Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fear...and Faith

It's uncanny how a seemingly small and insignificant act as replying to a silly "forward to 10 people" email can turn into a truly introspective event. It was when I was replying to one such as this that the question came up: "What do you most fear?". I've answered this question a number of times, but never very convincingly. What is it that I most fear? I ask myself. I think about what others say, that they fear losing their family. No, I don't fear that, because I know that I do my best to live in such a way that in the end, we will be together forever. And they, too, are making their choices that will lead them either to me or away from me. It wouldn't be very pleasant to be with family who don't want to be with you, so I think it will work out for everyone's happiness in the end.

Others fear not living up to their potential. I used that answer too, but as I thought more clearly about it, I am doing everything I want to do that's in my power to live up to the very best potential that I can already. If I'm not doing all I can, then I certainly can use the energy closing that gap, instead of fearing my lack. If I am doing all I can, I need not fear, for I can do no more than I am doing. If I still fall short, I have nothing to fear, for I simply have set my potential higher than it can be, for potential is by definition what you are capable of being or becoming, and is not something you are incapable of achieving.

Another item people fear is the lack of being loved. I, too, once held this fear. But now I think to myself, do I love myself? If I don't, what do I need to change that will make me love myself? Personally, I'm okay with myself, I know I do the best I can mostly. And when I don't do the best I can, I've chosen not to, and therefore, it serves me right. But it's me. I've accepted that I'm not perfect and for the time being aren't going to be. I accept me for me and try to make myself better a little at a time. So, back to fear of being loved. If I can love and accept myself, imperfect as I am, than others should be able to as well. If they don't love me for who I am, then 'bahala sila'. Whatever. They are entitled to their opinion and if they don't want to love me, I shouldn't sweat it, I should go find someone who does - for there always will be.

As I sit and ponder all these things that I may fear, I realize that I have no fear. Why don't I? Because I have achieved that which is spoken about in the scriptures. If you have faith, you need not fear. I have found that when I do have faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ, and in his gospel, I do the best I can. I am promised that if I do this, and keep trying to be better, when all is said and done that everything will work out for my good. I have seen it happen many times in my life. Half of this achievement comes simply from believing, and things do work out. Some take a lot longer than I would wish and maybe they don't work out quite how I would do it if I was in charge, but I find myself happier. Perhaps happier than I could have made myself if I was in charge?

Heavenly Father knows what's going on. If He has time to pay attention to little details of an insignificant life like mine, He's got even the big stuff covered. All He asks? Do your best, and work on doing better. That's all I can do, and it's enough for Him. In return, we know He's taking care of everything. It'll all work out in the end.

And as a result - we live without fear of anything, because of faith.