One of the hardest things that we deal with in our lives is doubt.
Oh sure, we go through enormously difficult situations – we lose jobs, we lose loved ones, we get sick, the list of hardships can be mind boggling. And doubt is probably the most difficult hardship to conquer.
It can literally come from nowhere and can feel like the snake in the garden, winding itself sneakily through our joys and our confidences. It can attach itself to our best relationships and undermine our finest moments.
Before his death, Socrates once described pleasure and pain as two sides of the same coin, saying that one could hardly live without the other. I wonder if we too easily cast doubt into the same pot as pain and disregard its enormous value to us as human beings. If we can accept doubt as part of our life process of faith, we can see that they are literally the yin and yang of one thing, rather than being at odds with one another.
Doubt and Faith. I suppose we much too easily believe that the opposite of love is hate or apathy. When in truth, the thing at odds with deep love is that undermining thread of doubt. Like the Buddha says though, in life we suffer, and if we can accept that it is so, we can simply ride the wave of life and love each part, each experience, even the painful ones. They are part of our human adventure, and they make the beautiful all the more rich. And the wisdom and compassion that is born out of pain is immeasurable. So how can it be bad?
The waves of doubt in our love stories is no different. They are natural, they are human. We have not caused them, nor can we prevent them. But if we accept that this is as it should be, we can ride them. We can ride the ups and downs of our deep loves and know that they are beautiful and strong. The doubt is not bad. The truest loves, in fact, are simply not the waves. They are the ocean. So deep and so strong that the tossing waves are only on the surface. Underneath, they are flowing, beautiful currents.
As human beings those waves of doubt will run through everything worth loving. They will run through our relationships, they will run through our efforts to love ourselves. They will ripple from our birth to our death, and even have the audacity to touch our experience with the Great Creator. We will doubt It’s love for us and our own right to exist. We will wonder what this life IS. If we are able, however, to ride those waves with some expertise, the depth of love is always there to enfold us.
This is the yin and yang of love. IF we allow it, we will grow to know that it cannot exist except with a love worth doubting. We are supposed to question the things of worth. We are literally born to question life itself.
So bring on the doubt. I will know you, doubt, by your fruit, and for that reason, I will welcome you. My love is the ocean and her name is Kathleen. She has been the other heartbeat in my bed since 1998 and we married in 2009. She is my ocean. Thank you Kathleen for every moment. Every doubt, every fear, every joy, every heartbeat. For Everything.
How have doubt and love been motivators for you in your life? Please comment below.
Laura Fenamore, Body Image Expert, Coach and acclaimed Author is on a mission to help women around the world end the constant battle with their bodies and start adoring who they see in the mirror. Her approach walks students and readers through the heartfelt journey to self-love at any size or age by unlocking the secrets to a lifetime of emotional, physical and spiritual health. After overcoming a lifelong battle with addiction, obesity, and eating disorders, Laura released 100 pounds – keeping it off for more than 28 years. She chronicles this journey to self-love and health in her widely acclaimed book, Skinny, Fat, Perfect: Love Who You See in the Mirror. Learn more about Laura’s programs, or invite her to speak by visiting SkinnyFatPertect.com.