Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Have faith: the ultimate un-quide to surrender.


Let your heart take flight

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

                                                                                                                                            Rabindranath Tagore

I am talking with a friend about this word ‘faith’. About how I struggle to understand. To let go of my resistance. To move beyond the struggle.


He tells me about a conversation he had with a friend about Christianity. About his friend’s concern for his soul because my friend has told him he is not ‘a Christian’. That his faith is not based on a religious belief but on something less defined, less structured.

“I believe God is big enough to understand my faith is not expressed through doctrine,” he tells me.

Or at least, that’s what I remember him saying though I think I may have the exact words wrong.

Even knowing I may not be quoting him correctly, I have faith he will understand his words meant a lot to me.

I struggle with the leap into the unknown without a label.

It is the biggest leap I’ve ever taken.

To simply surrender my need for the label, to free fall as I am without having to define myself with words to explain who I am or where I am in my faith.

I believe the Universe holds me safe in its embrace, no matter what words I use to define my position.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi says to “Believe in nothing.”

 “I discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no color—something which exists before all forms and colors appear… No matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached to it, your belief will be based more or less on a self-centered idea. 

~ Shunryu Suzuki Roshi — with Vishnu Dhakarge.

Believe in nothing. Know that all is exactly as all is.

Have faith in the all of everything and the nothing that exists without words, without labels, without form.

It is the challenge of the leap. I want to belong. To be part of, to fit in yet I know that for me, deep within my soul is the desire to be free of the forms I want to fit into, to leap beyond the idea of who I am as defined by the labels I wear to fit in.

I leap.

And breathe.

To have faith, I must surrender my need to be attached to the knowing of where I belong. I must trust the road will rise up to meet me. I must have faith my wings will appear as I freefall into the unknown of the nothing that is beyond my belief.


Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

18 thoughts on “Have faith: the ultimate un-quide to surrender.

  1. I don’t think there is a need for labels and I feel that God is way less judgmental than us humans are, and that HE sees our hearts with loving eyes… Far more than people with agendas. But for me, I’ve always needed to use the HIS name… GOD I believe HE created the “universe” not the other way around.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post for today. Faith is how we all define it for ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I decided religion wasn’t a good fit for me, I felt free. After some time and distance from it, I was able to see why people seek comfort in it. I’ve known people who hide behind it. Some use it to absolve themselves from personal accountability. I chose to free myself from a guilt-centered doctrine. I didn’t want to feel bad about life choices and couldn’t participate in a group that decided some people are less worthy than others. Too many contradictions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In your words Kerri I feel an alignment within me — I too have let go of the doctrine to embrace what I believe to be true, for me. It is as Jennie says so beautifully — treating others with love and respect is a universal truth we can all live without fear. Thanks for adding light to the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this Louise. I hope I’m not out of line identifying myself as that friend, but it was a wonderful conversation to be a part of, and one that was deeply meaningful to me as well.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Faith develops over a period of time, it is a nice panacea to find solace during the stressful moments and situations, which seem to be out of our control. Despite my doubts, I have always felt faith would help me and to my surprise it has! With experience and understanding my confusion about this term, I have concluded that it is not bad to depend on this simple term – ‘Faith’, which has been complicated by mankind.


  6. Considering and discussing faith seems to me, in and of itself, meritorious- no matter what the guidelines or un-guidelines.

    Coming from a position of non-faith (even persecuting Christians) then, to strong faith- I find much comfort, security, and peace in having a faith in the God of the Bible that does have very specific guidelines.

    And these guidelines, rather than being guilt-centered, are there to help us in our day-to-day lives, and establish meaning, purpose, goals and personal fulfillment. Personally, I know that without these words, I would not be alive, as this book has sustained me through the darkest of times.

    It’s unfortunate that so much of what God has said has been so distorted by those who use it only to satisfy their own personal cravings for power, wealth and control, but we still have the original source that we can rely on: Ephesians 3:

    “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

    It’s possible that faith may be a free fall into believing nothing, but I think it’s worth considering that there is a God who created the universe and loves us more than we can understand. But whatever the case, I know that the discussion of the issue is a good thing and that loving and respecting each other, no matter what we believe, is a universal truth that you often articulate. Thanks Louise


    • One of the many things I love about you Jennie is your beautiful, gentle heart and your deep faith. You and Dan have always touched and inspired me through your deep faith. In your faith I see the words of Ephesians 3 come to life — and that is a beautiful and inspiring gift. Thank you dear friend for showing up here today in your love and beautiful words. And yes, loving and respective each other, in all are doubts, fears, differences and similarities is for me a truth I embrace — thank you for living it so beautifully.


  7. Wow, that just gave me such a new perspective. Although I was raised Presbyterian — the northern, lackadaisical kind of Presbyterian–and attended Sunday School, sang in the choir, etc. I never felt like I belonged there. When I found my way into a spirituality without the organization it felt SO good. I didn’t think about how that transition would be for someone who did fit into or love their original brand of religion. So thanks for broadening my perspective — always love to understand more about other people’s paths.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I so appreciate Leigh that the conversation broadened your perspective and mine. It is as Jennie says, the conversation, when held in love and respect, can only expand our understanding and appreciation of our own path, and other people’s paths.


  8. Beautiful, Louise. I get it.


  9. I have found deep peace in living in a state of “not knowing.” It’s a strange kind of paradox. In my, not knowing, I know.


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