“Let your faith be bigger than your fear.”
By Shawn McAndrew
I keep seeing this quote on social media. It seems simple enough. But, when we are facing our fears, they can become overwhelming and intimidating, even paralyzing if we let them. There are a lot of things to cause fear these days. I could write a whole blog about the things that keep people awake at night, that prevent them from venturing out into the world, that keep them from making life-changing moves. But, I want to focus on faith here, to aim the lens at light rather than dark.
Faith Is Something We Do
When I grew up, faith was a word associated with religion. It meant blindly following a god prescribed to me by my parents and the church we attended. Faith was something we did not question; something we were supposed to naturally embrace and follow. But then there came the instances of broken trust, of monsters that hid under the bed, times when prayers were not answered. Faith left the building, and I did not know on whom to rely anymore.
Over the years I put my “faith” in institutions, people, the rising and setting of the sun each day. Sometimes I was disappointed by broken promises. And I kept getting up each day, walking through life, and finding my next adventures. Somewhere in my mid-50s, many years past my Process, I had a revelation – faith was getting up each day, walking through life, finding my next adventure. I realized that bad things happen, but there were usually silver linings in those bad things. So far, I’ve been able to find silver in the dark corners of anguish, pain, fear.
Slivers of Silver
A friend of mine recently told me that her therapist used to tell her, “The promise isn’t that there won’t be bad things or moments; the promise is that there will also be good.” Faith is knowing this. Faith is understanding that we aren’t locked forever in the dark cellar of patterns and pain. There will be a time when the darkness passes, and we can look back on the experience and see what nuggets and slivers of silver we can glean from it. If we aren’t looking for and finding the silver lining, we are not being faithful to the promise that there will be good.
In the face of fear, how do we access faith, the certainty that things will get better? One thing I hear all the time from Process graduates is how aware they became after the Process. Awareness is the first step on the Cycle of Transformation. It is what informs us when something is wrong, when we go into a pattern, or when we don’t want to get up in the morning.
Sit In the Awareness
If I sit in that awareness and ask my spiritual self what is going on, I can access the root of the fear that keeps me from moving. My spiritual self is my home, where I reunite with my true essence. It is also the seat of faith, where I can draw upon the strength to get me through the day. Instead of institutions, people, and the sun, now I put my faith in my spiritual self.
There will always be things to fear, but it is up to me to keep moving through the fear, to know that I will get to the other side of it and be better for the experience. As George Michael sang, “Gotta have faith, faith, faith.”