Someone asked me to write on fear and faith and how the two can co-exist. They can’t. Faith is having total spiritual dependency on a power that is greater than your own. This is not to say that you rely solely on God for your desires to come to attainment. What faith means to me is that I have done everything that I could do to make something happen, and now I am placing it in Gods hands. Faith is surrendering a situation to God, and our thoughts about it. Living in fear is not an atypical and uncommon disposition that people want to believe it is. More people live in fear than those that live in faith. Fear is comfortable.Fear is essentially our ego. Fear is our natural/instinctual way of thinking. We must train our minds and our thoughts to be of love and not of fear. That is the real work. In this writing I will use examples from my own life to describe to you the forms that fear can show up in your life. I will also take these situations and show two ways of responding- one that is of faith(love) and one that is of fear.
I started dating someone who was also dating other people. Our relationship began to get more serious, and we agreed it was time to date exclusively. He had told me that he was dating a girl who was very much emotionally invested in him, and he didn’t know how to cut their ties. This is the point in which I needed to choose love or fear. My ego said ” Okay, that’s none of my business, cut her off and stop being a care bear, you sucka ass n*gga” (inserts hand clapping emoji). That was my immediate reaction in my head. I really wanted him to just block whoever the girl was so that we could move on in peace. I knew that I had to take this reaction and turn it into a response. The best way for me to respond was from a place of love. I told him to call her and go see her, and tell her how you feel. I knew that she had been calling, I knew that she was upset, and there was no way I could be at peace knowing that another woman was crying over someone and has no idea why he stopped picking up the phone. Respect is very important to me. I could not respect him or myself by suggesting he just “cut her off”. I think he was surprised that that was my advice to him – for him to really call and go see her, but I really wasn’t fearful at all. Maybe a day or two later, he told me he went to go see her, it wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do. Now I could be at peace, and so could he.
So in this situation I stayed true to myself, which is :
- Women need to stick together in every situation, not only when it is convenient and obvious.
- Not giving fear a voice or a place in my life by consciously making every effort to change my thoughts/perspective to see things from a place of love.
On a more personal level I suffer with anxiety which makes it difficult for me to recognize when fear has complete control over me. I write poetry- a lot of which is ‘spoken word’- which requires me to actually speak it aloud. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve performed my poetry. I go to a lot of poetry events with the intention of performing and then my anxiety takes a hold of me, and it starts off like this. ” What if I forget the poem?”, “What if this poem is too sad?”, and the thoughts spread like wild-fire in my mind. It gets to a point where I even get nauseous, and then it’s at that point where I decide being in the audience is just easier. But lets talk about the times where I did perform. When I did perform, I would tell myself, everyone here is human – no one is better than me, I am okay, I am talented, and if the anxiety did come I would say ” Dear God, please let me see this differently, please let my thoughts be replaced by yours”. It would be in that moment I would feel empowered. After I performed my poetry, people would say “thank you” or ” I really needed to hear that”, and it was so reassuring that, that is where I needed to be. It was important for me to recognize that my best thinking got me on the stage. It is not that easy though always, but you must try to surrender your thoughts to a power higher than your own.
My best advice to anyone who suffers from anxiety or who finds themselves making decisions based on fear is to speak loudly to God, and to make daily affirmations that you want to live in love, and respond in love, and see things differently. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR DECISIONS! You can say everyday “Well I have anxiety so…” You can say that everyday or you can make a decision to heal and live fearlessly. The best days I’ve ever had were the days I lived fearlessly and did things that would normally be uncomfortable for me. Also sometimes you can’t always depend on your own thinking. My sister is someone who always lets me know when I am living in fear. Just yesterday I was telling her:
“Yeah I have a photo-shoot today but the guy never called me so I’m not going to go”
She responded simply by saying “that’s fear talking, just call him”.
It really put me in my place because she was absolutely right! My thought process was:
“Lakota you’re not photogenic, your body is not in the shape you want it to be in, this is going to be so awkward, etc.”.
The last thing I wanted was for him to call me; it was much more comfortable for me to just go have drinks with my friend- and that’s exactly what I did. I am still a work in progress, and even when I know I am making fear based decisions, I still make them sometimes because it is the easier thing to do. Recognizing you have a problem is all great & dandy, but you must do the hard work by unlearning what you have taught yourself.
“What we give to others, we give to ourselves. What we withhold from others, we withhold from ourselves…to the extent that we abandon love, to that extent -we will feel it has abandoned us“- Marianne Williamson