Friday Thoughts

So I’ve been thinking . . . about faith. Not religious faith. But having faith in what I am doing and myself. And every once in awhile, I lose faith.

So I’ve been thinking . . . about faith. Not religious faith. But having faith in what I am doing and myself. And every once in awhile, I lose faith.

Before I left for my trip to Portugal, I injured my back. I’ve done this before and have had lower back issues since. I work hard at strengthening my back, my core, and stretching out my hamstrings and hip flexors. So I was surprised and bummed out about my back. But I also knew my body was telling me something: Slow down, take it easy, be good to yourself, face your fear.

Wait, what was that last part? Face my fear. What fear? I’m doing just fine, thank you. I don’t have any fear. But the reality is, I have and I haven’t been facing it. So, my back pain forced me to.

When I quit my job to travel and write and freelance, I took a big leap of faith. But just because I took that leap, doesn’t mean I’m not afraid. I have a lot of fears: failing, not being successful, not making money, never getting published, getting published, having people read my writing, losing my home and living in a box, and the list goes on.

So maybe the point isn’t to deny the fears but to walk through them, air them out, and acknowledge them. What would it be like if we were ok with our fear? If we talked about our fears openly? If we recognized them and, dare I say, even welcomed them? (Ok, that scares me.)

Since I’ve been thinking about faith and fear, I’ve done a bit of research. I came across a great TED Talk, which was, on the surface, about religion and the prophet Muhammad but, in reality, was about doubt and fear. Author Lesley Hazleton talks about Muhammad’s moment in the cave when he received the messages that would become the Quran. His initial response wasn’t all “happy day and joy and sunshine and let me immediately run out of this cave tell the world.” He was afraid. Hazleton says in her talk, “fear was the only sane response, the only human response.” She goes on to say that “doubt is essential to faith,” and that “faith goes hand in hand with doubt.”

To have doubt is ok; it’s natural, and it’s the sane human response. And maybe, just maybe, I can embrace my doubt and fear. (Ah, I can almost feel my back getting better already.)

And another thing (or two or five) . . .

I’ve been reading . . . well, not much and I’ve been a big baby about it. With my back out this week, it’s been hard to sit up and read (and just as hard to lie on my back and read). I sort of started a book of short stories The Firefly Dance by Sarah Addison Allen et al. (I gave up on Still Life with Bread Crumbs.) Haven’t read much of this new book yet—hopefully it’s good. I picked it up because I am a fan of author Sarah Addison Allen.

I did get to read a great YA book called Saving Sky for a project I’m working on. (Back pain or not, still have to work.) And wow, what a great book—particularly for these times. I was so moved. I cried at the end. Definitely recommend this book.

I’ve been watching . . . Game of Thrones. Finally!!!! Oh my god, it did not disappoint. And that’s all I’m going to say. Can NOT wait until this Sunday!

I’ve been listening to . . . a mix of stuff. (Yes, still listening to Gwen Stefani but she’s not all I’m listening to.) Listening to Glen Phillips (he has a great new duet with Renee Stahl), some Peter Bradley Adams, and Damien Rice.

Have a wonderful weekend!


(Image found here.)

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