Written by: Silvana Avram, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
The journey from doubt, to hope, to trust – your most valuable gift to yourself and to humanity.
I have always marvelled at our capacity, as humans, to adapt to our environment and get on with our lives, even as so many of our questions are left unanswered.
We don’ know, for example, who or what created the universe. We don’t really know why we are here – where we come from and where – if anywhere – we are going. Yet, we were able to build fascinating civilisations and we developed admirable coping mechanisms to help us find some comfort in the world, and to protect ourselves from the unsettling mystery surrounding our life and our purpose.
As a Life Coach, I meet many people who are searching for meaning – who want to give more meaning to their life. It is never too late to start asking fundamental questions. Yet, I wish we had the wisdom and courage to introduce such questions in our educational systems, very early on. You see – our world is a reflection of who we are. If our world is in turmoil, it is because we are confused, fearful, and overwhelmed. If our world is dominated by division and violence, it is because we are at war with ourselves.
Maths, languages, science, art, music, sport, history and geography… are all very important, of course. But teaching our children how to be at peace, how to live in harmony with others, how to respect our planet, how to be kind and generous, how to value everyone’s gifts and contribution and acknowledge their place in society and in the universe, would certainly help us build a better world than the one we inherited.
To change our world, we need to take responsibility. “Change starts with you!” may sound like an old cliché, but it is true.
If we want to live in a peaceful and harmonious world, we must first find peace and harmony.
I have no doubt that this is possible. It is also needed, urgently!
Finding inner peace is a powerful journey. A journey that we must all take, together, and individually.
The journey to inner peace is simple, yet mysterious. It leads to a state of self-acceptance, and harmony with all there is. It holds the secret to lasting happiness, and, quite clearly, it is the only way to bring peace in our world.
I am convinced that embarking on this journey is the most important step each one of us can take towards lasting fulfilment and serenity. It is also the most valuable contribution we can bring to society. By achieving inner peace, we bring peace to our world, learn to feel at home in the universe, and create a worthy legacy.
As a coach, it is a privilege to witness, every time, the incredible power of this journey. And whilst each journey is personal and unique, I want to share with you what I see as the three stages of transformation we all go through, as we commit to finding inner peace.
Are you ready? Let us start our journey!
If there is something we all learn very early on, it is doubt. We learn to doubt ourselves and others and, by extension, we learn to doubt the world around us. Doubt can be very useful. It helps keep us safe. It helps us develop an inquisitive mind. It has led to the development of science, and it has allowed us to make progress and to keep looking for solutions.
But by relying too much on doubt, we have become too sceptical and mistrustful. Doubt seems to be our default setting. It is, indeed, widely appreciated and encouraged, as a sign of “realism”. Yet, it has led us to create a world view dominated by negativity. We doubt our worth, we doubt our potential, we doubt humanity’s destiny…and we are left uninspired and empty.
Despite its practical benefits, the fundamental shortcoming of doubt is that it does not offer any answers. By its very nature, doubt cannot propose any vision. It does not tell us anything about our purpose or place in the universe. It undermines our confidence without offering much in exchange.
It is only when we decide to give hope a chance that things can start to change.
Hope is the other side of doubt. Hope is doubt leaning towards positivity! What if…things could turn out well? What if there is a solution to every problem? What if dreams could become reality? What if positivity is better than negativity?
With hope we make the first step outside the vicious cercle of doubt.
But in a world so dominated by doubt, hope is naturally fragile, and often defeated. Cynicism tends to win over optimism.
Yet, if we decide to give hope a chance…life suddenly becomes more exciting. There is the promise of pure joy. The richness of a broad, confident smile. Nonchalance. Courage. Freedom. It feels so good to embrace hope. It is so worth it, just for this brief experience of empowerment. Everyone has experienced hope. Think back to the last time you felt hopeful. Stay with that feeling for a while…Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be hopeful all the time?
Suddenly, with hope, a whole universe of potentiality opens…
I hear people say that hope leads to disappointment. But what can be more disappointing than allowing doubt to win all the time? Not being able to dream? Not being able to dare?
The only thing that kills hope, is doubt …That fearful suggestion that it may be safer not to try. That nagging reminder of all your supposed past failures. That panicked inner voice telling you to give up.
So, if you want to give hope a chance, you must learn to deal with doubt. Learnt to identify it – to listen to it, and to decide whether doubt is helping you or hindering you. There will be situations when doubt is wise. There will also be situations when doubt comes from fear.
At a more philosophical level, in a world that tends to consider being hopeful or optimistic as rather foolish, it is worth mentioning Pascal’s wager. The French philosopher is famous for saying that, since it is not possible to prove or disprove that God exists, it is in one’s rational self -interest to act as if God exists and to lead a good and moral life. Leaving aside the religious connotations specific to the 17th century, one can loosely adapt his argument to say that it is better to choose hope and benefit from the positivity and meaning it brings, rather than stick with doubt and stay forever miserable.
I have recently published an article dedicated to hope – and to the positive influence it can have on our life. I mentioned there that I consider hope to be natural…because we all need to believe that there is a better tomorrow.
As humans, we have a choice. We can choose hope, consciously. We can decide to ignore doubt, and all the negativity around it, and choose hope anyway.
It is only when we choose hope, that we can unleash the infinite potential hidden in all of us. Only by choosing hope, we can be truly brave and adventurous, generous and solidary…Because hope gives us strength. It reveals the best in us. And, when hope is a conscious choice, it can defeat doubt and negativity.
With hope, there is suddenly the prospect of building a better world, of creating a better tomorrow.
Hope is dynamic and energising. It is bold and refreshing.
Yet, due to its constant battle with doubt, hope remains fragile and unreliable.
Given the world we live in, we are bound to encounter disappointments.
So, to find true serenity, we must allow hope to take root. To be firmly planted in our consciousness.
When hope grows so strong that it replaces doubt completely, hope becomes trust.
Trust is the experience of feeling at home in the universe.
It is the secret to inner peace.
Only trust can bring serenity.
When we are under the influence of doubt, the world is a threatening place. We don’t even dare to look at the universe – infinity and eternity seem overwhelming. We feel stifled and insignificant. We build defensive mechanisms and try our best to hide behind reasonable explanations.
Hope allows us to start dreaming. It pushes us to take risks, to look for meaning, to believe that we can, actually, play our part in the gigantic cosmic game.
When we have Trust, we KNOW that we belong. We look at the universe and know that, just like the blades of grass and the stars in the sky, we have our unique, precious place, in the fascinating story of life.
When we trust life, everything takes on a new meaning. It is as if someone switched on the lights, and the silent, black and white movie playing before, has turned into a mesmerising colourful experience, engaging all our senses.
When we trust the universe and our place in it, everything is exactly as it is meant to be. The planets follow their perfect orbits. Spring always comes after winter. Day replaces night.
Everything matters, yet nothing is too important. Even as we experience the turmoil of the world, we find refuge in the sanctuary of our inner peace.
But how do we access this precious state of serenity?
How do we build trust?
We can only build trust when we open to the mystery around us. When we conquer doubt, and fear.
Doubt keeps us trapped in the forever menacing, immediate reality.
Hope gives us the courage to see life as an adventure, as an opportunity.
The journey to trust is an arduous journey. It requires commitment, and the unwavering determination to break free.
To reach trust, we must give up control. We must stop trying to force life to be the way we think it should be. Instead, we let life guide us. We allow life to express and fulfil itself through us, naturally.
It may feel like a jump into the unknown. It is. But once we leave doubt and all former, limited, certitudes behind…we find ourselves supported by the very miracle of being.
When we go beyond the limits we have imposed on ourselves…we realise that being is the ultimate gift, and the ultimate goal.
We trust life when we understand that being is enough.
We trust life when we wake up to the truth that we are life.
From doubt, to hope, to trust - this all important, transformative journey may take a lifetime, but it is so worth it.
Doubt makes our existence limited and painful.
Hope opens our hearts and minds to infinite possibilities.
But only in Trust we can find lasting inner peace and serenity.
I hope that reading these lines will encourage you to embark consciously on your own, personal journey towards finding trust.
Do you see how often you let doubt win?
Will you make a promise to constantly give hope a chance?
Will you build the strength to always choose trust over fear?
Nothing will happen if you don’t. Your life, and our world, will stay the same.
But if you do decide to say yes to hope and trust, you will embark on an exhilarating new adventure. And you will give yourself – and all of us, the chance to transform reality, and to write a better story.
There is no other way. From doubt, through hope, to trust ‒ this is the ultimate journey you and I will have to make, together and individually.
I dream of the day when we all live in trust.
To be at peace, to feel at home in the universe, and to build a better legacy, we must leave doubt and fear behind, embrace hope, and open our hearts and minds to trust.
Trust in life.
Trust in the intelligence of the universe.
Trust in who we are. Trust in ourselves and in each other.
Trust in our common destiny, as humanity.
Silvana Avram, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Silvana Avram is a successful, Inspirational Life Coach, philosopher, author, teacher, and founder of Life Coaching with Silvana – whose mission is to empower us to embrace our uniqueness, fall in love with life, and fulfill our potential and create a beautiful legacy.
Fascinated from a young age by the mystery of life and our place in the universe, Silvana has been on a quest to find her own answers to the big existential questions facing humanity. Now an acclaimed Coach and Author, she draws on her extensive study of Philosophy, Psychology, Meditation, Holistic Healing, and Spirituality to create a uniquely inspirational and empowering style of Coaching – also reflected in her Book “Being You and Loving You” in which she guides us through an unforgettable, transformative journey of self-discovery and self-love.
Convinced that we can overcome the prevalent paradigms of fear and division, Silvana has recently focussed her attention on developing a radically innovative approach, outlined in her upcoming book, “Living in Eternity” – and which has earned her an unexpected nickname: “Miss Eternity”! She argues passionately that, rather than chasing goal after goal and living for tomorrow, we should, instead, live every day, every moment, with the joy, awe, and serenity we experience when we see our lives from the perspective of Eternity. When we choose to live in Eternity, everything falls into place, everything we do takes on a different meaning, and we become aware that, as humanity, we are, in fact, constantly creating our common legacy.
Silvana’s ambition: is to inspire us to write a better story for ourselves – and for humanity – in Eternity!