I don’t know about you but there are certain people in this world that I seek out for their intellect, knowledge, teachings, and guidance. They are people I have found who have a gentle way, often who have overcome enormous challenges and yet have developed a deep sense of faith in their lives. One of these people is Mirabai Starr who translated Teresa of Avila’s, “The Interior Castle” and “Teresa of Avila: The Book of My Life”.
I had the opportunity to watch a presentation of Mirabai at one of Caroline Myss’ events. Mirabai was comparing Teresa of Avila and Hildegard of Bingen. There was a quote from the presentation that caught my attention that I’d like to share with you. Mirabai said, “Faith comes out of stamina from having wrestled and grappled with the questions, the inquiries…from having asked the hard questions”.
I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment, sitting in rooms with those facing a life-threatening illness for the past twenty years has made me privy to those hard questions. I have served as a witness to individuals and families wrestling with questions about the meaning of life (not a cliche), one’s purpose on this earth and have they “completed their mission”. It takes a lot of soul searching to ask the questions much less try and answer them. It takes faith because you need to believe that the answers to the questions won’t kill you emotionally or spiritually. You need a sense of resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity will come in handy when facing an illness.
It would be smug of me to prescribe faith. It would be careless of me to question anyone’s faith. It would be compassionate of me to sit with you as you wrestle with your own hard questions.
Faith does take stamina. Stamina is something you work up to; it’s not something you start with a full tank. It takes training. Look at a long distance runner; they didn’t run a marathon their first day out…it takes time.
I hope you’ll give yourself the time you need to birth a new sense of faith. I hope that you’ll spend the time wrestling with the hard questions. I hope you work to increase your emotional and spiritual stamina; it will serve you well as you face your personal health challenge.