Doubt has been up for me lately. I have felt it in myself, and have seen it reflected in the words and actions of others.
Doubt in self, in others, in Life, and in God.
I have also seen others desperately clinging to their faith, as if doubt were some kind of monster waiting to rob them of meaning and purpose, safety and serenity.
Both sides of the coin seem to view doubt as some kind of weakness, a negative trait that we either run from or resign ourselves to.
Seriously, what is so wrong with saying, “I don’t know?”
Why are we so afraid to not have all the answers, or to admit that the collection of beliefs we’ve relied on to answer our ever present questions has a few (or a lot) of holes in it that we can’t explain?
How would it feel to wake up one day and realize that the worldview we had been operating from was either partially, or completely wrong?
We have become so reliant on our thoughts, our ideas, and our beliefs that whether or not they prove true doesn’t matter. We will cling to them anyway. If it frightens us that we don’t know what to believe, we will adopt another’s beliefs without question, even if they are not our experience, so that we don’t have to feel like we have no ground underneath our feet. We will reject opposing beliefs as nonsensical or evil, just because they seem to challenge our cherished ideas that we thought would keep us safe.
When we insist that we have it all figured out, We lose the awe of mystery. The joy and hilarity of surprise. The freedom of infinite possibility. The safety in surrender. The wonder of being an infinitesimal and yet integral part of the miracle of Life.
We give that all up for certainty. Thinking that certainty will give us some kind of peace, security and direction, but instead it robs us of the gift of presence to the magic that is woven into the fabric of every moment.
But if we are really honest, eventually any set of beliefs we can ever adopt will at some point be challenged.
Doubt is part of every life, and an integral part of the faith journey. It is not something to be rejected but an ally to be embraced.
It is possible to view doubt not as a scary, bottomless black hole but a portal to a new world. When we open to the possibility that everything we think we know to be true might just be an illusory structure we have built to ward off insecurity, our doubt is the doorway to discovery. In order to walk through that doorway we must be willing to shed our defenses and step naked over the threshold.
The only thing I can know for certain is that I will never know for certain. But I can still show up for life and give myself fully to it, with the certainty that certainty is not necessary. All I need is willingness, presence, and surrender.
My prayer and invitation to you today is that you risk feeling the vulnerability and the humility required to have faith in your doubt. Let it introduce you to a whole new world, one that has always been here right before your eyes.
And if you are interested in stepping over that threshold with the support of kindred spirits, I’m offering a local summer group entitled “The Gateway to the Real Self: A Shared Journey of Self-Inquiry” where we will be exploring the longing to connect with the truth of our Real Self. Learn more here.