Extract from ‘Faith, Hope, and Fantasy’ by Anne Waters
If we are always anxious, we have a basic problem with trust. We worry too much about security. Instead of assuming things are going too well unless we hear otherwise, we always try to anticipate every conceivable and inconceivable problem that could happen. Though no one ever has a complete guarantee about anything, worrying doesn’t usually make us safer, and most of the things we worry about never happen.
We feel we must worry about so much because (for some odd reason) we tend to mistrust the person we will be tomorrow. We feel that we need to find answers to ALL POSSIBLE future problems RIGHT NOW in case tomorrow’s self is incapable of taking care of them as they occur. If we allow ourselves to trust in the judgment of the person we are going to be, we don’t need to solve every problem now. Then we have time to do better things. Love is said to cast out fear, but it is equally true that fear casts out love. We cannot give wholly of ourselves while fearfully worrying about a hundred deadly things that MIGHT be waiting for us just around the corner.
Our trust always has to be bigger than just ourselves. We aren’t really smart or strong enough to keep the world on course. When we think we need to be responsible for all the burdens of the world, we naturally feel inadequate. Once we accept the truth that there is plenty of good in the world and plenty of other intelligent, well-meaning people doing their jobs, we can stop worrying about everything. We can let go and let others do their part.
As with feelings, we have no direct power to make ourselves trust, but we do have indirect power through how we think and act. We can make our personal value an article of faith and be less defensive. We can allow ourselves to trust while knowing that occasionally we will be proved wrong. We can act with confidence even when we don’t feel it. If we do these things, we will be acting our way into a new faith in ourselves.
It is a paradox that faith is only possible when we are willing to risk being mistaken; hope is only possible when we are willing to risk disappointment, and courage is not being unafraid, but confident in the face of our uncertainties.
If we are secure in faith and hope, then we can let imagination paint our lives in colour; we can enjoy our dreams and never fear to laugh at nonsense – even our own.