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2 Words to cling to when you’re feeling anxious or uncertain

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Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/07/23

Sometimes you just need to remember some fundamentals of the Catholic faith to give you a boost.

One of life’s difficulties can be the constant uncertainty we live with. After all, when we wake up in the morning we don’t really know what the day holds for ourselves or loved ones — as the saying goes, “You could get hit by a bus.”

With that lack of complete control you have over your lives, you also to have to factor in the inability to depend on the emotions of others and their feelings. This could leave you in a real state of anxiety and stress. You might find yourself unable to eat properly, or relying too much on futile distractions to help you face the unknown with hope in your hearts.

This was brought home to a friend of mine recently who was having issues with a new relationship. After one month of dating someone who had been her high-school sweetheart more than three decades ago, her stomach was permanently in knots.

She had fallen quickly back in love with her previous beau, but having been through a rocky relationship, she was left in a permanent place of doubt. It wasn’t the sort of anxiety that many of us feel at the start of a relationship; she had a deep-seated fear of rejection.

As she explained to me, she spent her time checking his Instagram and Messenger accounts to see if he was online. If he hadn’t replied to her messages, she’d immediately fear the worst. And the frustrating thing in all of this was that she knew she was being irrational.

So to help her contend with her feelings and embrace the unknown, I suggested that in moments of panic she says the words “patience” and “faith” over and over. Patience in the sense that not all of us have the same rhythm in life, and also that God might have set his own timeframe for her journey in life.

And by repeating “faith” she is reminded to have faith that whatever happens, she needs to trust that it is what her Heavenly Father has intended for her.

This use of repetition certainly can calm stress and help ground you in times of panic. And the more you say it, the more you really start to understand the meaning behind these two words, and the hope that is still to come.

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