One of my favourite quotes I’ve come across whilst working on this site is “the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty” by Anne Lamott. But even just one year ago, I don’t think this would have meant much to me. I used to struggle with a deep desire to be certain that following this conscious lifestyle was the right thing to do, and I wanted to know whether philosophies like the law of attraction were really true rather than just following them blindly. In the past, this underlying doubt often made me question this way of life. But then I had an epiphany that made it possible to choose complete faith over certainty…
I was deliberating whether to sign up for an e-course on manifesting money by Lloyd Burnett. At the time, my husband and I were struggling financially – he’d recently started a new career on the bottom rung of the ladder, and I’d just become self-employed, which wasn’t taking off very quickly. We were also finding our feet as new parents.
Before throwing in the towel and returning to our previous, more lucrative careers, I thought it might be fun to get back into the law of attraction and the idea of manifesting abundance and I stumbled across Lloyd. I watched and enjoyed some of his free online webinars, and was tempted to buy this particular course, but it felt like frivolous expense when we had very little to spare.
(This is where I get myself tangled up in a double bind knot: I want to be abundant to get abundance back, and once I’ve started thinking about investing in something like this, I feel that not buying it would be like shouting to the Universe: Hey, guess what? I have no money! And this statement will consequently fire back at me further lack, whereas buying the course – the abundant manoeuvre – will surely lead to an influx of abundance, but in actuality just causes a lack of £100. The confusion of this causes the suspicious part of me to dwell on how convenient this conundrum is for coaches of this sort, and my ego starts thinking they are all charlatans and swindlers out to extort naïve believers like me…)
Anyway, I didn’t know whether to buy the course or not. Lloyd offered help and advice, so I sent him an email asking him if he ever doubted all this; if, like me, he ever wondered if it was a load of twaddle. I said I wanted to sign up to his course, but part of me was sometimes doubtful and suspicious of the law of attraction and the belief that we manifest everything in our lives, and I didn’t know how to stop this part of me and just believe, because I was fairly sure that it was this non-believing, suspicious part of me that was stopping me from manifesting my desires (if in fact manifesting is true…!)
While I was waiting for his response, I realised the answer myself.
It doesn’t matter whether it is true or not true. It doesn’t matter whether it is real or not real.
All that matters is that this: consciousness, meditating, mindfulness, journaling, examining myself, manifesting; all of it makes me live my life in a balanced, harmonious and beautiful way. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean by this that my life is a flat line. There are peaks and toughs, highs and lows, abundance and lack, but the point is that following this way of thinking means I’m at peace either way. When the Universe throws me a curve ball, I now have the tools to catch the ball instead of it whacking me in the face and knocking me out.
It is possible that I will lie on my death-bed in 50 years and think: well yes, that was a load of twaddle. My vision boards and positive thinking all came to nothing in the end. I never owned a fancy car. I still have no money in the bank. I failed dismally at running my own business. And, I still have ugly, bitten nails…
But I believe that I will think this with a smile on my face, because, far more importantly, I will know that the journey I went on in the pursuit of these things was far more enjoyable because of the spiritual beliefs I had.
What I realised was that I’d rather live consciously towards nothing than unconsciously towards everything.
It’s the journey, not the destination, that matters…This way of living gives me motivation, joy, positivity, happiness, acceptance, self-esteem, space, balance and so much more, and that is the best ongoing result I could ever ask for. By following this path, I am wellbeing, or ‘being well’, whether in a peak or a trough.
On top of realising that it doesn’t matter whether ‘this’ is true or not, much more recently I’ve also worked out that it’s ok be a fanatically spiritual devotee and a suspicious, skeptical non-believer. Both have their place in my psyche and can exist harmoniously besides each other if I let them.
The real secret
I decided to sign up for the course, not because I thought it would solve our financial problems, but because I knew I’d enjoy it, and because I thought it might be a good bonding exercise for my husband and I that might motivate us and give us a little lift, which it did. Shortly after I signed up for the e-course, I received news that a fairly large sum of money had been found belonging to my sisters and I, left to us by our grandfather who passed away years ago. It wasn’t life changing, but it really helped us out.
I’m not saying that this means the law of attraction works, or that I’m recommending people go out and splurge money on courses like this expecting instant rewards. In my experience it just doesn’t work like that. You never know whether the Universe is going to throw something your way or not. What I am saying is do it if it feels right and if you think it will bring you joy, not for any results you might reap from it. And then you never know, you might just get unexpected results as well as the joy.
I’m also saying that for me, there is no certainty in following this, and that’s ok. I follow it, learn about it and practice it because I have an unwavering faith in the fact that it makes me live with a better quality of life, and that it all that matters.
I now know I don’t need to be certain to have faith.