“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” — Seneca
I’ve been thinking about this quote all day! What does it even mean? The first line made me ponder, trying to understand more of its meaning—more frightened than hurt? So I did a little research to better understand this. From what I’ve learned, being “more frightened” is to react to a situation with fear. Questions arise such as “What now?” “Why me?” “When is this going to end?” and so on. For most of us, we don’t react to the emotional side of things until later. We’re more fearful of the unknown.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware of the things that make me feel fearful. The majority of this feeling comes from the unknown of what the future holds. When fear starts to overstay its welcome with me, I refer back to what President Boyd K. Packer once said:
“Faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known. Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence. Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness” (Boyd K. Packer, “What Is Faith?” in Faith , 42–43).
We weren’t promised an easy life, but we are promised blessings when we decide to live a life of faith. It’s a difficult thing to understand at first, but after some practice, you’ll realize it’s one of the best things to teach yourself.
For the second part of that quote, “We suffer more from imagination than from reality,” I think for the most part we understand it the same. We typically hope for any outcome to turn out the way we imagine it in our heads. So how do we work around that? I’ll clue you in on what has worked best for me. The number one rule (and only rule): BE FAITHFUL!
I know that is such a vague answer and maybe not the one you expected, but let me explain: in every situation I find myself in, the thing that has always comforted me is that no matter the outcome, the Lord knows what’s best for me and will always give me those things as long as I stay faithful to Him and follow His plan for me.
I believe that we have to walk through those dark nights and experience feelings of doubt to help us build our faith in ourselves and in the Lord. In those times, you may not see where the dim path is taking you, but choose to walk by faith and not by sight. If you’re like me, this may be a hard thing to learn at first, but it’s one of the best things we can do for ourselves. It’s been a huge blessing for me!
“Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come” (D&C 68:6).
So walk with your head held high and your heart filled with hope. No matter where your life take you, don’t be fearful. The Lord walks alongside you and will show you the light in every dark night. Don’t be afraid, but be faithful. Keep going and keep believing.
Jen has been inspired to give encouragement and faith through her uplifting writings. Her posts focus on overcoming the trials of life in hopes that they can help others in need. Jen has a love for the gospel of Jesus Christ and is happy to continue to spread His word to the world here on LDS Blogs.