Fear is created from past experiences. It is the perception of possible pain or history of pain revisited. During these times of the pandemic when uncertainty is prevalent, the more attention given to the possible but not yet inevitable, the greater your suffering.
Fear cannot co-exist with faith. One or the other can exist, but not both at the same time. When faith in self or a higher power falters, fear prevails.
While it is natural to experience fear, it is not natural to live in it. How is the switch flipped from fear to faith when your past is riddled with failures, feelings of abandonment and betrayal, financial losses, health challenges, and relationship issues?
Most people want to sell you the easy button, but life isn’t easy. It was meant to be full of challenges for without challenges, there is zero opportunity for personal growth. Perhaps the easy button is the acknowledgment that life is a set of challenges, the unknown, and failures.
You have been trained to think that life is supposed to be one upward travail where upward trajectory is certain. Pain is fleeting, not necessary, and avoidable if only you say, act, and move the right way. This lie is most harmful when time is spent thinking it is unfair that “this” or “that” has happened to you.
As a young child, I was led to believe that life wasn’t fair. I needed to “suck it up and get over it.” While my parents had the right intention of not allowing me to wallow in a disappointment, my interpretation became that life was horrible. If pain was all there was, then why insist on living?
Yesterday, a friend told me that she knew six people who had committed suicide since the pandemic started. SIX!!!
Why? Did the uncertainty or fear of the future make them feel success was impossible?
While I often thought about suicide as a young adult, something kept me from the fatal act-perhaps fear of the next step. Fear of hell? Fear of karma? Fear of not being able to do it the right way and living disabled for the rest of my life? Fear got me to hang on, but it didn’t bring me to happiness.
I was angry, confused, hurt, worried, insecure, and disappointed in myself and mankind.
How did I shift from fear to faith? It was a journey, which is what life is supposed to be. You are on journey to become the best version of yourself.
First, I learned to forgive myself for not being enough, for failing, for allowing others to define me, for getting caught in the trap that I was unlovable, for believing others could make me happy, and for all the various “sins” I had committed.
The next step was to believe in a higher power whose love was unconditional and whose forgiveness was immediate. Being able to know that ALL things work for my highest good enabled me to see past the present moment with the belief that what I was feeling was not in alignment with the purpose of the event.
I learned that I had free will to choose how I felt. While I couldn’t control events, I had the ultimate power to control how I felt about events.
Life is uncertain. That uncertainty does not indicate that fear should rule your life.
With some deep personal work, faith in self and in a higher purpose can replace the fear. You will still feel fear. Fear is normal and natural. What you do with fear is a choice.
“Acknowledgement of fear makes you human. Succumbing to it makes you incapable of success.”