This is especially true for people who had a religious upbringing.
Religion teaches you to ask your deity to do things for you... and your deity doesn't.
Whether there is a deity or not is everybody's guess... but one thing is for sure: no deity has ever done anything for anyone. no matter what anyone says. So no wonder, all the religious folks with rare exception, are disappointed. They asked and asked, and expected, and got nothing.
I liken my life to a business that has a silent partner, who trusts me and the business idea, and has invested money. He trusts me to not fritter away his money, not fritter away my time. He trusts me to build a solid business and bring him dividends from the "profit". 2
He will do nothing else... but provide me with the seed capital.
It is my body, my education, my ability to do for me.
This model of thinking is hard for people.
People only want to think of themselves... and making money for someone else is abhorrent (inspiring disgust and loathing; repugnant.) to them.
I have had people who, while their son lived with their divorced spouse, lived in poverty, accepted only cash payments, and waited patiently until they no longer had to pay child support.
The inability to accurately assess value, value propositions is incredibly widespread. Add to it the rampant "desire to receive for the self alone" and the true ugliness reveals itself.
I live in a world given by the world view of you and me... and I rejoice at your success. I may have a pang of envy occasionally, but it is just a pang... it only signals that I'd like to have the same.
Where is the misery, you ask? Life, your DNA, is set up for sharing, for cooperation, for together... not for separation.
You are trying to ride the horse sitting on it in reverse. It goes where it goes, and you are exposed to the stinky behind of the horse.
You think you fooled the silent partner, but you only fooled yourself. You won't get the benefits: you will not get anything accomplished. I hear the glee in some of my participants.
You think you fooled the world by your niceness and generosity, but you are only fooling yourself: you are a hard-hearted bitch.
Same with meekness, superman declarations, you are the one holding the bag.
This morning I found a recording that explains what you need to do to turn your life around, and stop being that greedy stingy destroying self so no one benefits type of person, pretending that you are good... or whatever you are pretending.
It is remarkable, and it makes it sound doable...
It's called Mustard Seed, using the example "Jesus" uses... I am quoting from a Huffington Post article here: I am no expert on the New Testament.
Faith is so simple. So very, very simple. It is religion that complicates it.
Control, perhaps. Distinction from other religions, maybe. I'm not quite sure.
What I do know is that faith is not about either control or distinction. Instead, it is about release, the turning loose of all attachments.
When Jesus said, “If you have faith no bigger than a mustard seed...” (Lk 17:6) he was not saying faith comes in varying quantities, as in 16 oz. sized faith, or 32 oz. or super-sized. Yet, this is how so many religious people have mistakenly understood his words.
It is a mistake easily made.
I have a friend, for example, who joined the ranks of the “nones” some years ago, even before the press began designating this rapidly-growing segment of our American population — the formerly religious who've given up on organized church or religion. Like many of us, he was raised in a fundamentalist Christian church where they believed in degrees, or sizes, of faith. To be sure, faith the size of a mustard seed was better than no faith at all. And, they reasoned, according to Jesus, even this size faith could accomplish much. The really faithful Christians, however, or believers, were those who possessed a bigger faith than this. As a consequence, they were also the more favored by God and, without question, more spiritual than others, too.
Which is why, when his mother was diagnosed with cancer, the members of his fundamentalist church gathered around her and prayed for her healing. They had big faith. They were certain, if they prayed, believing the cancer will be removed, it would be removed. She would get better. So, they prayed. They believed.
But she got worse.
So, they prayed more and harder. They pleaded God for bigger faith. They believed that some among them may not have had faith even the size of a mustard seed, otherwise her healing would have come sooner. Some pointed fingers. Others continued to pray. All of them kept pleading for God to grant them more faith... greater faith... faith enough to be big enough to result in her healing.
She grew worse instead.
On the night before she died, my friend described the scene this way: “It was as if the whole church family was gathered outside her hospital room in prayer. Some on their knees. Others with raised hands. Everyone was wailing and believing and seeking to turn their mustard seed-sized faith into something bigger... something more deserving of God's attention... something that would finally get results and heal Mom of her cancer.”
“We've got to have more faith!” our fundamentalist preacher insisted. “Everyone should join hands together,” he directed, “and let's pray for more faith... let's pray her through to healing!”
She died, however, at 8:00 a.m. the following morning.
He quit going to church altogether after that fundamentalist fiasco. And, only recently, has he begun talking about God at all. For many years, he just lived with his resentment toward the whole matter, offended by the church minister and church family who regarded him as the culprit... the one not having enough faith or adequate faith to be deserving of God's compassion and healing for his mother. It is understandable why he has lived with much guilt over this regrettable experience.
In time, however, he realized the futility in their thinking... in their believing. His guilt turned him against this church, and every other church, too. I doubt he'll ever return. Why? Not because he's quit believing in God. He hasn't. He, like so many, has been hurt by beliefs that are just plain wrong. In this instance, he was misled to believe that, had he had enough faith, she would have been healed. When she died instead, he was left with no other conclusion but that his mother's death was his fault, the consequence of his too little faith.
This is such a perversion of what Jesus was actually saying through this beautiful mustard seed metaphor of faith.
So, what was Jesus really saying?
The capacity to believe — or, a better word here is “trust” — the capacity to trust is a Divinely-endowed capacity.
I suspect, as do many others, this capacity is written into the genetic code of your DNA. As that capacity is reinforced by caregivers and others, it naturally grows... it expands, just as the mustard seed germinates and grows into a Mulberry tree. Infants and children who come into this world, for example, come endowed with this believing capacity in tact. Which is why they are not only totally dependent but completely trusting. Undermine that trust, however, and this natural capacity to believe — to trust — is weakened, harmed, or hindered. In some cases, the damage can be so severe, it may take nearly a lifetime to restore.
Do you see how, for example, the reported incidents of clergy sexual abuse of children can undermine and perhaps even destroy the natural capacity to believe in these who are now adults? The incidents of abuse must number in the thousands — maybe even the millions — and is so unimaginable that you can understand why Jesus would say, “If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me — to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matt. 18:6).
What do you do, then, if your natural, God-given capacity to trust — to believe — has been undermined? Damaged? Even if you have not been sexually abused by a priest, pastor, or parent or caregiver, you've grown up in a family environment where love has been conditional; or, a religious environment where the things you've been taught to believe are just not so, as in the situation with my friend.
What should you do? Can you nurture faith... or the capacity to trust again?
If you're finding it difficult to live in trust — to live by faith — it is little wonder that life for you is filled with fear, anxiety, and very little inner peace and happiness.
These are the natural consequences of living under the illusion of control — and control is an illusion — instead of living free...instead of living from a place of trust.
To live by faith is simple, thought it will take a lifetime to master: it is simply releasing the illusion of your control and the inner permission to allow life to unfold naturally... as of course it will.
Get the Mustard Seed video and get unstuck
It's called Mustard Seed, using the example "Jesus" uses... I am quoting above from a Huffington Post article here: I am no expert on the New Testament.
- Truth be told, I am in need of a little faith too... I have been paying too much attention at the signs of me dying... and have been resigning to it.
- A silent partner is like a bank... it expects you to do well. My father buying me the guitar at age 13 was like a silent partner. Few people do well with the idea of respect for another's resources, trust, etc. There is no room for respect in desire to receive for the self alone.