Side note: This is the summary of what I’ve been working on for a week. Perhaps, a summary of all my recent blogposts too. We had to submit some hefty topic about faith in our Theology class. And I think I would like to share what I’ve been writing about with you guys. 🙂
I believe I am a truth seeker, a traveler, and a wandering witness of life.
I constantly long for answers, concrete ones that would explain just about every question I have. Ever since, I’ve always pondered on the topics of one’s existence, purpose, test, trials, triumphs, downfall, and happiness. The uncertainty of finding answers to these questions consumed me. It bothered me. In every way possible, I’ve tried my best in searching for some clarity. I never ceased wanting to look for some sense of security and certainty in every circumstance that is happening in my life. Thus, I keep on craving for something to fill my empty heart whole. I keep seeking for my life’s odyssey. I keep venturing on in finding the key to experiencing life’s full peace and solitude. As much as there are certain moments where in our own form of epiphanies come to light, I still can’t help but wonder, if there is something actually more to life than there is.
I grew up in a Christian home, holding on to my faith as tight as I can. My mother is the one who particularly introduced me in this way of life. She’s my first teacher. She taught me how to pray. She showed me how to walk my life with God. Ever since then, I believe I had a strong foundation to my faith already. For some reason, God had found a way to cement his whole being— his every detail into my heart. It was not until recently, I have discovered that my faith is not as strong as I thought it should be. I started to lose myself. Tempest storms started to come. I struggled. They left me bewildered and destroyed.
In life, if there were absolutely anything that humanity would love to treasure, find and wish for, it would probably revolve around the concept of achieving and attaining the sheer and ideal state of happiness. What does it take to be Happy? How do we really define Happiness? Actually, what we have here is that, we know that such reality exist. The only question is that where do we exactly find it? What does it take for us to attain such state? What are the concrete and tangible steps for us to actually pursue this?
According to William J. O’ Malley, he defined happiness as such, “Happiness, then, independent of feelings, means being serene in the face of the unchangeable, courageous before the changeable and wise enough to know which is which–being “at home” within oneself and within the web of human relationships in which we find ourselves, however disconcerting”. Hence, basing from this statement, there is only one word that could perhaps sum up humanity’s search for attaining this state of Happiness— acceptance. Although it’s somewhat still vague as to exactly how one can get to accept things as they are, it still serves as a start, a step in our life journey. Acceptance is contentment. Contentment is tranquility. Tranquility is finding rest in one’s soul. No matter how we picture life to be, it’s a given that it is challenging. It knocks you down—hard. You might even fall flat on your face every single time, feeling under, stepped or trampled on. Nonetheless, I sincerely believe humanity is destined for greatness. Nothing can ever shake the wholeness, steadfast, strength of the human soul. As William J. O’ Malley says, it is in our soul where happiness can truly reside. But how exactly?
Quite frankly, I sometimes lose hope in my own pursuit of happiness. How can one truly experience it when the world seems to dictate the total opposite of it? How can one be able to breathe in harmony, peace, and oneness to one’s soul? It is then I realized another concept William J. O’ Malley could have focused and stressed on more. Aside from only trying to embrace the concept of acceptance in life, one must first go through another step of realization, the stage of acknowledgement—recognition. Through this, we get to know the point of our destination, and more so, the point of where we are right now. It is about knowing truly, who and what we are, as well as, the belief, perception, and faith we have. Moreover, it is through this recognition where our search for happiness can be made feasible. It is the one that ultimately leads us onto the road of acceptance. Although it is a fact that we cannot control the hardships we face, we are always given a choice. It is within this choice, we get to extend ourselves and control how we actually deal and react with the circumstances we experience. This just goes to show the “un-fragmented, consistent, focused, integrated, harmonious and —perhaps best-—fully alive” characteristic power of the human soul. We live to become more human. We live to go beyond. We breathe life to challenge our soul to evolve.
Hence, with this, is it really possible to go through life without God? Does “moving forward” in life equate to our act of dependence on a higher being? Does my recognition of happiness entail my need to incessantly build a certain kind of faith in God?
Growing up, I never really had the guts to question the kind of faith I have. All I know is that I chose to believe in a God that exists. He became the person I could trust the most. Recently, though, my faith has been faltering. I lost who I am. It was like losing myself in transit. I am living life not as ‘me’. I know myself as the girl who has a big faith in God. I associate my whole being with Him. In my walks with Him before, I revolved my identity around my faith. Lately, however, I admit that I am going astray. Everything seems like its a thousand times more complicated. I started doing things I thought I never would have done. I began to rebel. I detached myself completely with God. Hence, I started to have a war within myself. I really didn’t know how to face life. I didn’t know who I was already. Up till know, I am still confused. Going to theology class, somehow then helped me understand the experiences I am going through now. Not that my faith got strengthened-—yet, but it somehow helped me understand how to unearth certain lights about myself, whether it’s about the topics of life, faith, and perspectives. It revealed to me how to see things as they are, as well as the perspective of seeing them through.
In William Lane Craig’s article, “Can we be good without God?”, he was able to give the readers a run down of his realizations and points about the existence of a higher being. By correlating this abstract concept, to the most tangible thing humanity can ever grasp (goodness), we are able to fully think critically, deeply, thoroughly. The author made this striking point, “Can we be good without God? When we ask that question, we are posing in a provocative way the meta-ethical question of the objectivity of moral values. Are the values we hold dear and guide our lives by mere social conventions akin to driving on the left versus right side of the road or mere expressions of personal preference akin to having a taste for certain foods or not? Or are they valid independently of our apprehension of them, and if so, what is their foundation? Moreover, if morality is just a human convention, then why should we act morally, especially when it conflicts with self-interest? Or are we in some way held accountable for our moral decisions and actions?”. Although I know I’ve been out of my witts lately, in terms of my faith, I still think somehow I’ve been living life the best that I could. I try. But the question is, where does this conscience of doing good actually come from? Where are its roots?
It’s too profound for human thoughts. The whole notion of it is too powerful and complex for us to comprehend. Who or what really drives to create good? Why is it that there is always that sulking feeling for us to know the reality of what is both good and bad? What is the exact origin of this phenomenon? All of these questions have one main point—Why do people find the need to do what is right?
With this, I think we as humans, are really innately good ourselves. Even without the knowledge of such exisiting being, it is already automatic that we know what is good and with this, we are expected to do what’s right. In this context, we question who planted this evolutionary and growing seed in our souls—the seed of goodness, the seed of being ‘human’. In this overpowering concept, we give the credit of its originality and creation to a supernatural being. Since this reality surpasses the very complex of our human thoughts, we give it up. We lift up all our worries, apprehensions, questions, or anything that disturbs us to something/someone far greater than ourselves, and that is God.
The life we live is certainly not a pattern. It’s not monotonous. Most of all, it is certainly not empty. We are humans; we thrive to search for meaning. As William J. O’ Malley’s powerful words says, “Life is not a Sisyphean endurance contest whose only reward is knowing you haven’t quit. It is a journey, an odyssey. We ‘re going someplace. That’s our purpose: to keep becoming more human, cracking the horizons of our knowing and loving. And, in the going, we’re already there.” We are free thinkers and doers. In every ways possible, life gives us the chance to see pass things as they are. Every movement we make tells of stories. Every decision we make builds up our journey to our destination. This is our life odyssey. This is our ultimate life anthem, our purpose.
I know I am still finding my way back, learning to trust again and working on a way to get a hold of my faith once more. No matter how hard I run away from my problems or the world at large, I can’t escape the fact that I am still experiencing it either way. My feelings of emptiness and longing will stay as is—if I let it. The pain of going through whatever I am going through still pierces through. I have to be able to face the music. I have to able to find a way to experience and live a life of full of purpose. And if the only way so, is to give and lose myself up to something more powerful than my own being, let it be. My stagnant and drifting self will never end if I don’t rely on something concrete, something worthwhile. Pursuing happiness and finding the existence of God relies in our capability of doing so. He gave us the freewill to find Him. He brought to us Christ, for us to have the chance to make sense of life. With that, I’ll take the chance. Just like the words of our Pope says, “And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ—and you will find true life.”, I’ll open my heart, soul and mind—wide.
Life is a labyrinth, but I will not be afraid. I’ll take the leap. I’ll take that chance again for Him to reside in me, as I in Him. I will rekindle that fire and keep it warm. I’ll do—not try. I’ll let it burn, burn until the light completely conquers my soul. I’ll continue seeking for my odyssey. He will ink my story, and I will let Him write it.
I am a work in progress, and work hereto shall be.