Fear is an emotion. Why then, can fear control our lives? If you really think about what you fear, can you feel it in the pit of your stomach? Can you feel the adrenaline stab that takes your breath away?
The things we fear are mostly imaginary. And I’m not just talking about having bad dreams. The things we worry about are the things we fear. What are you worried about right now? What if I told you that none of those things will happen? Would you still worry about them?
What if I told you that worrying about something can actually make it more likely to happen? Do you believe me? I read once that worrying is like praying for what you don’t want. If our prayers are the feelings we have that we send to the Universe (God), then worrying is asking for those things to happen.
If you realized this was true, would you stop worrying and being fearful? I know its hard to think that way when there seems to be bad things lurking around every corner. And I have had my fair share of them, even a couple just in the last week. But I have learned that if I offer up my thankfulness to my Abba (the Universe) and I pray for peacefulness, that my fear dissipates quickly and all that is left is a bit of anxiety that I can deal with on my own. How can you be thankful when you are fearful? You can’t. But the great news is that God knows our hearts, and our worries, and He tells us not to worry about tomorrow, because each day has worries of its own.
Another thing we tend to worry about is what other people think of us. Why do we do this? We have this need for approval from others, and we had a need for approval from our parents, and our teachers, and on and on and on. But who’s approval do you really need? Just your own. Once you cast away the fear of not fitting in, of people not liking you, of people being disappointed in you, then you’ll be free to live your true self’s life. Your true self, or higher self, doesn’t care what you wear, so why did you spend a half hour picking out an outfit? If you were running through the jungle with a tiger chasing you, do you think he would chastise you for wearing those shoes after Labor Day? If your child was dying in the hospital, would it truly matter if your scarf doesn’t accessorize well with that belt? No, when it comes down to it, nothing material really matters that much. Your true self also doesn’t care what you drive, where you live, or how big your bank account is. Your true self wants peace.
I think this is why after a fire, or other disastrous event, people pull together and realize that things are replaceable, people are not. Even those cherished mementos, the quilt great-grandma hand-stitched, and the photographs of your grandparents weddings, are still less important than people. We spend a lot of money on trying to keep our things safe from harm, fire proof safes, fire suppression systems, burglar alarms, bigger and bigger houses and garages, and then we worry about those things too. We worry about the buildings and we worry about what’s in them. We worry about too many things that don’t really matter. We are fearful of loss. We are fearful of life. We are fearful of decisions that we make and what the outcomes of those decisions might be. We are fearful of consequences and our own failures. We are fearful, sometimes, of ourselves. And sometimes, we are fearful of crazy scenarios played out in our imaginations.
So if I stop worrying, and stop being fearful, I will stop inviting disaster and chaos into my life. But how can I stop worrying? How can I stop being fearful? Think of something that worries you, that makes you feel fear. What’s the worst thing about it? What is your worst case scenario? Imagine it happening. Close your eyes, and feel the pain, feel everything. There, now its done. You’ve already experienced it, so there’s no need to worry about it anymore. Now, look at that thing that hasn’t happened and be grateful. Be grateful for what you have, instead of worrying about what you don’t have. Your heart will be lighter, and your anxiety levels will plummet. Be very aware of what your brain is thinking about, and if it starts the fear process, shut it down. Offer thanks and gratitude and be fear-less.