There’s a beautiful paradox about space.
It is so yearned yet feared for. Picture craving space alone versus loneliness. Imagine a mind seeking clarity from clouded thoughts against one seeking space for inspiration. Feel the years longing some peace and quiet only to find an empty house and home. They’re two of one the same. A spectrum on the shade of space.
Space and faith, I find, have a correlation. I recall moving half way across the world, to a new country completely foreign to my own, in a city where I knew nobody, in a land where I had no home. I had vague plans of how I might settle there but as always, life had it’s own lessons in store.
I had rented an apartment, a gritty 2-bed I had found in the desperation to escape an even grittier hostel in the heart of Beijing. After long days of searching, dodgy landlords and creaking floorboards – I sat on this cold, hard floor, finally, with a feeling of gratitude for shelter. At that moment, I received an unwelcome message. The person who was planned to pay that other rent, wasn’t coming.
Initial reaction: panic, fear, anxiety.
Two people’s rent and only one person’s salary. A junior job that I hadn’t even begun. 22 million people in a city, 99.99 percent of which I couldn’t communicate with. How do I even begin to fill that space? With a lump in my throat, I walked over to the room opposite mine and opened the door. Peeking in and walking around in the silence that it offered, opening the empty cupboard doors as if by surprise, an answer might jump out the drawers to solve the problem.
But it did. And it was the other spectrum of space.
As if by submerging in it, I found its softer side. The same silence that moments before had scared me, now washed over my heart, like a tide sweeping away any pebbles of doubt. That very moment soaked in the solitude I once feared showed me faith. Faith in that space. Faith that whoever is meant to fill the room in that apartment, would. Faith that whatever was meant to fill that sudden space in my life, would. And they would bring with them, a rafter of lessons, just like this one.
Faith, I reference here, not as any higher being, but as a pure essence of belief. One that any human being, in distress or not, is capable of. This feeling I felt vibrating in every inch of my body is what I now know as faith. It’s a feeling that gave me confidence in a moment of despair. An open invitation to comfort in a space of the unknown.
The reality of it is that this faith alone will not save us from the sparsity of space. It’s just that with faith, our belief is processed through the prism of our thoughts and manifested in the display of our actions. The strength of belief, gives us courage to guide our character through challenging situations. It provides an anchor on which to calmly steer our emotions. It allows us to make decisions with a gut feeling that invites the right person, the right partner and the right plan to find our space. One that could not be found in the foggy nature of fear.
It turns out, the right person did take that room. An inspiring, strong woman who became a dear and cherished friend. This was the first lesson she taught me, in the void that she filled.
There is power in the belief of space I learnt, if only splashed with a sprinkle of faith.