners when I was interviewed on radio, it is not that we do not hear the voice of our inner wisdom; it is that we are reluctant to do what it asks of us. The wishers of The Booth At The End know, or come to know, the real price of their wish and the true task it will take to earn it; the decision they must make, as all of us are daily faced with deciding, is if we are ready to do what our inner wisdom demands.

Steps One and Two: Your Inner Wisdom

1. Develop a relationship with your inner wisdom.

Practice becoming still and learning to listen to it. Pose questions to it and listen, without judgment, demand, or further questioning, to its answers. Write down what it asks of you. Think about the tasks it requires or requests. Do not hob knob about what your inner wisdom asks with friends or family members; when they learn you are tuning out the noise and listening to your inner voice instead they may feel threatened or isolated, as though you are moving away from relying on THEIR wisdom. Develop the habit of solitude and reflection. Consider, quietly and honestly, the cost of what your inner wisdom asks or requires.

2. Decide for yourself, and by yourself, if you will do what your inner wisdom asks or requires.

God has given you that inner voice as a spiritual guide to let you know what He would like to materialize in your life. God only wants what is best for you, or to instruct you so that the best will come into your life. He is not about to give you an inner wisdom that will steer you wrong. Friends, family, spiritual leaders can often be great at jealousy and control; they are used to your consulting and trusting THEM, not your inner voice.

Step Three: Your Neighbors, The Kindest Strangers

3. Learn to trust and speak to your neighbors; smile at those you meet in the street.

You may surprise yourself when you learn how much people love to band together and help one another, especially in dire situations. From simply smiling at someone and honestly complimenting them on their attire or beautiful face, to listening when a neighbor shares a continuing problem with the owner of your apartment building, people actually love to help each other.

When faced with feces left in the only washing machine in our laundry room for over a week, my elderly cousin calmly suggested running the washer through two cycles with detergent and bleach. He gently asked the previously yelling and dismissive owner for two dollars to accomplish this (the washer is coin-operated), the owner offered one dollar, and I took my roll of quarters and my Tide pods and set to. The neighbor with whom I had been speaking contributed her bottle of bleach, and we were off.

In a matter of hours, I was doing laundry, not having to lug dirty clothes to my favorite Laundromat on PCH and Pacific Avenue. Since that day, I have heard the washer happily spinning and slushing, and two neighbors, one with a busy dog and another with five children, have been able to wash and not have to leave the complex to do so.

Banding together can be liberating and purposeful!!! We not only developed faith in one another, but successfully dealt with an owner who had a habit of ignoring problems and being abusive. They told me about their experiences, and I showed them what I had seen in my apartment. One neighbor is moving tomorrow; I have already found a new place and merely await paperwork; the third neighbor is looking for a house to accommodate her many children.

We learned each other’s names and shared each other’s woes, and were better, all three of us, for commiserating. As a woman coming out of homelessness and a history of personal attacks by strangers, coming to meet and know my neighbors has been a joy and a privilege. Exhausted tonight after walking several blocks to look at a new apartment, who brought me fresh and delectable chicken salad? The neighbor with the busy dog. Full belly and feeling cared about are feelings only brought on by consistent belief in man and following the suggestions of God!!!

Step Four: When It Looks Dark, Do This!

4. When all looks dark, seek Your Maker.

Countless times when homelessness made my world seem inhabitable, I turned to prayer. “What have I done wrong (to earn this trouble)?” was my consistent question. Never anger at God. Never rage or a sense of injustice or fury. Just, “where did I err, Lord, and how can I fix it to be right with you again?”

I do not know the source of my humility. Perhaps the years of abuse at the hands of my stepfather and oldest half-brother. Perhaps conditioning led me to always suspect that I was at fault.

I do know that consistent focus on my side of the street, even when I did not know or could not fathom how I had erred, earned me these days of favor. Only one day since the feces in the washer incident and I already have a new owner of a very clean fourplex waiting and ready for me to move in. That, to my mind, is nothing more than Jesus stepping in to remind me that He is always and consistently in charge.

Step Five & Conclusion: Good Habits

5. Develop the habit of faith.

Look to the faithful and see what habits they practice. Whatever you are facing, consider prayer. Turn to that inner wisdom God gave you and ask it what to do: it always knows. God gave each and every one of us a piece of Himself to carry within and direct us. Trust it. Turn to it. Listen to it. Let it speak. And the most difficult of all: do what it tells you.

I never said it was easy; I said it was simple!!! :-) Go with God: He is always ready and waiting to take you somewhere fantabulous. As Joel Osteen will tell you: God’s storehouse is just waiting for you to accept the keys and fling open the doors!!!

Love and blessings,

Dr. Ni
Long Beach, CA, USA
www.blowing-up-barriers.com

Tags

Booth At The End, Catholicism, Faith, Family, Friends, Inner Wisdom, Neighbors, Personal Growth, Religion, Self-Discovery, Self-Help, Spirituality, Trust

Meet the author

author avatar Dr. Ni
Dr. Niama Williams is an intuitive counselor, poet, memoirist, and essayist whose work focuses on recovery from trauma and the emotional work of recovery.

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Comments

author avatar Esther Thornburg
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

Yes, "the key to the door" is believing in the Son of God
beyond the instructions of this world.

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author avatar Dr. Ni
24th Jul 2013 (#)

Ah, you are so perceptive, Ms. Esther!!! That is why I love the quiet and the stillness so; it lets me focus on the blessings of our Lord and all of the riches He has allowed me to experience.

Having recently come out of homelessness, I find it so inspiring to just sit in my wingback chair, in the quiet, and appreciate HAVING a home.

God is so good!!!!

Stop by any time, please!

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