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faith

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This is a re-post from last October. It remains relevant.
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What is “faith”? How does it affect the way in which I perceive and integrate Down syndrome within my life?
I see faith primarily in two ways: 
1) as a framework for belief with sets of rules included (as in a religion) and 
2) a confidence or trust in a person, thing or concept. 
Sometimes these are blended. The framework part being like the bones, insulation and walls of a house, the confidence/trust bit being like the furniture. Or something like that. 

Sometimes they are not blended. Sometimes one might have all the framework in place – follow all the rules and guidelines within a given religion, yet not have the second part, the confidence/trust piece. They might go to church and yet not really believe in God, so to speak. Conversely, one might have all the confidence and trust available to hold within a human spirit and not abide by any type of framework. 

In the course of this experience I’ve had with Down syndrome, I’ve felt one or the other rise to the surface, not both. They have not blended for me. Yet? 

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The framework for my belief system kept me from ending my life – and later, from packing up and running away – after the genetic counselor called me at work to tell me that the amniocentesis had tested positive for Trisomy 21. That’s all I wanted to do – just drive over a cliff. So much easier, I thought, than to actually grapple with decisions and prejudice against this syndrome, against disability, against God-knows-what-else-is-coming-my-way-FUCKIT! 

That sounds so melodramatic. 

It didn’t feel that way, let me tell you, on that Wednesday night, right about now. Two years ago.  It was just pure, driven pain, as searing as it gets. 

In the struggle that it was, faith was my tipping point – the Faith that I’ve grown up with has always said that suicide is just not a good idea – taking our lives into our own hands is ending an experience that isn’t ours to end. The Baha’i writings say much, much more on this and far more eloquently than my little paraphrased what-I-got-from-it. This is, like everything on this blog, just my gist.

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The confidence/trust part helped me to synthesize everything that happened – pre-birth, birth and the firewalking I did throughout. Synthesis that I see will never be truly synthesized – it’s all part of the grand experience called My Life and it’s going to keep shifting and growing as long as I exist. 
That piece has been crucial – the trust that this all is for something. There is a point to whatever. The confidence that I can change a part of the experience. Make it brighter, more in lines with my vision, I can change these things. I can take this Trisomy 21 and interpret it however I want.  We all have that unique opportunity. 
Want it to be a blessing? Okay! It is! 
Want it to be a lodestone? No problem! One lodestone coming up! 
Want it to be a source of your rising up to “save the world”? Yes! Rise on up! 
Want it to be not that big a deal? You got it, sister! Not a big deal!

I believe we get what we want. What we focus on. What we put our energy to. What we believe in. Where our faith – as in, where our confidence and trust lies.
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I take a deep breath, think some more.This faith thing, it’s a hard marriage sometimes between the one (framework) and the other (confidence and trust). And yet everything about faith is simple. Like a growing organism that starts with one cell and ends up something other-wordly

It’s faith  that tells me to me treasure this moment

Because it’s going to change in an instant

It’ll be unique and precious, always, but it will be different. All moments are.

My confidence in the rightness of now makes some signs far more apparent than they once were

You know, things like, “just slow down already, Meriah” or “you’re getting bent out of shape about…what?

And just…not even go some places.

Faith now is what leads me to take big, gulping breaths. They feel better, they really do. And I trust that feeling.

Faith makes me enjoy the small things – a broken truck in a redneck’s yard

Or clouds reflected in a puddle

A horse, so lovely and still

My neighbour’s rose, in bloom and in shadow.

The absurd too has it’s place, doesn’t it?!

And joy. Always joy, ever joy.

Same goes for gratitude. Real and true.

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Welcome to the Summer Disability Blog Hop on With a Little Moxie – this is a hop for bloggers who are advocates, people with disabilities and/or have a connection with disability through blogging.

 

The point of the hop is to connect and share. Meet new people. Create community.
The Summer Series will go until the end of August. Each Hop will remain “open” for two weeks – that is, you can join at any point in the given period by adding the direct url to your post on the NON-OPTIONAL prompt.
The topic for the Hop running from July 5- July 19 is:

That is: Faith and Disability. How has your faith (or lack of) influenced the framework within which you view/experience disability? How has that “Faith Lens” (or lack of) affected your perspective?

If you’d like to play with the photo of Spock, here it is

Spock-riffing is totally optional. Again, the prompt is not.

(to riff the photo – just upload it over at picmonkey, add comic bubbles, save to your computer, then upload to your post! Easy peas)

POSTING YOUR LINK:

– click on “click here to enter”

– when it open in a new window, add the title of your blog and post title where it says “picture caption”. Add the direct url link to your post where it says “link”.  Email address and name are optional.

After you placed your information, something comes up that asks you about if you want the code for the hop on your blog. If you do, just indicate yes, copy and paste the code. Once pasted, open your original post, view it in HTML, not the typical visual mode (there are two tabs next to both blogger and wordpress screen in which you can choose between HTML and visual). Scroll to the very bottom of your post, paste the code. Switch back to the visual to check and make sure it looks right. It should (unless you have free wordpress – the code isn’t the best for free wp; just for blogger and self-hosted wp).

Any questions, just email me at withalittlemoxie@gmail.com.

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