• Denny Balish

Fear & Faith

Life is a delicate balance between fear and faith, each vying for attention; each gaining, and losing ground over the course of our days. We might declare that faith has our back, but sometimes fear just kicks our butts.

During troubling times, the amount of fear I experience is inversely proportional to the amount of faith I need to hold onto. The greater my fear, the greater my need for faith.

“Fear is the path to the dark side.” Yoda

How often do I fret about something that has not yet come to pass, and in all reality, never will? Although fear can be a useful emotion alerting us to danger, such as when staring down a ferocious tiger, much of the time, fear is nothing more than an old, worn out habit born of survival and fueled by uncertainty.

Fear takes me out of the present and catapults me into a grim future laden with impending doom. The depth of doom is only hindered by the power of my imagination. I don’t know about you but I am expert at scaring the heck out of myself!

Moving beyond fear isn’t easy. In fact, it is downright difficult. I struggle with it on a daily basis, trying to keep it at bay. I amaze myself at how easy I go there—into fear—and how hard it can be to get out.

I may never be completely free of fear but I am learning how to sit with it, breath through it, listen to its underlying wisdom, until it passes and I can see the world in a new light. This is a profound victory for someone, like me, who has lived with fear all her life.

“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” - Rabindranath Tagore

Faith is the antidote to fear and although, I am not a religious person nor do I proport to be agnostic, I do believe in a Higher Power (some might call that God) into which I can place my trust. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. People might say I’m a fickle believer, and maybe they’re right.

When things aren’t going well—when I am stressed, afraid, or confused—I lean on God, praying for guidance and grace. I rely on infinite wisdom to see me through whatever darkness in which I am currently stumbling.

Then, when things are going well, I tend to forget about God. I feel like I am on top of the world, the master of my universe, completely in control and doing just fine, thank you very much. That is, until something goes awry, then back to God I slink, supplicating to my Higher Good.

Over the years, I have learned how to return more quickly to the lighter side of life; shortening the time spent in my self-imposed temple of doom. Yeah, I still get tripped up from time to time, freaking out over stuff that never actually materializes, worrying myself into insomniac episodes, making myself sick with angst. But don’t we all? At least a little? Sometimes?

I can say with fair confidence, that we—being human—have all lived through some pretty tough stuff; stuff we didn’t think we would survive; at least not in one piece. But somehow, we did. Somehow, we made our way through, and somewhere amid the struggle, there in the dark, faith kept its toehold.

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© 2020 by Denny Balish