5 Ways to Cultivate Faith When Times Are Tough
When times are hard, it can feel as though you’re fighting your life every step of the way. Whether it’s navigating personal issues like a relationship ending, losing your job or fighting a disease, or a more global issue like the unexpected rise of fear, anger and bigotry in your community, you feel like nothing you do can create a sense of peace or calm. Your world loses its safe places and becomes a myriad of complexities that seem to require more energy to navigate than they are worth.
It’s during times like these that you can’t help but wonder if there is something outside yourself that you can rely on—something you can turn to in order to find that peaceful, comforting sanctuary. This journey usually requires the uneasy task of abandoning reliance on your own ability to figure it all out and cultivating a dependence on something that cannot be fully explained or made to fit into life’s neat little boxes.
It’s a journey of developing your faith—a pillar of civilization for thousands of years, and something that can provide a sense of purpose for you today, or any difficult day. Next time you find yourself in a tough spot, here are five ways to cultivate your faith and not lose hope.
Each person has a different way of dealing with hard things in life. Some turn towards other people, relying on their support systems to hold them up and get them through the hard times. Others are more apt to retreat into themselves, becoming hermits within their own souls, stubborn with the thought that they can navigate the hard times alone. If you fall into the latter, it’s time to stop denying yourself the beauty that comes with sharing vulnerability with other people.
While it’s not easy, staying connected to those you love who can support you, people who are in your faith community, or those who have insight into the journey can allow you to experience the healing powers of community. While this doesn’t mean you have to open up your heart and spill your deepest hurts and fears (although this can be helpful in the right settings), it does mean you need to show up and be present with others. That act alone can lead to feelings of connection to something outside yourself, which is critical during the hard times.
In an instant gratification world, it can be frustrating when things don’t change immediately. Chances are, the hard things in your life aren’t going to change overnight. Your heart is still going to ache from time to time, your fear is going to get the better of you in times of weakness, and there will be days that you won’t have the energy to get out of bed. Rest assured, these are not signs to give up.