Mariah Carey’s “Someday” evokes a time when I rode in cars with a fresh-faced optimism that seems difficult to seize right now. If I think harder for a moment, that optimism was at least one part naivety. This was the 1990s and I was a kid unaware of the many choices people made on my behalf.
The rough videogame hum and bass that coarsed through that song functioned like a boxing match between the music and Carey’s powerful voice. This song for me was the perfect cup of coffee. Often, I forget how easy it is open Amazon Music and shuffle my cloud library. Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes cannot replicate their experience.
When Carey sings “Someday”, the track is simple enough to be catchy, and serious enough to renew faith. In that decade, songs definitely seemed more passionate. Right now, I’m reminiscing about “Make It Happen”, another Carey hit just as infectious.
She sang: “I held on to my faith; I struggled and I prayed.”
The other day someone implied that therapy replaces faith. That disappointed me because from where I sit, it’s simply not true. How else do you explain the times when people spend years in therapy without reconciling their spiritual roots? Most people with a strong spiritual background don’t abandon spiritual communities abruptly. The struggle continues indefinitely.
My experience with therapy is extremely grounded in reason and science. While reason and science helps isolate triggers and behaviors that are harmful, they do not account for the deep spiritual deficit left in their wake.
Therapy actually reinforced my need for faith. The sad thing is: While faith gets a bad rap from skeptics, faith gets me through a type of loneliness that therapy cannot fix. I am on journey learning to struggle and pray. I’m “making it happen” with fear and less trembling. Faith helps me find peace when therapy leaves me with blank expressions.
Yesterday, I read the “American Scholar”, a powerful literary manifesto written in 1837 by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I was led there by writer and literary great, Toni Morrison. Emerson was influenced by a Swedish man that tried to mix several different religions together. If you read it, you’ll discover who I mean. When I finished reading Emerson’s lengthy conclusion about American knowledge, I realized that there was no mention of black people, just blackness, firmly associated with struggle and calamity.
My ancestors were there then. We, black men and women, are here now. I will struggle and pray and walk forward, but I cannot do so without my faith. Knowledge is not meant to make us arrogant people. We are not meant to have this “blind trust” in ourselves.
The inner soul must work for peace, even if peace is the last thing that people are talking about. We must fall and struggle, sometimes alone. But I like Mariah’s lyric, “Someday, the one you gave away will be only one you’re wishing for.”
The arrogant heart ends up alone. The self-determined philosopher that believes only he is right, writes his own storied tragedy. I want to “Make it Happen” but I cannot do without a balanced temper or a loving heart.
Be determined and persistent, but be prepared to welcome confusion. There is a disharmony present in living. A faith walk doesn’t stop persecution, it emboldens it. People get more envious, jealous, angry at it, because you’re just a commoner and how dare you claim God helps you.
But if you believe he does, he will… and someday you will understand. The key is to remain teachable. The key is to remember that your someday is today. Faith is not some worthless entity, because conveniently the founders used faith to enact greed and tyranny. Your destiny isn’t manifested by believing you’re invisible or faultless. I hope someday we’ll get that being free doesn’t mean being lazy or licentious.