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When Faith Has an Affair And Walks Out On You–And Doesn’t Even Have the Decency to Look Back.

In: Confidence, Life,

My mother had severe anxiety disorder. Diagnosed. Verifiable. Psychiatric level.

She’d sit in the living room, what iffing life as it passed her by out the window. What if that check doesn’t come? What if that bill is high this year? What if I can’t go? What if it snows that day?

My 16-year old go-to response was always, “Mom, everything’s going to work out. Everything always does in the end. Don’t worry.”

And at the time, I truly believed it. Whether out of necessity or naiveté, every tattered piece of my teenage heart believed it. I had to believe it. Believing it was our only hope. I was a cross-that-bridge-when-you-come-to-it kinda gal, razored deep with faith. Probably my only faith.

But then, of course, as the years went on and the disappointments stacked up–death, money, betrayals, life–I became bitter. Hostile. Hardened.

I saw first hand that sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes faith has an affair and walks right the fuck out on you. And sometimes, you can’t simply cross any ridiculously proverbial bridges “when you come to them,” because the path you’re on is so uncharted, a bridge doesn’t even exist.

During those times, those moments, those years, I would lie awake and try to convince myself of my former ideals. Everything’s going to work out. Everything always does in the end. Everything’s going to work out. Everything always does in the end. 

But somehow, it wasn’t the same.

Somehow, I had stopped believing it.

And this is the moment in the story when I take a puff of my pipe and casually pull a wrinkly newspaper from a crevice in my brown leather couch. The date reads October 2010.

Headline: Foolish girl sells car, takes meager savings in approximate amount of zero dollars and four cents, and randomly flies to the country of Chile to start life anew. (Remember that?)

Okay, so the headline didn’t say that, because there was no headline, because there was no newspaper, but just GO WITH ME HERE.

In October 2010 I had had enough. Enough of the fears. Enough of the what ifs. Enough of the disappointments. I would not watch life pass me by from the other side of the window.

And it was the year that followed, as I explored a country that wasn’t my own, building my life–and a new business–when I realized what the caveat was.

Everything’s going to work out. Everything always does in the end. …when you stop waiting for someone to build you a bridge, and figure out a way to build your own motherloving bridge, instead. 

Because things don’t just work themselves out.

Nothing naturally falls into place. (Not even toupees, you guys.)

And we can’t bet our lives on “what will be, will be.”

The trick is that you can’t have faith in the universe, because the universe is an unfaithful brat, and that Secret guy can send me ALL THE HATE MAIL HE WANTS.

Because the only thing you can have faith in?

Scratch that–MUST have faith in.

Isn’t your ability to cross any bridge,

but your ability to build one.

take the

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58 thoughts on "When Faith Has an Affair And Walks Out On You–And Doesn’t Even Have the Decency to Look Back."

  1. I love what you’re speaking to Ash about building your own bridge.

    It seems to me to that the person you become in the process of overcoming challenges allows you to BE successful and FEEL successful

    High self-esteem connects both of these.

    We have immense capacity to handle challenges and take full advantage of opportunities and I believe we have an innate right to be successful and be happy about our success.

    When these two concepts become true for you, you can become successful and feel successful as well and then THIS opens the door for you to help other people FEEL and BE successful as well.

    High self esteem unlocks your potential and lets you make use of it.

    Some people don’t believe they can be happy about being successful if other people are neither successful nor happy, which in essence says that until they’re happy and successful, you won’t be either.

    One question for anyone to ask themselves if they believe this is, “Are you going to help more people be happy and successful by being happy and successful. . . or will you help more people if you’re unhappy and an embarrassment to your true potential?”

    This is a no-brainer but unless you think about it this way, you may be the person who is unhappy and an embarrassment to your potential who is actually holding other people back.

    Can You Have Too Much Self Esteem?

    Dr. Nathaniel Branden says you can’t have too much self esteem.


    Because self esteem allows you to have an accurate view of yourself which prevents you behaving like an arrogant snob.

    What also comes with high self esteem is a high level of performance which means you’ve EARNED your self esteem, your pride.

    There’s a loop that occurs – you believe you can handle challenges and that you’re worthy of happiness, you go out and handle challenges that make you proud of yourself and increase the quality of your living and only then do you see yourself as being superior to people who are mental midgets by choice; not by capacity (Example: people who can read but won’t read).

    I salute you Ashley doing what it took to overcome your challenges so that you could be here today blessing others with your high self esteem and razor sharp skills. 🙂

  2. Leonie Ferrer says:

    Brilliant! I love how ‘to the point’ all of your posts are. Honesty in business is so god damn refreshing!

    I studied to be a social worker for three and a half years. Fended for myself, cycled 16 miles a day just to get to work and then to get to my paid work afterwards. Three and a half years of hard graft sweat and tears. Began to have panic attacks, it all got too much…

    I was 6 months away fro graduation when i took my ex-boyfriend to Amsterdam for his birthday. Fuckwit decided to being back some weed and magic mushrooms. We were arrested at the airport. Now that doesn’t meet the code of conduct in social work as i’m sure you are aware. I was thrown off my course with no degree, no dignity and a whopping £20,000 in debt. I suffered the biggest anxiety attack id ever had and lay depressed for days wondering what the hell to do with my life. FML was an understatement.

    Fast forward 4 years I can now see that was the best thing that had ever happened to me! I found faith in myself and focused on business rather than being a gatekeeper for a system that would always win. An advocate for those who could not and some who did not want to help themselves. Learnt to live off nothing whilst travelling, found skills and resilience I didn’t even know existed. At one point earlier this year I had to live with an orthodox Jewish family digging mud for two and a half hours a day just to make rent, slept in a garden… you name it I’ve done it.

    Its only when you hit rock bottom that you can climb yourself to the top. Now i live a life i love, doing something i love. Rock bottom rocks.

  3. Rah! says:

    Newish reader, first time commenter
    I lost all faith about 6 months ago. I was ready to firebomb my life and just walk the fuck out and leave it all behind.
    With therapy, friends and fuck-tonne of chocolate I was able to bring myself back. This week I attended a conference that really brought me back to full. So now I’m hanging on for dear life and enjoying the rush.

  4. live love meow says:

    I’ve had a craptacular past few years. Long story short, someone I had trusted screwed me over hard, to ‘teach me a lesson’. By the time all was said and done, I was in a bad way. I’ll leave it at that.

    All I wanted was to have my life back and set out to do just that.

    Somehow, in between the acts, I found blogging, social media, and I found business advice pages–among them TMF. TMF shook me up, got me to lighten up, and got me smiling and laughing again–something I needed quite badly.

    And because I found TMF, and because I had found it in me to smile again, I found the courage to be myself, and become an inventor and start my business with next to nothing, and keep it going even through bouts of doubts.

    I learned a lesson all right, but I don’t think it was the one that the person who screwed me over had intended. Instead I learned that what I could bring to the world had actual value.

    For the first time in my life, I’m getting praise for what I do. I’m getting, hands down, absolutely the best and sweetest thank you notes and calls and messages from people that I’ve helped. I am so, so grateful for that. It feels so good to know I’ve made a good kind of difference for someone!! I am still tickled pink by this.

    and I have dreams again. They’re not the dreams I had before this-all happened. They’re not the dreams of having my old life back. These dreams are bigger, better, brighter and bolder.

    Thank you, Ash, for being a part of that. *hug*