Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Conquring the doubt monster

I'm sure I've rambled about doubt before. I'm no stranger to doubt's creeping little tendrils wrapping around my otherwise comfortable existence. There was a time when I doubted more deeply than I do now, but I still find myself wondering... is this really what I think? Do I really believe in all this? Am I really doing this?

It isn't just faith that I occassionally doubt, although I admit to doubting my faith more than most people around me would realize. I find myself doubting all kinds of things. Then I realized the other day that most of the time my doubt isn't between me and whatever it is I'm doubting. The source of the doubt is my ever-present and hard-to-get-over concern over what others think. I don't doubt homeschooling because I have any internal or external reason to do so - I start doubting when I start thinking about what OTHER people may or may not think of me for it. I don't doubt my faith because I feel something else is right or because any of the reading and research I've done on the topic pointed me in a different direction - I doubt in the moments when I wonder what others think.

Well isn't that just silly.

I'm not sure why that connection has never occurred to me before, but in a way, it was oddly comforting. I know this about myself - I know I'm too worried about the opinions of others. I always have been. It is something I need to continue working on to keep in perspective.

Doubts have a way of multiplying themselves. Having doubt about something leads to stronger feelings of doubt, simply by the presence of the original doubtful feelings. If I'm feeling this doubt, maybe I'm right to doubt, and look at that, now I'm doubting more....

Remembering that in the midst of a doubt-filled time is helping me to see past it and realize where my doubts are really coming from. Doubting a decision or a belief because you've been challenged and need to focus on it and delve deeper to come to peace is one thing. Being worried that someone (real or theoretical) will judge you for your choice or belief is another thing entirely. I all too often fall into the latter (and it is all usually quite theoretical). It's something I need to work on.

So there you go, doubt monster. I cast thee off into the abyss and will smite thee with my new-found self awareness!

No comments: