Throughout our lives, many things go “wrong,” causing us to mentally come apart in worry, fear and doubt. Going through cancer, then losing my marriage were big causes for worry and fear, but the usual worries still showed up before this time and have since then. Paying the bills, unpredictable expenses like car repairs, a new hot water heater….ugh. As a single parent with a mortgage, not being enough and not having enough were often the bedtime stories that kept me up at night. Wondering if I would ever find someone who would truly love me and value me after my marriage ended was another. During cancer treatment, I began a journey in earnest that was to lead me away from worry and closer to Faith. It was not an overnight transformation, but I’m happy to say that I would need a telescope to recognize the worry wart I used to be.
When experiencing crises, fear or worry, how can we grab on to the lifeline that Faith extends to us? We can’t see it, so how can it possibly be real? A lot of us may think of Faith as wishful or magical thinking. We search with human eyes for our rescue, yet the peace and strength we seek is accessed from within. And the magical part is that once this connection is made, things on the outside begin to transform as well. I liken Faith to the bar that is placed over us when riding on a roller coaster or similar bumpy, curvy ride at an amusement park. We’re being flung all over the place, but the bar is there, as if to say, “I’ve got you and you’ve got me to hold on to.” The only difference is that people actually pay to get on those rides, whereas we who have cause to worry, feel like we’ve been flung onto those rides. Yuck!
During my cancer journey, I started reading a lot of spiritually-centered material, as well as reading about powerful self-care tools. They turned out to be many of the same tools I could employ while navigating the end of my marriage. I also began a journal where I wrote about what I was undergoing in my outer and inner worlds. I wrote about the decisions I needed to make regarding my treatment options, as well as the doubt and fear I was experiencing. I also wrote about the grace I was beginning to experience, connecting this to the process I had begun to employ of praying and affirming that I had all I needed- the best doctors, the best care, perfect healing and comfort, all followed by doing the tricky part: Letting these prayers and affirmations go to allow for the best outcome.
When we’re holding on to Faith, there’s a call for us to let go of doubt and allow the best to happen. It’s impossible to hold on to both at the same time. We’re often so hung up on being in control that worry and doubt feel like a way to remain vigilant, as in “I must be addressing this concern if I’m focused on it.” Instead, letting go and affirming that there is a solution and then focusing on the outcome we would love to experience actually creates a feeling of greater empowerment. We make different choices outside of the vibrations of fear, doubt and worry. Consider how trapped in your story you feel and how few answers you can come up with in this vibe. The reptilian brain has taken over and very little of substance can be considered at this level of thinking. Fight or Flight does not leave a lot of wiggle room!
The word circumstance can be dissected to demonstrate that we are not our circumstances but merely the central figure in what is surrounding us. When one of my mentors shared this with me, it really hit me between the eyes. We can’t help but be the central figure to our story, but we are not our story! The story or worry is there to draw a response from us, and it’s not “Run, sucker!” With Faith at our side, we come to realize that “what I’m truly made of is greater than any circumstance.” Once in place, this realization can serve us for the rest of our lives, because fear, doubt and worry will always be around, but the person we become gets better at addressing these troublesome instigators for growth with Faith as our sidekick.
The journey from Fear to Faith is much like ascending a hill. We get a better view of the “lay of the land” as we climb higher. The bottom of the hill? Not so much! Affirming Faith pulls us out of our head and back into our heart where better responses reside. You may be new at this, like I once was, but give yourself time and keep working on the response of affirming Faith, and you’ll notice your hard-wired reactions begin to recede.