My Life With F Words: Fear and Faith

by Kim on October 16, 2011 · 42 comments

Sometimes you hear a voice through the door calling you… This turning towards what you deeply love saves you. – Rumi

I’ve been feeling very anxious lately.

I thought my anxiety was due to the fact that it was time to tackle our last major hurdle: Determining where our dogs will live while we travel.  We’d been holding out hope that Brian’s parents would take them in, but it’s clearly a huge ask, and we just didn’t know what their answer would be.

 Our babies.  Look!  They’re holding hands!

So I thought my anxiety was due to the upcoming conversation Brian was going to have with his parents.  But that conversation has come and gone, and they said yes (!!!)*, yet my anxiety remains.

*(Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap they said yes!!!!!!  Thank you God, The Universe, Buddha and St. Joseph.  And thank you Mike and Terry for being the most amazingly supportive parents/in-laws).

I’ve written before that I am certain beyond a doubt that this is the path that I should be on, and I really am certain.  But even though I know that this is right, I still face days of crippling fear and doubt.

There are many times when I wonder what sane person would give up their home, all of their possessions, a steady income, health insurance and creature comforts just to follow the undeniable call of their inner voice.  It sounds crazy.  I mean, what if I’m wrong?

I constantly toggle between calming clarity and crushing doubt.  On my good days, I’m keenly aware of the magic of the universe and can see the miracles that are visible to those that follow their own truth.   But on my bad days, I’m overcome with the feeling that I’m a speeding train whose track runs right off the cliff.  I look into the future and see the tanned faces of my co-workers, retired in Hawaii, while I bag groceries at Wal-Mart as my arthritic old hands shake.

The other day I got an email from another future long-term traveler named Sarah.  Her blog, SarahSomewhere is insightful and honest so go read it, you won’t be sorry! Anyway, she told me a bit about her own quest for a fulfilling, meaningful, creative existence, at the expense of security and predictability. Those are her words, but they perfectly describe my own feelings about what Brian and I are doing.  See, I told you she was insightful.

Sarah also said that: Each day is like an emotional lottery- will I hit the fear jackpot or the faith jackpot today? Will I feel comfortable, guided and directed by the creative force of the universe, or will my head be taking me through a blow by blow account of the soon to be released horror film entitled “The Demise of Sarah- Where It All Went Wrong!”

I read her email and then I laughed out loud because yes! yes! yes!  For the love of God, yes! that is exactly how I feel.  

It’s the fear or faith lottery- and feeling like this is a normal part of the process.  Sarah’s email reminded me of that.  (Thanks, Sarah)

My anxiety is still hanging around, an unwelcomed guest.  Now that we’ve sold our house and all of our stuff and secured a home for our dogs, the only thing left to do is wait and work and fill our bank account up.  

The starting line is within sight, and all of my emotions are elevated: joy, excitement, fear, stress, doubt.  

But even on the days when I hit the fear jackpot instead of the faith jackpot, even when I am 99% freaking out, if I get quiet enough I can always find that calm hum inside that says: forget all that and move forward.   I’ve lived my whole adult life watered down, avoiding fear and uncertainty, choosing a sure bet over a meaningful risk.  Now, I’m pursuing the life that I’ve always wanted to live.  Fear is just a part of that package.   

Here is what I have learned from my experience so far: All matters of faith require a big leap, expect to be afraid.  

But faith is stronger than fear, just like light is stronger than darkness.  So throw open the door and walk through anyway.