Saturday, March 14, 2009

How to Have Your Best Recession EVER Tip #12

Final Tip: Have Faith It's Going to Be Okay

Usually having faith is the LAST resort. We spend so much time fixing, controlling, manipulating, trying, and frequently crying, before we're willing to finally say, "Okay, universe, I'm giving this one to you." I realize that by making this my 12th and final tip that I'm only reinforcing this notion. However, I saved it for the last because it is such an integral part of the first eleven tips, and will be most useful tip for navigating the times ahead of us.

What is faith? Faith, in my experience, is believing something that hasn't happened yet. It's often used by religious or spiritual people to indicate a belief in a higher power that (usually) will help us humans access more peace and happiness.

However, I believe ALL of us are practicing faith every time we do something to contribute to our future. When I get out of bed in the morning to go to work, I'm practicing faith that I will make it there in one piece. When I go down to the "L" train I have faith it will help me get to work on time. When I get to work I have faith that I will eventually get a paycheck for that day. I can decide to have faith that things are either going to work out well, or have faith that something is going to go horribly wrong. How I feel, then, is going to be a direct result of how I place that faith.

Here's another way to see it:

FAITH: Tomorrow is going to be a wonderful day.
FEELING: Hopeful, inspired, excited.

FAITH: Tomorrow is going to be busy and horrible.
FEELING: Stressed out, tired, anxious.

In either example, how I feel is going to be COMPLETELY determined by my faith, since tomorrow isn't here yet. Given a choice of feeling hopeful or stressed out, I know what I prefer.

Now let's look at the Recession. This has been a challenging time with many people losing money, losing jobs, losing homes. Many people are thinking, "This is NEVER going to get better, I'm never going to recover from this loss, I'll never be okay again." But history shows that we have every reason to believe that things are going to turn around eventually and be okay. Most of us have grandparents that lived through the last major Depression in this country, and they learned to adjust, compromise, and survive. So let's try our little exercise again:

FAITH: The Recession is never going to end and I'm doomed to be miserable
FEELING: Unhappy, stressed, depressed

FAITH: We'll get through these difficult times the way we always have before
FEELING: Relaxed, optimistic, hopeful

Now you understand that the way you handle this Recession will be in large part determined by how you choose to use your faith. I know the choice I'm ready to make. How about you?

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