I’ve had a bit of an epiphany as of late around fear and faith. Having spent a butt load of time in both of these places in the last year I’ve become intimately familiar with their characteristics. My epiphany simply being – they ask the same of us.
Fear is terrifying. It is the thief of sleep that keeps you up at night and robs you of joy and normalcy in your waking hours. Living in fear, which many of us do whether or not we’re cancer patients or survivors can be absolutely crippling. The thing is, fear is exactly the same as faith.
Fear is an invisible thing. An intangible force that we give our loyalty and energy to. It cannot be seen or proven and really only exists in our minds and hearts because we allow or choose for it to.
Faith is exactly the same. An intangible force that we give our loyalty and energy to. It cannot be seen or proven and really only exists in our minds and hearts because we allow or choose for it to. The thing is, faith is a whole lot more comforting than fear and it’s a much nicer place to be.
Fear has its place and serves valuable purpose in our experiences. It can help us appreciate how lucky we are and all that we have. So does faith.
Fear can help us recognize the things in our lives that we need to attend to. It can be a great motivator as well as a sobering truth serum that gives us a wake up call or sets wheels in motion that have been slow or stopped for too long. Faith does this too.
Faith isn’t necessarily even believing in or praying to a god, worshiping trees or a flying spaghetti monster. Having faith doesn’t mean that we escape the things that we’re afraid of, it just means we approach those things with as much confidence as we can muster while trusting the process – whatever that looks like. Sometimes that process is two different forms of cancers in the same year. Sometimes it’s a divorce after being married to someone for 25 years who it turns out was cheating on you the whole time. Maybe it’s losing a loved one and having no idea how you’re going to carry on and survive without them. Maybe it’s losing a job that you thought you had secured forever and having to start over. Again.
I had another PET scan this month and this time, I wasn’t completely consumed by fear. I wondered if maybe I was just used to the stress of being radioactive for a while and waiting anxiously for results from scans. I had no way of knowing how the results would come back but what I did know is that whatever it was and whatever I have been dealt for this next hand – I would get through it. The best I can, with all I have and faith in knowing that some magical learning experience for my being would come of it. And guess what? The scan was all clear, and the invisible force that I had chosen to feed this time was deserving of all the energy I gave it. Faith and fear may be the same thing, but it sure makes the days easier when I choose to live in a place where I know in my heart that everything is just as it should be.