I first remember hearing this saying in grade school, and I’m quite sure I heard it during one of the sermons. For any of you who never went to church let me tell you how it goes. It’s taken from first Corinthians 13:13 and says, “and now these three remain Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love.” Now I can get behind all that, but I’ve found one that I like better.
No disrespect to Corinthians or any other book mind you, but I’m not the bible-reading type. For full disclosure, I’ve never read the whole thing either. Only what I was forced to read while in school. I actually had to look up where this came from as not to screw up the reference. I like to cross my T’s and dot my I’s if you know what I mean.
The one I found that I like best is, “I choose Faith over Anxiety, Hope over Worry, and Love over Fear,” by Ms. Mary Davis. I feel this more encompasses my beliefs and what I have chosen to work with in my daily life. Also, it doesn’t feel so oppressive as memorizing bible verses did for me as a kid. I always forgot them and then had a hard time hunting them down later. Reminding me for the millionth time what I was supposed to be remembering in the first place. It was exhausting.
This is more my speed and something I can throw up on a vision board or whatnot. Getting what I need out of it whenever I’m not feeling up to snuff. So, I choose Faith over Anxiety.
Anxiety and I used to be besties.
Thick as thieves we were. We’ve since broken up like the Taylor Swift and Kanye West fiasco of whatever year that was. All I know is that at the end of 2015 I had had enough of Anxiety and the bullshit it had been whispering in my ear. Anxiety and it’s devious friend Depression were at an all time high. Stalking me left and right. Telling me that things were going to implode if I didn’t follow the direction they had planned out for my life. If I didn’t listen to everything they were telling me was true, I’d be screwed. That my life, as I’d built it from that moment would cease to exist. In the end I would be found wanting and lonely, dragging my loved ones down with me. “Follow us,” they whispered, “we know the way,” they’d hiss. I remember sitting on the couch thinking, “how can this get any worse?”
At that moment, remembering that I had a ‘Phone a Friend’ card in my back pocket. They sat next to me and hissed even louder as I reached for my phone. Sticking my tongue out at them and glaring back I sent a text to my dear friend Melissa. We chatted over text message back and forth for a bit; she showing me a door I could walk thru. I took it for the escape for which I was looking. Vowing that this was the last time I’d take Anxiety and Depressions shit lying down. I’d lived with these two buggars for far to long without a backbone. In that moment I started taking my life back, and in all honesty I petrified.
Faith over the next couple months was my companion. Walking next to me I’d look back over my shoulder and see Anxiety and Depression glaring back at me. Kicking cans, sticks and rocks out of their way as they walked, sometimes flipping me the bird as they went along. Ticked that I’d chosen another one to walk with over them.
Faith wasn’t an easy companion either. There were times I wanted to go back and walk with Anxiety and Depression. Sometimes I’d slow down a bit so that they could catch up. I didn’t want them to feel left out. I’d grown so accustomed to them over the years, they felt like family. Part of me actually missed them because they were easier to have around, like a sick security blanket. A mentality to fall back on when I didn’t want to do the hard stuff. Feeling that if I slipped back into my old self I’d feel better. Growing a backbone is hard work when you become your own stopgap. Growing thru what I was going thru was the understatement of the year.
Don’t get me wrong, Anxiety and Depression are very real, they are a disease just like any other as far as I’m concerned. Many a time after that they’ve tried to hold my hand. Faith always sees, stepping in to separate us like that chaperone at a dance when they get to close. Letting me know that she’s always there and has my back when the creepers start creeping in.
Faith lifts my chin to look out into the world. Pointing at it all she says, “look for the helpers, look for the good, what you look for you create.” She then signals Hope to come along with us. “Hope,” she tells me, “is like me, and be careful of worry. You always have two options, but Hope is the best.”
Hope floats up, taking my hand. She tells me that she and Faith are just like peas and carrots. She tells me that she doesn’t try to pretend that troubles don’t exist, it’s just in her that troubles won’t last forever. That the things that hurt will heal, and the difficulties will be overcome. Hope shines light into the darkness and let’s you see that it may be scary now, but this too shall pass. With her by my side we walk into the light. Telling me as we go not to be afraid, that it all works out the way it should in the end. She tells me not to worry, for she is always there when I need her.
Worry stands over in the corner shaking her head, cigarette in hand, smoke wafs around the top of her head. She watches Hope and I pass by her. She likes to be worshipped. When she is, it keeps the problem alive and well. She’s all about that. The more we feed Worry the stronger she gets. When we do, believing that God or the Universe won’t get it right, this is her wheelhouse. She loves it there. What she doesn’t want you to see when you look close enough is that those thoughts are notoriously inaccurate.
Much like the shadows and boogeymen that hang in our closet, they hide what is truly there. Partners in crime with Anxiety and Depression she too likes to run the show. She’s always waiting though, patiently, for you to slip back into the corner with her. She likes companionship and won’t take, “it’ll be just fine,” for an answer.
As I walk with Faith and Hope, Love appears on the horizon. “We kept the best for last,” they say in unison. I look over at them smiling, almost giggling for Love is amazing! She prances over to where we are giving me the biggest hug I’ve ever received. Holding me at arms length she looks me up and down and nods her head approvingly. “You look GOOD! I knew you’d make it!” I look her in the eye and confess, “I wasn’t so sure there for awhile, but hey, I guess it was a thing.” She laughs at me knowing all too well that it definitely was a thing. We split off from the others as we walk to the top a hill. The grass seems greener here, the air fresher. She wants to show me something, and I fall in beside her.
“See out there, the dark parts?” I look out to where her finger points, squinting. “Yeah, what is that?” She looks at me and says, “That’s the place you came from, the place you escaped from. That’s what you were totally immersed in.” I look over at her with my mouth hanging open like some goofball in disbelief. “I’m glad you figured out finally that Fear is an illusion, it’s a darkness of the most horrid sort. It’s like the Nothing from the Neverending Story. It sucks up all the light and all the goodness in the world and turns it into utter darkness. Yet, when we move to put a light on it, it squeals, backing away as quickly as it came. It doesn’t like the light because in the light it can’t hide. Fear grows from false information, false witness, false beliefs. Yet, people feed it so it grows. They haven’t figured out that Fear really means False Evidence Appearing Real.”
I stand there quiet for a moment, soaking it all in.
“So many people believe that it’s real though, they believe that the fear is real.” Looking back towards the horizon again, “Danger is real, fear is the illusion.” She says, “There are people out there that don’t know there is a difference, but there is. That’s why you are here. You’ll help be that light for some, the ones you are destined to meet. You’ll do what you were always meant to do; shine.” I looked over at her, loving her even more than before, “I love you! Thank you for showing this to me, thank you for sharing, but most of all thank you for being. You are so amazing and I hope that everyone gets the chance to know you someday. You my friend are incredible.” Turning back towards me she takes my hands in hers, “Ditto,” she replies.
Walking back towards Faith and Hope I feel complete and whole with Love by my side. Knowing full well that no matter what happens in life I’ve got this. My favorite companions not far from me, available at a moments notice, whenever I need them. The other darknesses so far removed and untouchable from where I stand now. I feel lighter than I’ve ever felt before. The sky’s the limit and I’m finally living my best life with Faith, Hope & Love.
About the Author: Keva Bartnick
Keva Bartnick is an artist, writer, and lightworker. Happily married mother of three; she’s been inspiring people to be their most courageous selves since 2015.