10/11/2009 Admin

When "The opposite of Fear is Faith" doesn't work

I do believe that the principal of "the opposite of fear is faith" is correct. Here is basically how it works:

  1. There is a "Higher Power" that will always take care of you.
  2. You have "faith" in #1
  3. When anything happens, you just say "it's ok that I lost all my money, if all that matters is serving my Higher Power I can just devote the rest of my life to helping the poor if needed."
  4. On your deathbed you have no fear because you will finally reside with your Higher Power forever (this is why you don't even fear death)

Now lets put aside all the arguments of "is there a higher Power at all?" and "even if there is a Higher Power, how do we know that #2 and #4 are true?". The point is I can confirm from my personal experience that #1 and #2 will provide a lot of relief from worry and stress.

The problem is that #1 and #2 do not always "stay with us". You can "feel the faith" at the beginning of the day, but later that afternoon you "feel differently". When that happens the fear and the anxiety return with full force. Usually, deep prayer and meditation combined with a trip to your local house of worship can get you back on track, but even then you can find yourself lying awake at night worrying about how you're gonna make the mortgage payments.

Acceptance always works when it's 100%

If you decide to have acceptance, it will work, but it has to be 100%. If we are only "willing to accept certain things" we can get caught up in this:

If we accept the fact that we will not make the mortgage payment and we will lose the house we can stop worrying and get some sleep. But wait, "what about my family? We will now have to live in the street". So we are willing to accept the fact that we will may have to put our children in foster care and we may have to live in a shelter. But wait, "what if my children are abused by the foster family?", you see it goes on and on.

Acceptance is always available

The difference between faith and acceptance, is that all acceptance takes is willingness. faith actually takes some work. There is an old saying "faith without works is dead". Ok, Acceptance does take a bit of work also, but a lot less, we can simply say, "Stuff-Happens, I accept whatever happens" and we have it. We can have 100% acceptance even when our faith is waning.

Don't worry about future acceptance

This is the issue where many shake their head and say it's impossible to have 100% acceptance. While people will admit that clearly the "world will do as it pleases whether I like it or not", they reserve the right to "sometimes not just accept things".

We only need acceptance "Now" (add I mean that in the Eckhart Tolle "Now" sense). Actually, acceptance is only useful "Now". Acceptance we had in the past is no use to us now and acceptance in the future has not (and may never) ever happen.

So, can we have 100% acceptance right now?

Close your eyes and ask yourself, can we accept whatever may happen for the next minute? The next five minutes? the next hour? The rest of the day?

If we can accept any of these, we can be free from worry during that time. When the time period is up, we can "renew the contract" then. However, we should not worry about "renewing the contract" now. We can accept that we simply do not know how we will feel in five minutes. We can accept that fact 100%.

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