Keeping the Faith

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It’s been a very troubling time for the US, and for the world really, this past year or so.  Not that the world and the country didn’t have plenty of problems before then, but for me, and for many others, things feel as if they have gotten much worse in recent months.

So today I wanted to talk a little bit about how I’ve been keeping the faith and what I mean by that.  Keeping the faith doesn’t have anything to do with religion the way I’m using it today.  Keeping the faith can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, so I want to lay out what I mean before I get into how I’m doing it right now.

I have faith in a lot of things in my life.  I have faith that electricity will keep flowing through the power grid.  I have faith that I’ll make it through the day.  I have faith in the institutions that I rely on every day.  I have faith that my husband, my family, and my friends will still be around and still care for me.  I have faith in my country.  So when I say, keeping the faith, I mean retaining that faith that the world will keep turning, things will keep happening, and that life will go on (mostly) uninterrupted.

It may be a little idealistic and simplistic, but I believe that the world is going to continue to get better, and when it looks like that isn’t how things are going, it can shake my faith in not just this belief, but a lot of other things as well, and that means I’m not doing so well at keeping the faith.

Here is how I combat that:

I read.

Yes, this is escapism.  Yes, when overdone escapism can be problematics, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad all the time.  I love to read about new places to visit, and interesting things in math, science, history and a variety of other topics.  I also love to read fiction.  I especially love anything with a triumphant or happy ending, or something that shows good triumphing over evil in any small way.  I read in almost all genres of fiction and a wide variety of non-fiction genres too.

I write.

Writing lets me escape as well, but it also gives me control.  When I’m writing, I have complete control over the setting, characters, and plot.  I say when something bad will happen and how the characters will work through it.  I have complete control of my own writing.  This gives me a space of comfort within a world where I have very little control.

I find the good, the beautiful, and the humorous.

Whether it’s a feel good story about a neighborhood banding together to help a neighbor who needs it, amazing pictures of nature or space, adorable cat pictures, or a hilarious comic, I go out seeking stories and imagery that promote positive feelings.  You can spot a bad night/day/hour in my life by the sudden spam of cute cat photos on my twitter account.  It doesn’t happen often, but a binge of cute cats can make me feel a bit better about whatever it is that’s making me lose faith at that moment.

I see a therapist.

And I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Everyone needs a little help sometimes.  If you have a family member, friend, or coworker who can stand in as sounding board and councilor to help you get back on track when things aren’t going your way, awesome.  I’m glad for you.  I have those people too, but sometimes talking to them can just mean more stress for them too and then what’s the point?  So I have a therapist.  Someone I can talk to about anything and know that it’s okay.  Whether it’s money troubles, worry about my husband, a work issue, or whatever.  Having a safe space that is completely judgement-free and confidential helps me work through tough places in my life.

I remind myself of what is going right in the world.

I look for the good things.  The doctors saving lives, the neighbors banding together to protect one another, the outpouring of support at airports when the travel ban was signed, and so many other smaller things.  Finding evidence that some things are going right when it feels like everything is going wrong can be really helpful.  These kinds of stories are uplifting and they help me remember why I have faith in the first place.

That’s how I keep the faith in my own life.  How do you buoy yourself up and help yourself keep the faith in your own life?

I hope everyone out there is keeping the faith in whatever ways they know best.

Image Prompt 028 Response – Protector

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I selected the image of a snowy Dundee, Scotland for my twenty-minute sprint this week and decided to bring back a character from my A to Z story from April while I was at it.

 

Protector

Uriel landed on the stoop of number seven.  Once again he’d been sent down to the world of men to find someone.  Glancing down at himself, he’d even been given the same physical form as his last trip.  That was unusual.  Michael had said it was four years later, as the human’s tracked it, then his last trip.

He’d been sent with very different clothing this time.  He had long, warm pants, a thick shirt, and a heavy jacket that hung down to his knees.  It was considerably colder than last time.  Uriel concentrated and took a brief step out of time so that he wouldn’t be visible to those moving about on the street.  Michael had told him that he should wait at the door to number seven until it’s occupant returned home.  Uriel thought it would be best to allow them to have a chance to go inside before Uriel knocked on the door rather than surprising them on their own stoop.

It was early evening, and the snow was falling gently through the air to settle over everything. Continue reading

Image Prompt 028 – Dundee, Scotland and Brookgreen Gardens, SC

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It’s the Second Friday of the Month, so today is an Image Prompt day.

I’ve included two images to work from.  Pick one (or both if you’re feeling ambitious) and write something inspired by the image.  You can use something in the image, the feeling it invokes, or whatever the image makes you think of.

If you write a piece and end up posting it somewhere online, please link back to it here on a comment so we can all enjoy it too.

I’ll be posting my own piece next week.

2017-05-12 Image Prompt028-1 - Dundee Scotland Snow05-02-23 002

2017-05-12 Image Prompt-028-2 - Brookgreen Gardens 2013-03-08 (296)

Labels #AtoZChallenge Day 12

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I don’t reblog things often, but this really resonated with me. I pretty much can’t buy anything labels XXL, L, M, XL, etc unless it has the actual measurements in inches/cm (because you can’t mismatch those). I’m also tired of all the labels we use to divide ourselves from one another. It’s especially disheartening that so many of the labels we have aren’t of our own making but are applied to us by others. So read on and I hope you’ll share this as well.

The Chaotic Soul

Day 12 | Letter: L

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March & April Writing Reflections

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So it’s May now, which means April is over.  Anyone who has been following along the past couple months knows that for me, April means two things: Camp NaNoWriMo and the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

This post is reflecting on how those two things have gone this year.

So, they both technically happen in April, but with two things going on, I prep for A to Z in advance and schedule out all the posts, so that’s usually more of a March project than an April one.

Not so much this year. Continue reading

Zap: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #26

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Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.

This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole.  I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing.  If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.

Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:

The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer).  Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.

Zap Continue reading

Yarn: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #25

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Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.

This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole.  I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing.  If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.

Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:

The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer).  Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.

Yarn Continue reading