Try not to confuse a belief with faith. A belief is a thought that you keep thinking repeatedly and that which may not serve you. Faith is a knowing that exists from within, not something attained by a habit of thought. Thoughts can be destructive and not serve your greater good. Faith understands that your material body is connected to the non-material body or the spirit. Some refer to the spirit as their higher self, the God within, or the Divine Self.
If we observe our thoughts, which ultimately create our reality, we can catch ourselves when ego thoughts are “behind the wheel.” How can we tell? Typically, the ego likes to place thoughts of depression, remorse, guiltiness, or regret into our heads. Sometimes it puts more subtle messages such as apprehension, lack of confidence, or just plain old lack. The ego likes to drive, and it is our duty as spiritual beings to recognize this and put our foot on the brakes.
You don’t have to feed more negativity to the ego, such as, “You’re driving me crazy—get out of my head!” Just recognize the “chatter” and recompose it. Swami Paramananda suggests that “When these feelings come, it is good to have some strengthening text to repeat.” In other words, reconstruct the thought-feeling-belief. It doesn’t have to be an outlandish reconstruction. It can be as simple as an affirmation or rephrasing. For example, if you feel a sense of self-defeat at work, say, “All is well; I’m on a learning curve and need time to process all new things coming my way.”
Being conscious of our thoughts-feelings-beliefs will help to strengthen our spiritual faith, which is of utmost importance. Again, if we seek faith from the outside world, we’ll always be grasping at something finite. On the other hand, if we seek and nurture faith from the inside, or true self, we have access to infinite possibilities and endless solutions.
It is a process, most often a slower process, to unfold the limiting mind beliefs and doubts and transmute them to unfaltering spiritual faith. Consciousness is key to this unfoldment. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings on the outer plane of existence. Know that if they are harmful and depressing, they are not serving your faith in being.
Instead, turn to the higher self for strength in knowing what is true. Truth is knowing, and as a seeker of truth, this “knowing” leads to self-realization of the higher self, which will always fortify your feelings through divine consciousness and guide you through and to true spiritual faith.
If you find difficulty on your journey, be still, pray, meditate, and find a teacher who you can trust to help guide you. However, take note that no teacher can live your journey. It is yours to traverse through every experience; whether you identify it as good or bad, helpful or not, it is part of the process here on Earth. Keeping the faith is knowing and realizing that all experiences on your journey lead to God.