I talk to people about relationships and love every single day. Recently, I noticed a theme emerging from these conversations over and over again. This theme is at the very heart of what prevents most people (including myself) from allowing ourselves to truly, deeply love and be loved. The issue faith... or rather the absence of faith.
The faith I'm referring to doesn't necessarily need to be rooted in religion. Rather, I'm referring to a more broad, yet deeply profound confidence, belief, and trust in someone or something that is completely uncertain.
Our fear-mongering society has beaten faith out of us.
The hope in humanity that this nation was built on has been chased out of us. We're scared of terrorists, tyrannical government, and trans-fats. We're scared of the hyper-religious, and atheists. We're scared of kidnappers, cancer, and pit bulls. We're scared of global warming, Hollywood, rapists, child molesters, and we're scared of love.
We're terrified that love won't last. We doubt whether we can remain faithful for a lifetime. We fear that our loving relationships will slowly turn into a passive aggressive grudge match, and arguments over taking out the trash, leaving dishes in the sink, and toenail clippings. We fear that things will change... and not for the best.
Every day someone asks me the question, "Is it worth the risk to give someone your whole heart? What if they leave/change/become abusive/take advantage of me/hurt me/cheat on me?
"Isn't it easier to play it safe? I mean, you don't have risk getting burned if you stay single. You can't be emotionally destroyed if you hold back just a enough, and don't fully open your heart.
"The person with the most power in a relationship is always the person who cares the least, right? I'd rather have control, safety, and certainty than be the one who gets burned."
It's conversations like this that make me realize how faithless our society has become. We have been trained not to have faith in each other. We know how easy it is for us to change our mind, and knowing that the love of your life can change their mind makes it easy to doubt love.
The interesting thing about faith is that it cannot exist without doubt (faith without doubt is certainty), but if we allow that doubt to get a hold of our hearts, it can twist our uncertain reality into something it's not. It will mutate into fear. Then we are faced with a choice, do we allow fear to take over and our faith to go right out the window? Or do we dispel the fear with a heavy dose of love and faith in others and in the world?
Fear and faith cannot coexist. One will always dispel the other.
You must choose between certainty and love, emotional safety and deep connection, complete control and vulnerability.
You must have the courage to make the more difficult choice to experience the greater reward. Faith in the face of uncertainty is at the very core of love.
What do you think? Has fear eradicated faith? Do you need faith to have a healthy relationship? What are ways you can cultivate more trust in others? Let me know in the comments section!
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