Lesson #8. Have Faith in What Will Be
Faith is an interesting word. When I researched it in various dictionaries, I found that it has many meanings and definitions. I have also found that it means different things to different people . To some, faith is a religious term; to others it represents hope and belief in a thing, but regardless of what the word means to you, faith can offer comfort when you are faced with challenging experiences.
I found my favorite definition of the word in the English World Dictionary:
Faith: A strong or unshakeable belief in something, especially without proof or evidence.
An “unshakeable belief”—those words really ring true to me; believing in something beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Faith is what I had when everything in my life felt as though it was falling apart. Without it, I’m not sure how I would have gotten through everything. Believing in something bigger than myself, believing that everything was happening for a reason, believing that everything was going to be okay, believing that something incredible was going to come out of it is what helped me move from the deep darkness toward the light.
I have interviewed many people who have transcended their challenging ordeals, and I noticed that they all talked about how they had faith and believed in a higher power. For many, it was God; for others, it was Buddha; for still others it was “Source” or “the Universe.” It doesn’t matter what you call it or what you believe in, having faith that all will be well, that all is unfolding perfectly and as it is supposed to is a powerful place to come from.
Think of a time in the past when something major happened in your life when you thought it was the worst thing that could possibly have happened. Then, a month, a year, or two years later you realized it was the best thing that ever happened to you.
It may not be clear right now why things are happening the way they are. But having faith and trust that it is all unfolding as it is supposed to can have a calming effect when you are in the midst of a chaotic storm. Have faith that it is all unfolding for a higher purpose. Be patient. The purpose will reveal itself with time—if you allow it to.
My good friend Janet Bray Attwood, New York Times best-selling author of The Passion Test, has a great personal story that reflects and demonstrates the importance of letting go and trusting the universe. Here is her story.
Janet Bray Attwood—The Gift Is Always There
Letting go and trusting in the universe is probably the all-time greatest challenge anyone can face. Walking in the dark with total blind faith, not knowing where the next safe footing will be, afraid that the unknown will unveil more than we can handle, is never easy. Especially when life seems to be offering up one intense challenge after another.
One of my first experiences of consciously letting go and handing it all over to the universe was in 1980. I was in a job recruiting disk-drive engineers in Silicon Valley, and was failing miserably. Luckily for me, one day after work when I was meditating in the local meditation center, I opened my eyes and noticed a poster on the bulletin board advertising a success seminar to be held in San Francisco the following weekend. I had been praying for a sign as to what my gifts were, and the moment I glanced at the poster on the wall, I knew that somehow my prayers had been answered.
My intuition couldn’t have been more on! Not only did I take the seminar, but I also realized while there that what I wanted to do more than anything was to be a great transformational leader. I eventually persuaded the seminar leader of that program, Debra Poneman, to hire me and teach me how to be a trainer of her program, “Yes to Success.”
It turned out that Debra was going on her U.S. speaking tour at about the same time I was to arrive in Los Angeles, where her company was located. Debra said I could stay in her apartment and study her success tapes while she was on tour, and when she returned, I could start my illustrious career, uplifting and speaking to hundreds, maybe even thousands of people all over the world.
I was in seventh heaven!
Two weeks later, after Debra and I finalized our plans, I happily said goodbye to all of my friends at the recruiting firm, packed my bags, filled my vintage red Toyota up with gas and headed down to Los Angeles, radio blaring, singing at the top of my lungs, ecstatic that I was on the way to starting my dream career.
Two miles into my journey my little red Toyota started sputtering and spurting. Steam started rising up over the front of my car from inside the hood, and as I was pulling over to the side of the freeway to see what was going on, my trusty little red car took one big breath, let out the most God-awful sound, and died right there on the freeway.
I was stunned and horrified by what had just happened, and plump little tears started to form in my eyes. After the initial shock of saying farewell to my beloved Toyota, I paid the man who came to tow my car away an additional $50 to drop me off at the train station. After paying him, buying my train ticket to Los Angeles, and then taking a ridiculously long taxi ride to Debra’s apartment in Santa Monica from the train station, to my horror, shame, dismay, and anxiety, I arrived at Debra’s door with $13 to my name.
Frozen with fear that Debra wouldn’t hire me if she knew I was completely broke, I pretended that everything was A-okay and said nothing while we were together. Instead I acted like a woman in control and kept a rather frozen imitation of a sunny smile on my face until Debra finally waved goodbye to me.
Now what am I going to do?! I asked myself. Totally freaked out by the fact that I hardly had enough money to last me more than a day, I went to Debra’s refrigerator and scooped myself a huge serving of her chocolate ice cream. After eating almost the whole half gallon, I lay down on her couch and fell into a chocolate-drunken sleep.
When I awoke, I summoned up all the courage I could muster and decided there was only one option when things got this bad.
I grabbed the keys to Debra’s blue Chevy, which she had said I could borrow for emergencies (this definitely spelled E-M-E-R-G-E-N-C-Y), and with my heart pounding and my knees shaking I sped down the Pacific Coast Highway excited at what I was about to do, knowing that it was going to seal my fate, for better or worse!
Ten minutes later I arrived at my destination. I pulled Debra’s car into the parking lot of the great Saint Paramahansa Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship Center. I had visited this place many times before, and it always gave me the same incredible feeling of peace. Once again, I immediately felt a deep sense of calm take over me. I walked past all of the beautiful buildings to the majestic and serene gardens that graced this special place, and reached into my purse and nervously pulled out every one of my treasured one-dollar bills. One by one I carefully stuffed each dollar bill into one of the little tin donation boxes that were strategically placed in and around the gardens.
When I had donated all that I had, I sat down on a nearby wooden bench and had a very intimate talk with God, pouring out my heart and telling him all that was going on with me and where I could use a little of his support.
After a little while, I walked back to Debra’s blue Chevy and headed back down the highway to her apartment. Once in the car a huge flash of reality immediately set in.
“What the hell did you just do?!! Are you craaaazy?” I asked myself out loud.
Gripping the steering wheel as if trying to gain some sense of control, I sped faster down the highway, continuing to talk to myself out loud.
“Perfect! Good one! Brilliant!! The car is almost out of gas, you have no food in the ’fridge, and you decide to be a spiritual mood-maker with your last 13 dollars?! Way to go! Oh yeah, you’re gonna make one helluva transformational leader! Augh!!!”
Depressed and dejected, I pulled up to Debra’s apartment. The minute I walked in the front door the phone rang. In my most tortured voice, holding back my tears, I managed to squeak out a very weak “Hullo?”
“Janet, is that you?”
“Uh huh, who’s this?” I asked, wishing whomever it was would somehow vanish.
“It’s me, Francis.”
Francis was my ex-husband’s father, whom I loved and hadn’t heard from in more than a year.
“Hi Francis, it’s so nice to hear from you! How are you? Wow, how did you find me?” I asked, and immediately I started to feel a wave of relief come over me. Francis always had that effect on me. After we chatted on the phone for some time, Francis persuaded me to meet him for lunch at a nearby restaurant. “My treat,” he said.
At the restaurant, Francis was very animated and talking 100 miles a minute. He had just started selling what he considered the best natural weight-loss program on the market. As he was telling me all these amazing things about the product, he put four bottles of it on the table and said, “I think this is something you could really make a lot of money on in your spare time. Are you in?”
“The opportunity sounds great,” I said. ”How about when I have a little more extra cash, I’ll order some from you?”
Without missing a beat, Francis continued, “I just happen to have $500 worth of the stuff in the trunk of my car I brought just for you! You can have these bottles on the table and the $500.00 worth as well. Pay me back after you sell it and make some money for both of us.”
Francis immediately handed me his four bottles, and at the exact moment, a very overweight waitress walked up to our table, looked straight at the bottles, and asked, “What’s that?”
Trying my best to remember what Francis had just shared about the weight-loss product, I started telling her in my most authoritative voice all it could do.
“Does this stuff really work?” she asked, looking first at Francis and then at me.
“I just dropped 50 pounds from this product,” Francis beamed. “Best of all,” he said, “I never felt hungry.”
“I’m just starting it today,” I added.
“Well, I hope it does the same for me!” the waitress said, smiling as she scanned Francis’s lean physique. She then whipped out five of the most beautiful $20 bills from under her apron and slapped them on the table. “How much do I owe you?” she asked, grabbing the four bottles.
“It comes to $101.97 with the tax, but considering you’re our first customer of the day, we’ll let you have the four bottles for $100” Francis said.
“Hope it works!” the waitress said.
“That’s yours,” Francis said, indicating the waitress’s 20s. “Good job! Yup, you’re going to do just fine with this!”
Stunned and overjoyed that I now had $100 in my pocket, I walked out to Francis’s car and loaded up Debra’s Chevy with rest of the product he had brought with him. As Francis pulled out of the parking lot I remembered the $13 I had just donated earlier in the day. A big smile came over my face as I realized once again how magical the universe is.
This experience was a profound reminder for me, and one I’ve remembered often in the 26 since these events took place. Donating my last $13 helped me to remember that we are always taken care of. The support may come in strange and mysterious ways, but when we stay open to what is appearing now, the gift is always there.
I love Janet’s story because it is a reminder that sometimes we don’t know how things are going to turn around. There are times when we can’t predict or even fathom a possible scenario in our minds of how it will happen, but it doesn’t matter. It will. Somehow, it will.
It isn’t always easy to have faith when everything around you is falling apart, but trust, simply trust that all is unfolding with exact precision. Let go of the resistance, surrender to what is, and believe with every fiber in your body that it is all unfolding for the betterment of your highest good. And of course, be open to what shows up in front of you. It may not make sense to you at all right now; that’s okay. It will. With time.
Sonia Ricotti is a world-renowned motivational speaker delivering keynote talks, seminars, and workshops around the world. She is the best-selling author of The Law of Attraction Plain and Simple and the president and founder of Lead Out Loud Inc. – a company that offers inspirational products, videos, and events. She is interviewed regularly on national TV, radio, and print media. She is also a humanitarian, having participated in, and led several humanitarian trips around the world. Sonia holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She lives in