“He who has no faith shall find no faith in them.” ~Lao Tzu
I was touched by an inspiring story by Daniel Hoover, a Tai Chi teacher and acupuncturist. Some years ago, while sitting alone in his car, Daniel realized that he would not be able to make his rent payment due the next day. As a young massage therapist starting his own business, Daniel had hustled to get clients. With no clients in sight, he panicked about how he was going to pay the month’s rent. Knowing in his heart that he had done everything in his power, he felt totally hopeless by his situation. With absolutely nowhere else to turn, he could only do one thing at that moment: surrender to the Universe. As soon as he let go, the Universe answered — he received a call and booked a client, which gave him the money to pay his rent that month.
Deep inside, Daniel knew that he had experienced a powerful and enlightening moment in his life. He realized that by having faith in the Universe, it would become his most powerful tool for transforming his life. Since that moment, Daniel has deepened his faith and has witnessed the fruits of this spiritual transformation. Soon he will be opening his first brick-and-mortar studio for Tai Chi and Eastern holistic living. He has come a long way in his career — and in his faith in the higher powers of this Universe or what others may call our God.
Many of us can relate to Daniel’s story where, moments in our lives, we have felt totally hopeless, powerless, and lost. The best medicine for us in such times is to trust in the Universe by surrendering to it through our faith. When we transform that powerless energy into faith, it turns into hope and better days. There are times when we feel so certain about our path in life, like we were destined to get that job, marry that husband, or buy that house, but we didn’t get it. We feel completely blind-sided because we never saw it coming. Rather than cry that life is so unfair and dwell in our own misery, which can happen easily in these situations, we must be most vigilant in our faith in the Universe.
Just because we can not understand why something we felt so certain about fell through, it does not mean that the Universe did not know what was best for us. Our ability to know our divine destiny is very limited, so even if the situation did not make sense at the time, through our faith, we know that the Universe always has our best interest at heart. Because only the Universe has infinite wisdom and is privy to our divine plan, we must surrender to it through our faith, so when major “disappointments” come our way, we know it is part and parcel of our journey to our divine destiny.
The best opportunity for deepening our faith in the Universe is through our life’s challenges. When we face obstacles, we not only learn to strengthen our faith, just as Daniel did while hustling for clients, we have the possibility of becoming enlightened by the power of our faith. When we lack trust, we block our own energies from connecting to the Universe. By being disconnected, the Universe has no way of working on our behalf, which is when our ability to know and realize our true purpose becomes compromised.
If we want a great ocean, we can not build a dam that prevents the water from flowing into it. So If we want to manifest our own inner greatness, we can not put up a wall of mistrust that prevents the Universe from acting as our conduit for discovering the truth about ourselves. Our lack of faith is the same dam that will prevent the ocean from being the ocean, and prevent us from being us — that is, who we are and our divine purpose. Through faith, we open the radio channels that will allow the Universe to communicate with us so we may be guided in the right direction. Without this guidance, we can easily be lost, leading us to making bad choices in our lives and placing ourselves in situations that do not serve our divine destiny.
While we may want to know everything, by having faith, we do not need to know everything. It is not our job in life to know everything because the Universe carries this burden effortlessly for us. Without this responsibility, we can enjoy our freedom, like a baby bird flying for the first time from its nest — what a feeling that must be! All we need to know is that the Universe is tirelessly working for us 24/7, so we must place our faith in it by living in its natural flow. As a fish must go with the flow of the stream in order to swim effortlessly, we must go with the flow of the Universe to live effortlessly, which is only possible when we surrender to our faith.
Other than life’s challenges, I find that the most powerful way to deepen our faith is through prayer and meditation, as it is in our silence that we become deeply connected to the Universe. Here’s a famous prayer, which I love to recite and call upon, especially during hopeless times, because it always brings me back to my faith:God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and
the Wisdom to know the difference.
I love this prayer because it coaches us on how we can optimally navigate our lives. Like driving a car, we must know in life when to push the pedal, press the brakes, and then let go. Too often, we waste so much of our energies on trying to control or manipulate others or situations, never realizing that we are just shooting ourselves in the foot. When we try to control, we are only blocking our own energies, so the Universe can not work in our favor. Faith is so empowering because we know that the Universe will always take care of us without having to control anything or anyone. In fact, the Universe will work harder — in overtime — for us when when we let go because, in letting go, we have the possibility to receive, as Lao Tzu said, “ to do the work and let it go: for just letting it go is what makes it stay.”
By surrendering to the Universe, it is not condoning laziness or apathy on our part, but rather a pro-active participation in life, as the famous saying goes, “God helps those who help themselves.” Once we have done our part and let go, the Universe will do its part. As Daniel did his part by hustling to get clients and then letting go when he could do no more, the Universe did its part by bringing him a client. So when we become an active participant in our lives, that powerful energy will be received by the Universe, and, in due time, will turn into rewarding opportunities.
I see life as one big road map. As we drive through it, we must watch out for all of the signs posts the Universe has placed everywhere, indicating where we need to turn, enter or exit a road. However, once we make that turn, entrance or exit, we must take our hands off the steering wheel and let the Universe drive the car for us. When we become temporarily lost on the road, we return to our map by placing our faith in the Universe, and it will always show us the right direction and place us back on the road to our true purpose.
In Daniel’s final words to me, he said something so wise and profound, “the more we trust in the Universe, the more it reveals itself to us.” When you deepen your faith, the Universe will always reveal itself so powerfully to you by lighting the brightest candle in your path of life, so make the Universe your best friend by having faith in it.
By Moon Cho, Creator of Ying & Yang Living