Faith and Helplessness

By Greg Baer M.D.

February 2, 2018

Personal Growth

On uncounted thousands of occasions I have explained—in person and through written material—the principles of Real Love. Often—very often—people are fascinated by what they hear or read, but then comes the moment when they consider putting these principles into practice in their lives.

Oh my, then they come face-to-face with the unknown. Practicing unconditional love—as compared to the familiarity of a lifetime of fear, protection, anger, victimhood, and more—is VERY different. So, when people begin this new path, they feel lost. They don’t know what will happen next if they practice love. But how could it be otherwise?

Faith and Change

In order to do something new, we have to trust. Another word for that is faith. If we want to genuinely change, there MUST be new perspectives or guidelines or rules, and we must have faith in them. There could be no other way.

If a child wants to learn to ride a bicycle—which in recent years has been proven to be far more complex a behavior than we had thought—she must TRUST that when she gets on that bicycle, she won’t be hurt, humiliated—or even die. Those are very real fears for such a child. But if her desire to do this new thing is strong enough, she feels compelled to trust that she CAN do it, and that the assurances of her parents and examples of other children are to be TRUSTED.

And so it is with us as adults. We learn a new principle, and when we practice it, we step into the unknown. We take a seat on the bicycle. Faith. It means that we take our next best step—based on our admittedly fallible judgment—knowing that we can't control the outcome. Faith has a certain element of helplessness, a sense of falling, and yet it is still the only way.

Ironically, even though we might FEEL helpless as we exercise faith, we are not. We can’t control the outcome, to be sure, but that is not the same as helplessness. Our uncertainty drives us to seek the help of others—people who have already been trusting, people who have walked that particular path, people who have walked through the sense of falling—including God. That seeking of help alone is faith, and accepting the help and moving forward with it is a demonstration of even more faith.

Faith is not blind. It’s a conscious decision to move toward a light we cannot yet see. It’s a choice to grow rather than to remain afraid, defensive, stagnant, and emotionally dead all our lives.

Nearly all of us stand on a cliff, mostly oblivious to our position. But there we stand, and behind us a forest fire races toward us with a fury that consumes everything in its path. Only faith will enable us to leap from the cliff into the unknown river below.

Take the leap.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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