From Patricia P. Dublin, Ireland.
Dear Dr. Rosie,
I’ve been reading your column for the past couple of months and so appreciate the depth you bring through your words. Thank you!!!!
I’m losing my job at the end of September. My husband is still working but I’m so afraid there won’t be enough money to keeps things going while I find other work. I sometimes collapse under the anxiety and worry. How will this all turn out? How can I live with so much duress? It’s funny too, that I’ve lost my self-confidence. I just don’t believe that it’s all going to be okay. What do I do?
First of all let me say that it can feel scary going through what you are going through; the uncertainty, the not knowing, the doubt that it will turn out just fine. Whenever we come up against beginnings or endings it makes sense that fear will be close by; however, it doesn’t mean that there is a need to be troubled or worried. It just means that it feels scary.
So, how do you be with this uncertainty, this doubt without allowing it to drain you of every shred of capability and confidence you have?
The current paradigm we live in has us swimming in a pool of fear and dread. Few places on this planet are free from the anxiety of not knowing how it’s all going to turn out. There are pockets of people who do live in faith. They are the lucky ones. Well, let’s use more empowering terms. They’ve strengthened the muscles of faith and living without a doubt. They gladly give their problems over to a higher power. How did they do this? Good Questions. They decided that living in fear didn’t work for them, so they chose to take a leap out of a belief system that wasn’t working for them to one that supported them. How did they do that? It’s easy and at the same time not so easy.
Believe it or not, we’ve each created the reality we live in out of thin air. Most of us created a reality that was in synch with everyone around us. So if everyone around me believes that we should all be afraid, that we are all powerless, my own personal reality will most likely take on that belief too. At the same time, we have options, which can bring us to being empowered and to creating greater possibility, peace and potential.
What Good is Faith if it is Never Practiced?
My husband, Todd Zimmerman, asked this question of our trainees in one of our transformational coach training sessions. He got people’s attention. What good is faith if it is never practiced? We are talking about our personal faith, the allowing of ourselves to surrender powerlessness to some greater power; some people call this greater power God, Yahweh, Universal Consciousness, or it could be many deities that one turns their worries to. It doesn’t matter to me, it is what you choose to be your higher power.
Cultivating faith has been the most significant practices of my life. Allowing myself to turn my situation over to the Universe, which is my higher power, requires me to trust that it will be taken care of in the best possible way. It means I have to practice letting to and living without a doubt. This is a big practice. It brings up all the times when life didn’t go the way I wanted it to; it means struggling with relinquishing my will. I bet you are asking why would I want to surrender and relinquish my will.
Quite often my willfulness was attached to having things go my way, whether it was harmful for me or others “ it didn’t matter. There were, and still are times when I’m not able to make a difference in my situation. Like you, Patricia, I found myself feeling hopeless and powerless. Todd’s question made me curious about faith, what it is and how to use it. As I write to you now I get the enormity of just being with the whole concept of faith, especially personal faith. Even though I’ve had years of practice in turning my will over to a higher power, it isn’t always easy and it isn’t always fun. So, suggesting this practice to you has me question – how does one even begin.
I grew up in the Catholic Church. The requirement of "believing in God or you’ll go to hell," was not the same as choosing to practice believing. As children, how do we make believe? We imagine! We envision ourselves in different scenarios and play them out to the hilt. We do this all the time, and too often it is unconscious. I want my clients to choose to choose the beliefs that work for them and live into them without a doubt.
All of us, Patricia make believe and we make beliefs. We choose to see the world around us in a way that can make us afraid, angry, anxious, worried, or happy, relaxed, content, courageous “ do you see what I mean? Each of us gets to choose, without a doubt, what is true for us. I can choose to believe that my life is going to be amazingly fun and prosperous, and practice living without a doubt. That means that when doubts arise, which they will, I choose in that moment what to do with them. I assess whether there is evidence of truth to that doubt. I then am at choice as to how to be with that doubt. Can I allow that doubt to lead me to further faith, as opposed to fear? That’s a big practice.
So many of us are in this question right now “ what makes sense to believe in, where do I put my trust and faith? You get to choose. If what you’ve tried isn’t working for you, try practicing something you haven’t tried yet, such as living in faith. From this faith, what do you want to do? What do you want to make happen? Who do you want to be? In this moment, you get to choose how you want to create the rest of your life. Enjoy your exploration and the practice of living without a doubt!
It’s really important to have support around you. There are spiritual guides and coaches who are prepared to support you through your journey.
Author of Self-Empowerment 101