Saturday, September 3, 2011

Facing the unknown

What separates a strong, confident and able person from a weak, timid and fearful one? What is possibly the most frightening and subsequently challenging position we can find ourselves in as human beings? For the other blokes out there - what is the difference between being a boy and being a man?

I believe it all comes down to this - how we deal with the unknown factors in our lives - either in our external circumstances or buried deep within our own hearts.

Knowledge is power. This statement is very true. There is safety, strength and confidence in knowledge. However, knowledge can also be a cover up for some of the deepest character flaws we experience as human beings. For example - there can be people who are deeply afraid of confrontation of any kind, however when it comes to scolding their children or someone they perceive to be weaker than themselves, they have no problem initiating the confrontation whatsoever and sometimes even revel in it. Simply put - they are using their knowledge that their children are weaker than them and dependent on them to get an emotional release as well as cover up their need to face that part of themselves they wish to avoid.

Facing the truly unknown can be terrifying, to say the least. The most important thing about the unknown of any sort is not so much what we expect to face out there in the darkness where the light of knowledge does not yet shine - but what we will face within ourselves when exposed to unknown circumstances that have the potential to frighten us.

We are not encouraged to go deep within ourselves when it comes to facing circumstances we already know and understand. Facing the truly unknown takes away all of our shallow sense of emotional security and strips us right back to the very core of who we are as people and forces us to ask ourselves - do I believe in myself? Do I trust myself - and God - that I can boldly walk into the darkness and face and overcome what I find there? Do I have enough self belief and self confidence to be able to boldly tread where I have never tread before, relying on nothing but my own ability to face what I find out there? Do I believe that I can turn the unknown into the known and that I can be strong and insistent enough to be able to not give up on making this happen and run back to the already lit areas of my life, where it's safe?

The unknown is a breeding ground for fear, as it is knowledge that nips fear in the bud and stops it in its tracks. When we intentionally walk into the unknown, often our deepest fears begin to arise from the deepest core of our being. However we are not able to crush them with knowledge as we are walking into a dark and unknown environment where we have nothing to rely on except our own strength and confidence. Though this is a frightening place to be, it can also be one of the most enlightening and healing places to be - if we face it the right way.

When our deepest fears arise due to unknown circumstances, we cannot run away from them as more often than not, God has orchestrated what we are facing in our circumstances in order to get us to face the truth about ourselves. Every fear is like a weed that grows up inside of us - we can cut the top off it, but it will just keep on growing back. It needs to be pulled out at the root in order to rid ourselves of it completely and replace that fear with peace. The root of the fear is what hurts the most to feel our way into - but it is a necessary part of healing it if we want to walk free of it.

I still struggle with facing the unknown as I still find it difficult to have faith in myself to overcome anything I might find out there and actually trust that I have the strength and capacity to deal with anything - even if I don't know what it is yet. I am not there yet. But I am facing the unknown circumstances in my life at the moment with far more peace and faith in God and myself than ever before and that is due to pulling the fears out at the roots that previous unknown experiences have brought me into. It is hard work. But I am getting there. I am beginning to learn what it means to be a man - facing the unknown with an attitude of "bring it on, I'll stare you down, I can overcome anything" rather than running from it timidly.

It is necessary for us to learn to face the darkness both externally and within ourselves as if we just shrink back in fear all of the time, we are cutting ourselves off from what could be some of the greatest experiences we could ever have, and receiving some amazing gifts God and other people have to give us - if we could only get over our fear of the unknown and step out into it anyway.

It is a process to overcome. And it takes times. And at times, it hurts like blazes. But it is working. I am more grateful for unknown circumstances than ever before as they are helping me to get to know someone I need to know more than anyone in the world - myself.

I hope this speaks to someone out there. Take care and God bless.

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