How many times in our lives do we hear people say to us and others, “just have faith and it’ll all work out.” What is faith? There are many definitions, but for the purpose of this essay faith, as per Merriam Webster, is a “firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust.” Because faith is such an elusive concept not grounded in fact and cannot be proven, it is hard for many to grasp and put into practice. The daily grind of life, many times, can wear down any semblance of faith we may have to endure the most trying of times.
I would have to say that throughout my life, I have had a varying degree of faith; in myself, in religious entities, politicians and in other people generally. While I have had many breaches of faith, and moments of self doubt and have been disappointed in the faith I had in people in whom I placed a certain degree of trust, I can say with a relative degree of confidence that I have always been a faithful person. Even in my darkest moments, I clung to a belief in an unseen power within myself; one that could ultimately lift me out of whatever predicament I found myself in. It is such leaps of faith that guided me through many difficult times and which will sustain me in any future moments in which a leap of faith will be necessary to reach the next plateau.
Life changing decisions usually involve a leap of faith in order to make them. I made one when I came out, 15 years ago now, which created immense momentum forward in my journey of self introspection and growth, culminating in the person I am today; an advocate, activist and proud queer male, not afraid to express his feelings about issues of the day and to work toward equality for all, without fear of repercussion.
I have recently taken another HUGE leap of faith in myself and my abilities, and arrived at a life changing decision; a decision which many people would not even dare make or dream of making. After 20+ years working for the City of Oneonta, as its City Clerk, I tendered my resignation, effective on a mutually agreed upon date sometime in the middle of July. I had anguished over this decision for literally a number of years, before finally taking the leap of faith to follow through with what I knew I had to do to move ahead in my life.
Change is never easy, but sometimes we must muster the courage within and do that which our internal inspiration compels us to do. I see this as a bold life changing decision that will open many new opportunities for me, and yet to some, may seem like a crazy, suicidal action.
However, as is the case with water, if it does not circulate and move and get refreshed it stagnates and begins to stifle life and creativity. Unfortunately, I had begun to stagnate and I felt the need to pursue more a more creative venue or venues in which to function.
Life is a book and chapters must end, and alas, it was time to close this chapter and move on to the next. I look forward to the chapters yet to be written and the many wonders of life that await me.. I do not want to be 20 years out, at age 72, wondering what could have been if I hadn’t made the decision to leave my post. My gut compelled me to move on and choose a new path.
What issue are you facing at the moment that requires a leap of faith? Are you agonizing over a decision that must be made in order to complete yourself? If you are, I encourage you to muster every bit of strength you can in order to propel you forward past your anguish and fear, and to make the decision you need to make to clear the path in order to continue your journey forward in life. If you do not, you will be stuck at the fork in road like I was for many, many months, agonizing over whether or not to make the decision I knew I needed to make.
You deserve to be happy. Happiness and contentment is derived from doing what you know is best for yourself. Staying in a situation that you do not want to be in is not healthy and will cause undue stress and take years off your life.
Have faith in yourself and make the decision that is right for you! Find your leap of faith that will clear your path and help you choose which one to take at the fork in the road. Do it today! Do not hesitate. Once you make your decision, do not look back. Do not second guess yourself, as that will only delay your personal growth forward unnecessarily.