Fear becomes irrational and overruns us when trust is absent. Trust is the true meaning of faith. Our fears are eased when we trust. Fear rules us when we don’t trust that our life has a higher purpose.
That’s certainly true for me. The way I think and behave become dominated by fear whenever I have moments of doubt. Not doubt in terms of critical thinking, but doubt in terms of forgetting that my life has a higher purpose. That it’s not about mere survival.
My biggest fear used to be the fear of going to hell. That fear is now gone, because I don’t believe such fate awaits any of us. That God is far more loving than that. In other words, I had a revelation of God’s love which created a deep level of trust.
I still have momentary doubts about God from time to time. But now that doubt isn’t a fear of hell, but a fear of non-existence. In other words, sometimes I have moments of doubt about whether there’s an afterlife at all. Instead of a fear of hell, it’s a fear that heaven might not exist.
Deep down I don’t actually believe there’s no afterlife. But there are moments of doubt, when the fear of not mattering grabs hold of me. That’s natural, since we live in such a vulnerable state of existence. And because God, heaven, the afterlife, are known to us intuitively. Whereas virtually everything we’re familiar with in this life is experienced more directly (we can see it, eat it, touch it, etc.).
We can conquer that fear through trusting our deepest intuition. By trusting that there’s more to life than meets the eye. That it means something. Something very special. Something difficult to put into words. Something difficult to point to. But we know in our heart of hearts that it must be true. We trust that God exists in some way and that his (I use that pronoun loosely) intentions are good. Even if there’s much that we don’t understand.
It’s a surrendering to something bigger than ourselves. That’s what it means to have faith. That’s where we find real confidence to live by. It goes deeper than physical or intellectual abilities. It goes deeper than our ability to reason. Essentially, it means that we trust in divine love. A love that loves without conditions.
Once we ground ourselves in that reality, fear is driven out. It always comes back. It will always come back to visit us, to ask us if we’re sure life isn’t meaningless after all. If we’re sure God is good. If we’re sure we should always do whatever it takes to survive. If we’re sure we shouldn’t take matters into our own hands more often.
It comes back because we leave the door open for it to come back. We leave room for it to slip in. That happens when we’re not being mindful. When we see the truth, but then run away from it. When we allow our mind to move away from the present.
I said that fear is the absence of trust. But more specifically, fear is the absence of trust in God, who loves us more than we love ourselves.
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