“Faith is taking the first step, even if you cannot see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
When we are in the middle of the muddle and we can’t even see the first step out of the mess, let alone imagine what it’s going to be like to be free of it, there are only two options. We can stay where we are, clinging to what we know, even though it might be wrong for us, or we can wiggle that foot, shift it ever so slightly, and reach out with faith that the help we need will be given to us. We have to trust that even though it’s hard to see where we are going, if we just start to move in the right direction and we have someone to guide us, we will be better off than we would be staying put.
It can be so hard to have faith that there will be solutions as we venture into the unknown. No matter who we are, or what the “mess” is, it’s always better to attempt change with someone beside us. That someone might be a person that we have known and trusted for years; a parent, spouse, clergy, grown child or friend. They might be a person who specializes in our particular problem; a counselor, therapist, organizer, or coach that is trained to guide us. The important thing is that we trust them, and ourselves, enough to follow the path that they are able to show us, into the new place that we want to be.
Helen Keller, who became blind and deaf due to an illness, lived most of her childhood in darkness and silence. Due to her almost complete isolation, she had become angry and combative, but her family loved her and sought help. They took her to doctors, to Alexander Graham Bell, and finally to the Perkins Institute for the Blind where she met the woman who would become her teacher, mentor, and lifetime companion, Anne Sullivan, who herself was almost blind. Helen was able to learn to communicate and express her brilliant mind because of the tireless efforts of all those who loved and believed in her. She was able to break free of the prison of silence and darkness because, even though she remained blind and deaf, she was able to grasp the lifeline of communication from Anne Sullivan. She gave the world some unique and unrepeatable gifts, gifts that were possible because of the faith, hope and love of those around her.
We all have so many gifts and so much that the world needs, but many people are caught in a web of self-reproach and negativity, not believing that there is a way out of the place where they feel trapped. We may not be blind or deaf, but we may feel just as isolated and imprisoned by our circumstances as Helen did. It may not actually be possible for us to break out of the situation on our own. For whatever reason, the things that are weighing on us may be too difficult to get past without help. It’s sometimes harder to reach out and ask for help than it is to live in the dark place. Maybe help has been tried before and was not successful. Maybe we are unaware of where to look.
- Today, decide that you are going to take a step in the effort to find a way out.
- Today, ask someone you trust to help you find the help that you need.
- Make today the last day that you will stumble in the dark.
You woke up this morning feeling uncertain and frustrated. Before you sleep, find faith by reaching out to someone who can help you find the sure path to a more peaceful and rewarding life.
“Believe. No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted island, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” ~ Helen Keller