Recently the priest said something in his sermon which struck a chord with me. He said, “Fear is the opposite of faith, not unbelief.” I had been thinking of the concept of ‘facing your fears’ so this got me thinking. Often we fear things because of a lack of faith – faith in the fuller sense of the word. This could be a fear borne out of experience, or even an irrational one. If we fear jumping out of a plane in a tandem skydive, it could be because of a lack of faith in the parachute. If (at my age) we fear coughing/sneezing/running/ jumping, it probably is because we have no faith in our bladders.
One of my biggest fears is the fear of failure due to a lack of faith in myself. I am really good at many things and will often not try something if I think I might not be able to do it. That is the fear I am facing in 2017.
Have you any idea how many quotes pop up when you search ‘fear’? Lots! From whacky Woody Allen’s ‘I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens’ to deep and meaningful Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others.’ Well, guess what Robbie, I’m not keeping mine to myself! I’m sharing them with the world.
I met up with a friend last week for coffee and took this photo because the concept of folding back my fears appeals.
I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. This year I’m giving it a go. Am I afraid of failing to become a published author? Of course I am. But I am even more afraid of going through life never doing anything, being one of those people who always talks about things and lives with regrets.
The other ‘fear of failure’ I am facing is romance. I decided early on last year that I was done with dating. I took my profile off all dating sites because I knew that I was no good at relationships – they all failed. I had a male friend that I spent time with, but I had no intention of allowing him to be more than that. Well, I have stepped off the precipice and we are now going out. Am I afraid that I’ll stuff it up somehow? Of course I am, but life is about taking chances.
In the movie Strictly Ballroom Fran says that a life lived in fear is a life half lived. Who wants to live half a life? Would you get half a haircut? Would you buy half a car? Would you eat half a chocolate? In the words of the great John Donne (sort of):