Does the idea of moving forward from the “comfort” of something we know, into the “discomfort” of something we don’t, seem frightening? If so, today’s article will take a closer look at our discomfort, then help us move through it by applying a healthy dose of faith.
Is the unknown, actually frightening?
When we were young, everything seemed unknown. The unknown was new and fascinating, whether it was the water in the bathtub, the mashed-up carrots for dinner, or the plastic squeaky toys we chewed on alongside our family dog… everything was unknown, and it was fine.
When we were young, we had no fear.
We touched everything. We looked at everything. And we did everything with utter unawareness of what might happen, and whether other people approved. We ate snowballs and dirt. We threw mud pies. We jumped in rainy puddles while wearing white clothes. We brought sticks and frogs inside the house. Now, some of us grown ladies may still bring frogs inside the house, but that’s a different topic for a different day! Anyway, back in our early days, we did everything, and were not afraid.
Consequences instilled fear.
Over time, we may have experienced some harsh consequences as a result of our choices. And some of those consequences may not have been easy or fun. After a few of those not-so-fun consequences, our inner scales may have tipped towards fear, that the unknown would not be fun.
Fear squelched fascination, curiosity, and faith.
Meanwhile, our fascination, curiosity, and faith in the unknown may have dwindled. Eventually, we may even have fused fear and the unknown in our mind, so that the anticipation of fear, and the unknown, feel the same. Maybe it became so normal to fear the unknown that we don’t even think about it anymore. If so, we might now have a life that’s filled with sameness, with consistent, unconscious choices. Not because we like those choices or their results, but because we are afraid of the unknown, new choices. We resist change. And, we are afraid of unknown freedoms. We are afraid to move forward in faith and trust, into the unknown.
What is faith?
Let us be neither dismayed nor put off by the word “faith.” Because, as Inigo Montoya said to Vizzini in the movie The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Faith is bigger than belief.
People often equate the word “faith” with religion, with a belief system. So often, if we say we have faith, people may think that we are saying, for example, that we are Catholic or Christian or another religion. Although the word “faith” can be used to describe one’s religion, there is a bigger and more inclusive meaning to this very powerful and vibrantly-alive word, called faith.
The word faith, as we’ll use it here, means trust in the unseen.
Let’s look at what trust in the unseen means, and how we can use this power to make courageous choices to move forward.
Examples of faith.
When we talk about abstract ideas like “faith,” and “trust,” it can help to understand the meaning by showing the words in action. Some examples of faith might be as adventurous as Christopher Columbus taking a ship across the ocean without GPS or evidence that he would find land. Faith can also be as close to home as feeling physically ill, yet somehow, knowing and having faith, that we will be well in the future. Showing faith could also be when we’re amidst a dark, moonless night, yet we know and have faith that the sun still exists somewhere, and will rise again. And yet another example of showing faith might be, if we’re physically far-far away from a loved one, yet we know and have faith, that the love between us remains exactly the same, and will never go out. If we’ve felt this way before, we have faith. Because it requires faith to trust in unseen love, instead of choosing to become afraid, controlling, needy, jealous, or possessive.
Faith is a “proofless-positive.”
Faith and trust in “the unseen,” is a knowing of truth, without physical proof. Faith is neither validated, nor experienced by our five senses of: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. It is an unexplainable conviction. Faith is a knowing that comes from an unseen, “sixth” sense perception, often called intuition.
Without faith, it’s easy to get stuck.
We can get stuck in our old ways, stuck in patterns, stuck in a rut. Just, stuck. And then life can pass us by. Life might even seem boring, but that’s not life, that’s us! Life isn’t stuck or boring, life is alive. Life is always moving, changing, expressing, and experiencing things. Life moves forward.
How can we be more alive and life-like?
To feel more alive, we can make choices in faith instead of fear. The simplest way to do that is to ask ourself a powerful, internal question, before we make choices. The question can transform our entire life for the better, and allow us to bloom spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Before we make a choice, assure it’s done in faith.
Choices are born of fear, faith, or a combination thereof. If we want to be more alive, more life-like, and more faith-filled, we can assure that our choices are made in faith, instead of fear. The simplest way to find out if our potential choice would be made in faith or in fear, is to ask ourself, “Is this choice inspired/driven by fear or faith? Or both?” Then, listen to our answers. After acknowledging our truth, we can then move away from choices made in fear. And, move towards choices made in faith—simply, beautifully, powerfully and truly.
What say ye?
Are you willing to move forward in faith? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section so we may learn and grow together …