July Editor’s Letter: Faith is Confidence in Confidence Alone

Dear Readers,

Faith is a tenuous topic for me. I have a history of religious trauma, conservative rigidity and ritual divestment. The word “faith” triggers a series of complex memories along with an astounding amount of cultural guilt. When I found myself turning away from the term altogether, drawing in and grimacing with disgust, I decided to develop a new outlook. While I identify myself culturally as Muslim, I do not ascribe to Islam or any other faith-based system.

I stepped away from religion entirely.

I choose to embrace faith as a conscious positive thought process. For me, it is optimism. I don’t find comfort in praying to God or Universe or Creator, although I do often find great comfort in Goddess. This is because I am my own goddess, the creator of my own actions, the director of my world–or at least my outlook on it. Which is great news for me because I am still coming up with aces even though life has done its best to mire me in shit.

It’s only popular to say this within a spiritual framework, yet I have none: I believe in myself.

As Julie Andrews as Maria von Trapp sang pre-life-changing nanny gig, “I have confidence in me.”

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Looking back through this month’s guest and featured pieces, I see many reflections on religious belief, but just as many on personal triumph. Regardless of ideology, I see a collection of voices raised to speak their truth in a compassionate and open-hearted atmosphere.

This is Open Thought Vortex at its best. 

I look forward to our shift into family and community themes of culture and identity in our upcoming issues. It feels to me that OTV is finding its rhythm in a chaotic world. No small feat for a vortex.

Please tell us what you’ve loved and what you want more of. We are happy to have you hear. Readers’ voices are just as valued as our writers’. Our writers will tell you so themselves. After all, many of them first spoke to us in comments or on Twitter.

With love,

Shawna