Faith and Fear

My guess is that a lot of us can relate to these lyrics from the song “Drive” by Incubus:

“ Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear.

  And I can’t help but ask myself how much I’ll

  let the fear take the wheel and steer”.

When faced with a challenge, or a change that we need or want to make in our lives, we come face to face with a decision.  To writhe in fear, or have some faith.

Fear takes on many different forms.  Oftentimes, it shows itself in an unending list of “what if’s” in our mind… What if I screw this up?  What if this change isn’t worth it? What if I lose friends, or family? What if this idea I have isn’t as great in reality as it sounds in my head?  Sometimes it shows up as paralysis; we completely avoid making decisions about anything. We talk ourselves out of making any teeny tiny step in any direction.  We block ourselves off from dreaming about how awesome things could be if we just brought that idea we had to life.

And to make matters worse, we can’t seem to accept the fact that we’re experiencing fear, because we keep being told we shouldn’t feel it.  So, then we have a double whammy; we’re feeling afraid, but we believe we’re not supposed to. So it’s really hard to talk to anybody about it, and so we’re just festering in all this fear and stress.  Could things get anymore uncomfortable???

What if we decided to take the other route; to have a little faith?  To believe that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to? To believe that, despite not knowing why something is happening in our life at this particular moment, something good will come of it?  To have some faith and trust in ourselves that we can handle whatever’s in front of us?

Now, I know what you’re thinking; If I’m feeling afraid to make some change in my life, or face a challenging situation, I can’t just easily go into faith mode, and pretend that everything is sunshine and puppy dogs and rainbows.  I get it; that’s why it’s not what I’m suggesting. If you’re experiencing fear, that leap of faith just feels TOO drastic; our minds can’t go there.

So, here’s what I’m suggesting.  That we allow ourselves to feel some fear, AND act in faith, and do the thing anyway; make the change, face that challenge.  Because the truth is, fear and faith don’t have to be mutually exclusive experiences. We can experience both, and use them to help us successfully navigate change.   Rather than be in full on fear OR faith mode, we acknowledge that we’re feeling afraid, give ourselves some compassion for feeling that way, then decide to act on faith that things will work out.  Act with faith that whatever results occur, they’ll put us on the path we need to be in life; we’ll learn something and grow from it.

It’s not about choosing faith or fear, it’s about choosing both.