Skip to main content

Starve your fears

I just had a friend post the saying "Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death." on his wall.  I have heard this before--many times, actually, and I certainly believed it when I was a believing Mormon.  But, now that I look back on my life and see what it was like, I believe the opposite.

At the moment, I have no faith and no fears.  I do not fear death.  I do not fear the possibility that Christians are right and that there is a judgment after death and an eternal assignment at that time.  If that is to be, let it be.  I really do not fear for anything in my future, and there is nothing in my past that is worthy of fear.  I suppose, if I'm to be completely honest, that I do have small fears.  I worry about whether my students will like me or do well on their tests.  I worry about whether my parents will attend my wedding. But, these are minor fears that do not affect my life greatly.  I am still able to function fully well and press onward with confidence.

However, when I was a believer, I had lots of fears.  I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to make it to the Celestial Kingdom, where I knew believed Karen had gone.  I was afraid that people would find out that I'm gay.  Believe it or not, I even worried that at some time in the future (perhaps 20 or 30 years, when homosexuality was more accepted), I would have a male student in my office trying to come on to me in order to get a better grade and that I would not be able to resist the temptation--that I would give in and do something inappropriate with him.

I was afraid that pornography would destroy my life (and, for a long time, it was very damaging to my marriage and my academic career).  I was afraid that I would never learn how to control my body and avoid looking at pornography and masturbating.  In essence, I did what the church taught me to do--I feared God.  I feared his judgment.

Now, I'm not worried about any of that at all.  I concede that the scenario with a student begging for a grade is entirely possible, but I know that if a student--male or female--ever did suggest anything, I would be able to resist.  I am happy with Conrad and I don't need attention from any other source.  I no longer feel a need to look at pornography because my needs are being met.  (Of course, I also no longer think that pornography is damaging--only addiction to it, which can cause the same problems as addiction to any substance.)

Still, I think that perhaps for some people, starving their fears by feeding their faith may possibly work, and if it does, then I'm happy for them.  Fear can be debilitating.  But, as for me, I have found that the more I accept reality and the less I trust in unseen and quite likely mythical powers, the less I have to fear. Embracing all that is true and real has been a very empowering journey for me.  I'm not done.  I don't know everything.  I never will.  But, I do have that as my goal.  I want to learn truth.  I believe that knowledge is empowering, and that it is capable of dispelling fear.

Popular posts from this blog

What's a gainer?

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading this one.  It's sort of an introduction and gives the motivation.  Also, by way of disclosure, this post is not sexually explicit but it does touch on the topic of sexuality and how that relates to the subject at hand.

So, what is a gainer?  I'll relate, as best I can, the experiences I have gone through myself to help answer the question.  I remember when I was a young boy--perhaps around 6 or 7--I would have various fantasies.  Not sexual fantasies, just daydreaming about hypothetical situations that I thought were interesting or entertaining.  I had many different fantasies.  Sometimes I would fantasize about becoming very muscular, sometimes about becoming very fat.  
These fantasies varied in degree of magnitude and the subject of the fantasy.  Sometimes I myself would change weight--I would become muscular or fat.  Other times, I would do something to make other people fat or musc…

The scientific method vs the religious method

I find it interesting when people cite the fact that science keeps changing as a reason to disbelieve it and to believe instead in the "eternal" doctrines taught by some church or other.  Let's examine why science keeps changing.  Here's the scientific method.

Develop a hypothesis (this means "have a belief").Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.Conduct the experiment.Determine whether the hypothesis is believable based on the results of the experiment. This is why science keeps changing--because people notice flaws in it and correct them.  People once thought the solar system was geocentric, but now know that it's heliocentric.  How did this happen?  By using the scientific method.  Scientists are willing to admit that they're wrong.  They're willing to give up a bad idea when they see evidence that it makes no sense.  Contrast this with the religious method (simplified version). Have a belief.Look for evidence to support that belief.Ignor…

Cancel the gym

After I went to the gym this morning, I pulled in to the McDonald's drive through.  While waiting for my food, I played out in my mind a possible conversation I might have with someone concerning just this.  In fact, I have had many real conversations of similar nature.
"How was your morning?"
"It was good.  I went to the gym.  Then I grabbed a late breakfast at McDonald's on my way to work."
"Won't that cancel out?"
"Cancel what?"
"Going to McDonald's after the gym.  Won't that undo all the work you just did?"

I understand the humor.  I laugh about it.  It's funny.  And I think humor is an important thing, and that we should all laugh a little bit more and be offended a little bit less.  And so I write this not up-in-arms, but in the attempts of perhaps reaching some of those who literally believe this line of reasoning.

To the person who asserts that eating "cancels out" going to the gym, I ask just this…