May 31     

Today's quotation:

But doubt is as crucial to faith as darkness is to light.  Without one, the other has no context and is meaningless.  Faith is, by definition, uncertainty.  It is full of doubt, steeped in risk.  It is about matters not of the known, but of the unknown.

Carter Heywood

Today's Meditation:

For some reason, most of us seem to be pretty uncomfortable with doubt.  If we have doubts about God or religion, we feel our faith isn't strong enough.  If we have doubts about our abilities to do certain things, we can sabotage our efforts to get those things done.  Doubt can be pretty destructive in certain circumstances, but it can be quite enlightening and constructive in others.  I think that the most important thing to consider about our doubts is recognizing when they're legitimate and when they're false, and when they can help us to learn and grow and when they keep us from doing so.

I want to have certain doubts, for they keep me from accepting things on the surface level that may be dangerous to accept.  Is this person telling me the truth about something very important?  My doubt may be an important ally in finding out that I can't trust someone.  Does this research accurately define a certain problem?  My doubts may lead me to research the problem myself and learn something very important.

The doubts that I want to dispel are those that keep me limited, those that make me feel that I can't accomplish something that's well within my capabilities.  If I pay too much attention to my doubts, I may never run that marathon or write that novel or ask that person to have coffee or dinner with me.  And if I have too many doubts about the capabilities of the people with whom I share my life-- my spouse, my children, my friends-- I may never allow them to take risks and grow and shine brightly for all to see.

We have to be careful with our doubts-- we can't let them limit us or define us, but we also need to pay attention to those that can help us make our ways through life.  Just as with people, some doubts can be our allies, while others are enemies.  It's up to us to figure out which are which, and deal with them accordingly.

Questions to consider:

Why do we so often see doubts as a strictly negative thing?

How might doubts help you in your life?

What are some of the most common sources of our doubts?

For further thought:

Those who have conquered doubt and fears have conquered failure.  Their every thought is allied with power, and all difficulties are bravely met and wisely overcome.

James Allen

more on doubt



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