I have always heard that we only fear that which we do not understand. For me, that has only been a half truth. In the past four years, as many high school students do, I attempted to “find myself.” It is the time in life in which young adults seek to explain the confusing world in which they live, and to rationalize the deepest questions of life. As I told a lifelong friend of mine nearly a year ago, I was going to embark on a spiritual journey to find my own identity, and answer the questions I had about myself. Yet over the course of this year, I found something in me which has led me to see life in a much clearer perspective, one in which I wasn’t running around in circles trying to touch the intangible. I found faith.
I am not religious and my life has never been about God. My faith is not anything concrete; it is not something one can prescribe to those around, nor should it be. Rather, it is simply a belief in the inevitability of things; that life moves forward one step at a time and does not wait for me to decide whether I approve of it or not. And as it moves forward, there will be things I do not know and that I cannot know. Yet there is beauty in this world, and I am a part of it day in and day out. From dust we came, to dust we shall return, and the world that once nurtured us in our youth is the same blanket that comforts us in the hour of our death.
Too long and too often I have strained myself with the weight of worry over the unknown. Do I belong here? Is there something better? What is the meaning of this life? These questions can be daunting. And so I came to my deepest faith: that this is the meaning of life. Our moments together right now, as much as the moments you will share a minute, or an hour, or a year from now. To have faith in these moments, to not waste each second I have worrying about something that I cannot solve in this life, has been my way to deeper understanding and to inner peace. My faith is not to fear that which remains unknown to me, but rather, to have the courage to embrace it and to rise above it.
It is as the novelist D.H. Lawrence once wrote:
“This is what I believe:
That I am I.
That my soul is a dark forest.
That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.
That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back.
That I must have the courage to let them come and go.
That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women.
There is my creed.”
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