Perspectives: Faith&Fear
Thought(s) Behind The Thought

December 14, 2008 Print version       Other articles by this author

I thought I knew what I wanted to write about this month, to round out the year 2008 about a month ago when I returned from a much needed vacation. I had NO idea what the next 25 days would bring in the way of experience, insight, inspiration, challenges, and pure uncut context. Now, some 26 days later, I feel ready to let it all out.

Given what I see around me & what is thick in the air these days, it makes perfect sense that I've felt nervous, worried, and afraid. With the way things are right now---in the world and in several aspects of my life, I have every reason to be in fear. Conversely, considering the fact that I've recently turned 34 years of age and have memories of worry, darkness, uncertainty and challenges to spare, I have every reason to trust and to have faith. I've been in similar places before. Appearing to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Somehow, I made it through. This incessant wavering between fear and faith is what's responsible for the majority of the conflict I experience in my life.

The origins of this writing came from what happened on November 4th, 2008 at approximately 11pm EST. Now that I think about it, that day given it's significance in my life still didn't keep me from worrying and being in fear. On the day that I turned 34 years of age, marking yet another year that I've lived and experienced a multitude of experiences, I walked around for most of the day biting my nails because of the election. I had an intuitive feeling about the way that things would turn out (which was in alignment with what I was hoping for) and yet, even still I let fear win out. I thought about how much I've struggled in the past with obtaining, paying for and keeping a health insurance policy (with a 'pre-existing health condition'). I thought about the state of the economy as it were at that point last month and the rapid rate at which it appeared to be declining. I thought about any and everything negative that was accessible to my ears, eyes, and mind. I let those things drive me to worry. As I sat in my bathtub just hours before the final results came in from polls across the US, I worried.
I thought about how I couldn't, how we couldn't afford to have another four years of politics that catered to the needs of the 'haves' and continued to create more 'have nots' in the process while simultaneously causing more division not only between American people, but also between US citizens and the rest of the world at large. In short...there was a lot ...A LOT of shit swirling around in my head. And this was on the night of my birthday. I was less than 24 hours from leaving for a two week vacation to Hawaii, and I worried. About money, about the election, about my relationship, about my health, about any and everything possible. I was a wreck. Looking back now, I realize that this particular day was not much different from many of my days when I let my mind go without stopping the repetitive soundtrack of BS that has been on repeat for much longer than I can even remember. Even with all of this worry and fear running rampant, I felt something rooted deep inside of me that would not allow itself to be infected by the poisonous thoughts I continued to feed. It's a voice that is always with me, even though it oftentimes gets drowned out by activity, frenzy, and a bunch of pure bullshit. This feeling is one that does not fight---instead it's very calm, grounded and gentle. It sits in the middle of chaos (most times) and remains unmoved.

Well as I mentioned earlier around 11pm EST, Barack Obama was officially elected the next President of the United States. I felt relief, I felt joy, I felt foolish for letting myself get so worked up over all that I worried about. That too, was a familiar feeling. After it all works out, I tend to say to myself..."see you let yourself get all worked up and for what?" Like I said before, this happens to me pretty often and I'm unashamed to admit it.

As the next few days passed and we were bombarded with images of Barack, Michelle and their family in Chicago on the evening on Nov. 4th. I also witnessed a newfound sense of relief, and joy that seemed to sweep over a large number of people---on television, in person, and everywhere.
Even in the midst of all this however I did notice a select number of people who were also unhappy, uptight, and in a very familiar FEAR. When I thought about all of this, I thought I knew what direction I wanted to take my final writing submission for this website for the year's end. I was thinking about faith, fear, and the road ahead. At that time however, I was mainly thinking about this in terms of the election of Barack Obama, and what it meant for our country and for all of us as human beings.

As I continue to live I remember that there is always another level deeper I can go in most cases.
What would ensue over the next 26 days is what I sit here with now as I finally let out all of what I've been holding in. Last week for some reason I kept thinking about a saying that I've heard a million times before: Faith and Fear Cannot Occupy the Same Space at the Same Time. Less than a day after I had that thought, I was sitting at a spiritual service last Sunday morning when I heard someone speaking repeat the exact same thing. It was then that I knew I was on the path.

There is a lot that is unknown about how things will work out personally, professionally, nationally, and globally right now. As of late I've experienced very valuable, yet somewhat painful life[reminders] about people & relationships. There are a number of charges that my spirit are calling me to pay close attention to right now. I am at a crossroads of sorts right now and have much blank canvas to work with. Ordinarily...or in the past I should say, I might have resorted to worrying and fear by default. Instead as I write these words reflecting on each and every time I've been faced with uncertainty before, I am choosing to remember that even in the face of what appears to my human mind to be impossible and insurmountable, I still focus on having faith. I've worried so much that I've damn near made my self sick----many times before and it still hasn't served me nearly as much as having faith has. All I will say is this...every time I have had faith, even when I let in some worry anyhow, the outcome has always been different, it's always been good, and it's always been positive.

This is how I choose to release and say goodbye to 2008, and how I welcome whatever 2009 and the rest of my life will bring. I trust that whatever comes next will be sacred, regardless of how it might look...

I don't call myself a brave soul for nothin...

Until the next time...