What Happens When You Stop Believing?

What Happens When You Stop Believing?

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” - (Hebrews 11:1).
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There are many times in life when it looks like nothing could ever go right. It always seems like it’s raining or that no matter what you do, things just never seem to get better. People begin to question why you stopped smiling so much or my favorite “why so gloomy?” To this I found that the only thing that I could say was that "life happens." This is true; life does happen, and for me it happened a lot. It was that it was one thing after another, and there really was nothing I could do to really ever get back on top. Life just happens.

You sit and wonder when the next shoe will drop, and without a blink of an eye it happens. Another injury, another lost friend, another person telling me everything was going to be ok. But was it really? I stopped being able to smile my way through it, or laugh it out at night. And especially when I could no longer see the good side of things, I knew that I no longer believed. I no longer believed that things would be ok. I no longer believed that another shoe wouldn’t drop or that people, no matter what, were good. I no longer believed that God was in my corner, and with that thought I no longer believed in myself.

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” - (Hebrews 11:1).

Being nine years old and so severely afraid of thunder and lightning, I was given this piece of wisdom. There is always something that we are told that stays with us, for me this was it. When times looked down, this is what I hung on to. But there came a time when not even this was good enough. There are beyond so many things to believe. Some believe love will conquer all, some believe people can do no harm, and some people believe in themselves more than they can ever believe in anything else. This is their essence; this is what makes them who they are. They can gravitate towards something and end up taking it by the horns. So, what exactly happens when you stop believing? What happens when you lose you?

You become lost; you are no longer you. My friends were always the ones who could tell if something was up, and when they did I would always hear, “you just aren’t being you.” This more than anything else in the world scared me. I didn’t want to stop being myself, but with everything happening it was easier to be anything but myself. A little piece is gone from you — from your life. It is in this way that when you stop believing, the world seems to stop alongside it.

I would love to say that there is any easy fix, because one wishes that you can get out of this situation as easily as you got into it. This is not the case. There are still times when I don’t see myself as who I once was. I do see, though, someone who in this time learned to take care of other people because she didn’t want to see anyone else stuck in the rut. I see a girl who turned to her family for help, who learned that although I might not be myself, the world doesn’t revolve around me and there are just as many people out there who have stopped believing too. I see a girl now who would do anything for anyone. I see friends who would do anything for me. I may have stopped believing in my own thoughts, but I never had a single person surrounding me who stopped believing. So, yeah it’s ok to stop believing; it’s ok to lose yourself. But remember that when you do stop believing, there are more people in your corner than you think there are.

Cover Image Credit: Shannon SMirnow

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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A Letter To Me, The Girl Who Overthinks Everything

It's a weakness and a strength.

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Dear Me,

In the past few years of your life, you have hated yourself for your overthinking. I want to take the time to tell you right now that your overthinking is not always a weakness, but it's a sign of your strength. And you need to see that.

I know it's a dreadful feeling. A chill runs down your back. Your mind starts racing. You need to keep moving or your mind will start screaming. You think you'll go deaf from your own thoughts. There's no moment of peace. You think you're going insane.

You analyze the texts. You think back to the conversations. Why didn't she look me in the eye? Why didn't they smile? Should I have said that? Why did I say that? You analyze every little detail to see what it means to you. You relive every mistake over in your mind until you make it right. It never ends and you hate it. But did you ever ask yourself why your brain works this way?

In the first 18 years of your life, you've been through and have done a lot. Probably more than you would like to admit. As a daughter of immigrant parents, you grew up finding your way, often on your own in the world. You needed to figure out life while teaching your parents about it at the same time. While most kids wanted to fit in, you needed to make sure you kept your Vietnamese culture. You've converted religions. You've been betrayed by good friends. You've been fat-shamed...and more. There were times where life felt like it was punching you in the gut, a million times over and you didn't know how to take it. So now, you overthink it.

Why? Well, do you realize how hard you've worked to get to where you are? You're getting awards, scholarships, and you're going to a fantastic college this fall. That's not because you sat back to let things be handed to you on a silver platter all your life. Don't get me wrong. You've been given SO MANY good things in your life, but there was also a lot of bad. Life swung at you when you least expected it. But you're here, aren't you? You overthink because you know what it is like to be fooled, and you want to know that you'll never be caught off guard again. So when life comes to get you, you're making sure you're ready to kick right back.

Another thing... Many people say you overthink because you care what other people think of you. But that's not it. It's actually quite the opposite. You overthink because you over love. All you want is to make the people in your life happy because that's what makes you happy. Life put you in their life for a reason. So, you're giving them all you have. Every little action is a chance for you to do that.

You want to do it all in your life. You overthink everything because if you do something, you're gonna do it right. Your mind needs to keep working. That's what it does even when its not supposed to.

You're strong. But you weren't always this way. Your overthinking is simply a side effect from being caught in the storm for so long. You're in a great place and you're on the way to do great things. No one can stop you now. But you still overthink it so it stays that way. This is how your brain works. It's a part of you and shows how far you've come. You're perfectly okay.

With love,

You, The Overthinker

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