Yesterday a dear friend asked me what my most important or principle virtue is, and for a solid 16 hours I had no idea. I've contemplated and meditated on virtues a lot before, but when the question hit, I drew a blank.
I've been reading this lovely trilogy called Legends of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler. In it the heroine is constantly practicing trusting, surrendering and believing in order to find the solutions to difficult problems. As the books go on, she gets better and better at knowing that this is always the best approach, and the time she spends in doubt and anxiety goes from regular to nil.
When I woke up this morning, it hit me: faith is my principle virtue. Faith that there is love for me here in this world, always; that I can't do it wrong in any permanent way, that it's always - however mysteriously in the moment - working out for me; that there is a benevolent universe-creating personality whose attention is holding me in it's enormous embrace, and that I am worthy of this attention. Indeed, faith that when I surrender to this feeling of being held, that clear answers arrive, paths are revealed, guidance is given.
Faith has been the big game-changer in my life and my access to joy. My faith is supported by imagination, meditation, visualization and storytelling. There are resources in the writing of poets and saints, religious texts and spiritual teachers. And ultimately my faith is my own, my practice, my promise: to cultivate a relationship with this big holy attention, to surrender myself to it, so that I may live in joy, ease and fulfillment, empowered to create and be as big in my service as I can be. The more I return to this commitment, the more frequently I remember my promise, the shorter my moments of anxiety are, the greater my resources when I feel alone, the stronger and bigger my heart is - I feel straight up superpowered. With love, with certainty, with belonging.
What's your principle virtue? What do you do to cultivate it?