I tend to lean toward fear and worry, but I don’t think it has to be that way forever. I believe our daily, moment-by-moment choices can have the power to change the way we think and how quickly we run to fear.
The way it’s been put to me before is that “Fear can get overzealous”. We give it a little wiggle room, and it basically moves in, unpacks it’s bags, and over stays it’s welcome. Fear is not a bad thing. Without fear, how would we know to run in the right direction and away from the harmful things? It keeps us safe. But being a human emotion, it can’t quite differentiate from real life you-gotta-run-NOW threats and ones that are harmless but look a lot like past unsafe situations. Like Pavlov’s dogs – we get hurt once, we think we will get hurt again in the same way.
And some of that is true. The definition of insanity is “Continually repeating something and expecting a different result”. Yea: same situation + same actions, and you’ll probably get the same results. If nothing has changed and you do the same thing, you will get hurt again.
But what about our growth that has happened? What about our ability to change? To heal? To learn how to bring different actions into our lives?
What fear doesn’t know is what has changed. What is different.
Yes maybe I am in a work situation that looks a lot like one that made me deteriorate a few years back. But it’s a different company, different bosses, and I have great support systems and experiential knowledge to get me through this time.
Yes maybe I have been hurt by befriending someone or getting close before only to have them leave or not value me. But these are new people, different people, and I’ve learned to pick wisely and to look out for those traits that hurt me in the past.
Yes maybe I’ve made mistakes before and hurt other people or let myself down. But I have people able to speak into my life now, accountability, past experiences to learn from and forgiveness to help me move on.
So fear is great. Ok maybe not great. But it’s a good thing. Sure it sucks to feel – pain in my chest, shorter breath, tight throat and a racing mind. Not fun. But it is there for you as a friend, a helper. It thinks it’s protecting you. So let it speak. Acknowledge it’s presence. Then get quiet, get deliberate, and see what truths it needs to learn or what truths it’s right about that you need to listen to in order to move toward safety.
Spell it out. What’s making you afraid. Now ask what old hurts is it coming from that are no longer present? Have you changed? Have the people around you changed? What lies are you believing that make you afraid of this new situation?
Even if you can’t get answers right away, you’ve started the journey to appreciating the noisy pain of your fear so it can learn to be quieter, more trusting, and able to rest until it really needs to show up and scream to get your attention.
And I will tell you, this is a process. A crazy-hard, wish-it-was-quicker, why-can’t-this-growth-hurry-up, kinda process. That’s life and that’s ok. Plants don’t become trees over night.
So until the peace comes naturally, lets take moment-by-moment steps toward this growth. Lets ask questions about our fear. Wrestle with the “why” and find what is true and what no longer is.
Focus your attention off the lies and onto the truth; “what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Because what we give our energy and attention to will grow. That’s a fact. Start attending to the Truth and eventually it will bring Life.
I love this verse that I found recently, maybe it will resonate with you too:
God always knows how we are made and wired, even more than we do. He made our emotions, even fear. I love that he knows we have a tendency to ruminate and tells us “Don’t dwell on that! I know you messed up. It’s alright now. Look ahead. I am doing a new thing! I got this. Just keep your eyes up.”
May that be our daily aim and practice until you “experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Extra Musings and Random Thoughts
I went to see the new movie The Intern this weekend. It was such a great movie! Good hearted, makes you smile, it’s clean, funny and all around a great watch. Robert Dinero’s character is adorable 🙂 Go see it!
Ok. I could write an entire post devoted to how excellent Rising Strong is. I just finished this book new by Brene Brown. As a huge fan of all of her work already, I was so surprised by how much more I had to learn from Rising Strong. It’s incredible and something I think every adult should be required to read. This post has so much of the Rising Strong Process threaded through it. Recognize what’s going on: A feeling is happening. Then Rumble with it: Get curious. Ask questions. Find the truth. With practice, over time, comes the Revolution: growth, healing, new ways of living more wholeheartedly. I can’t get enough of this awesome work! It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Couldn’t help but use this pic. A fun moment from what we call Family Farm Day. My whole family went up to my aunt and uncle’s farm for a whole day a few weeks ago. Loved. Every. Minute.