LET YOUR HOPE BE GREATER THAN YOUR FEAR

     

Many of us are walking through fear-storms. When the world seems to turn upside down, some of the anchors on which we have relied seem to disappear and fear seems to rule the day. These days, it seems as if fear is at epidemic proportions. You might say that we are living in a polluted “atmosfear.”

People are afraid of any number of things….the dark, being alone, snakes, spiders, heights, water, flying, politicians, giant meatballs. I am afraid of wearing a swimsuit, but that’s just me.  Many people are afraid of dying, but sadder still…many are afraid of living.

Fear can be confusing. Sometimes we tend to feel that if we hold on to our fears, we are protecting ourselves by being vigilant. Ding dong, that’s wrong. It is wrong on many levels.  For one thing, there is a difference between being cautious and being scared stiff! Being zapped by the “fangs of fear” is like being stung by a scorpion. It can fill you with poison and immobilize you.

So what are we to do when things seem to be spinning out of control? Fear begins with a thought. It starts as a worry or a doubt and grows into a full-blown fear….of losing something that we love or of not getting what we want or think we need.  Fear is a bully and it thrives on our belief in it.  When we look at it for what it really is, a trickster who wants to cloud the truth and dominate us, we can begin to recognize that we have options.  There is really no reason to live in the grip of fear because to do so, strangles hope and prevents us from living in peace.   But it is difficult to toss fear out on its ear because it is sneaky! It appears in the form of worry, anger, jealousy, doubt and confusion. But it does have a powerful enemy and that is HOPE!  Just as it only takes one little candle to light the darkness, so it is that one little spark of hope can begin to loosen the grip of fear.  

Here are some steps that I have found helpful when I begin to feel the cold fingers of fear closing around my throat. (Whoa…Stephen King just took over my brain!)

                                      

  1. Determine whether you are facing a real threat or an imagined one.  Sometimes our minds run in all directions at once and a perceived threat becomes a huge monster in our heads. We blow it up to outrageous proportions and panic sets in.  Don’t catastrophize…calm down and look at things realistically.

 2.  If you assess the situation and feel that you are facing something real, put it into perspective and realize that you have the capability to deal with it without pushing the panic button.  You have options.  Make a plan of action.

 3.  Breathe.

 4.   Don’t feed your fear because it will devour you. Instead, feed your hope…. Hold Onto Positive Expectations. A fear driven life is a life not fully lived.

 

Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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