Tuesday, April 17, 2007

LOVE AND FEAR AS OPPOSITES

In today's Daily Refflection's it talks about two things that cannot live together in the same heart...

All these failings generate fear, a soul-sickness in its own right
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions pg. 49

"Fear knocked at the door; faith answered; no one was there". I don't know to whom this quote should be attributed, but it certainly indicates very clearly that fear is an illusion. I create the illusion myself.
I experienced fear early in my life and I mistakenly thought that the mere presence of it made me a coward. I didn't know that one of the definitions of "courage" is " the willingness to do the right thing in spite of fear". Courage, then, is not necessarily the absence of fear.
During the times I didn't have love in my life I most assuredly had fear. To fear God is to be afraid of joy. In looking back, I realilze that, during the times I feared God most, there was no joy in my life. As I learned not to fear God, I also learned to experience joy.

My emotions have been all over the place in the last week or so. I think for me it started with the news of more Canadians killed in Afghanistan, then the controversy surrounding Don Imus and his racial slurs against the young womens' basketball team, and more recently the tragic shooting that took place in the Virginia college. All of these things have been fighting to shake my belief in a loving God, as I understand Him. For most of my life I had the belief that God "would get me" if I was 'bad', and it seemed that I was bad more than I was good. My cousins, who were Catholic used to tell me that not only would I go to Hell because I hadn't been baptized, but I was ripe for the picking of the devil because of this. So I lived in constant, excruciating fear. At night I would pray to God to save me, I didn't want to go to Hell, I knew I was already there. When I was molested I was told, in not so many words that "I was Bad", it was my fault, so I figured that I would surely burn in everlasting damnation if I were to take my own life, which is what I really wanted to do.

I think, as a little gurl, the fact that my mom had taken me to Sunday school saved my butt on many an occasion. The stories I heard there were stories of hope and miracles. It was a loving God who gave His son to pay for the sins of man. At night, I would pray to this God to make my life more bearable, I didn't know if He heard me, but it made me feel better just having the hope that Someone was there to hear my pleas. Somehow, deep down inside I believed that my life would get better. I never knew how or when, just that the hope of better things ahead, carried me through the toughest times in life. A therapist once told me that "there is not room, in the same heart, for hope and fear". Today I am reminded of this in my daily readings and also when I hear of all the tragedies in the world around us.

I know in my heart that I cannot do anything to change you, your beliefs, or your actions. Yes I am powerless over any and all things that are not me. I do believe, however that if I can 'keep my side of the street clean', that maybe my neighbor will be motivated to do the same. If I always treat you with love and respect, then perhaps you will pass this along to the people you come in contact with in your day. If I never give up on doing the right thing, just because it is the right thing to do, I have to believe that my life will not be lived in vain. So today I pray for all people who live in fear, that they may find the peace that hope that a loving God can bring. I pray that those who are hurting will know that they will experience freedom fom pain one day. I pray that I can remain clean and sober so that I can share my hope and joy with others' who may have lost theirs today.... I wish you all peace and joy and love today.

12 comments:

Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

Hi Pat, sometime I'm afraid to read the papers. So many bad things is happening even in exotic Malaysia. If I follow my heart, I'm even afraid to come out of the house!

You're not bad, my friend. You're one courageous lady and I love reading your posts. It's full of honesty and sometime funny too.

Keep on posting.

recoveryroad said...

I think you and I may have different ideas about 'god' (and that's okay), by as a god-cynic, I'd still say that the bad stuff you refer to is the doing of humans, not god him/herself. If that makes any sense?

The evil that men do...

Hope you're well today. :-)

SoberSteve said...

Hey Lush.
"keep my side of the street clean" Thanks, thats all I can really do, i have been trying to reach over a pick up after others, and TELL them what they are doing wrong, while walking around the stuff on my side. Ellie told me to worry about Steve, and work on him right now.

You did great 12 step work last night, and thanks for that. I'm going to go llok at my side for awhile, who knows I might even try to clean it up.

peace
Hugs and Kisse
Steve

Granny said...

I still can't quite wrap my mind around Virginia Tech. Senseless and a waste.

One of the wonderful things about the program is that God as I understand him/her doesn't have to be God as you understand him/her.

I think Recoveryroad is right. The evil that men do.

Meg Moran said...

I am so glad that faith sustains you today. Hope is the principle behind the 2nd step and Faith is the principle behind the 3rd step, so you are "practicing the principles (of those 2 steps) in all of your affairs. This is how we get (and stay) sober, happy, joyous and free. You are an example of this program in action today while so many are suffering.

Chocolateer said...

Hey you! That was beautiful, and just what I needed to hear tonight. I have tears in my eyes (but they are good tears). Thank you :)

sharonsjourney said...

I love what Granny said about God as I/you understand don't have to be the same. When I first came into AA, I was terrified of everything, God especially! The program works, I don't know how, but it does, I have fears today, but I'm not consumed by them, I'm not terrified all the time. I have courage today, in the face of fear. With the help of God, the fellowship, AA. I had a different experience in church, which I won't go into right now. I did, however believe Jesus loved me. I so get the 'bad' thing! I won't go into that either. You are an inspiration to me, I love your posts, & your comments. I will call, when I get the nerve. Silly isn't it? One of my fears....insecurities.

Love, Sharon

dAAve said...

Easier said than done, but there is no reason to allow the world and all the things happening in it to bring me down.
There are just as many good things, but they rarely make the news.

Nael C. Robes said...

Sometimes world events can really bring a whirlwind of emotions. I was sober almost exactly 1 year when 9/11 happened and I had never felt such overwhelming sadness and fear. I realized it was because I had never been sober long enough to truly experience the emotions of a tragic event. The folks at my house told me it was good that I was finally having some empathy and not totally self centered.

Anna said...

Ditto

Syd said...

Keeping and sweeping your own street is a good idea. I just don't want to sweep up someone else's street. With the world events, there is something greater than ourselves working here that we don't understand. We can each only do our part to do the best that we can.

Tab said...

I will walk on your side of the street then cause not only do you do keep it clean..you add some beautiful scenery to it too!
Come on by for a cupcake anytime at my new bloggy.
Sending you hugs ..thanks for sharing.