Two Appropriate “F” Words

During my days of teaching kindergarten, I was approached by a five-year-old who ran across the playground with a red face, intense eyes, and a mouth poised in preparation for a tattle. When she got to me, the words just spilled out. Someone had used the “F” word. Before I had a chance to ask any questions or follow up with the offender, the rest of the explanation came out. “He called me the F word and it isn’t true because I am NOT Fat!” She was correct. He had used an F word, but thankfully, it wasn’t the one I was dreading.

I had to hold back the laughter and deal with the situation, but the memory has stuck with me and I still chuckle about it. Recently, due to events in my own life, I have had occasion to think about two more words starting with the letter F; and these are acceptable words. One is Fear and the other is Faith.
Fear can paralyze you. It can stem from anything you have ever experienced, learned, seen or heard. Most of our fears come from past failures or experiences which have been unpleasant. They can also rise out of low self-esteem. Fear is learned. It has its roots in many things and those roots can reach right down into your gut and stay there in a big knot.

So how do you deal with it? First of all, you take a good look at it and decide whether what you fear is really based in fact, or if it is just something that you perceive to be threatening. Next, realize that you have the power to reduce that fear down to the size of a little speck and then squash it. You do this by taking steps to face it. Maybe you need to take baby steps or maybe you need to jump in with both feet; that is up to you. But, when you begin to deal with the situation, expose it for what it really is and understand that the chances are good that you are exaggerating the danger in your mind; fear loses its power over you. Visualize yourself conquering your monster, whatever it may be.

Faith can help you deal with fear….but it has to be greater than your fear. If you have a Higher Power in which you believe, then you must nurture your faith and turn to it when you feel fear’s icy grip creeping in. And you must have faith in yourself; who you are and what you can accomplish. You are probably stronger than you think and you have the ability to overcome challenges. But faith cannot be put on the shelf and just pulled off every now and then. It has to be used and practiced on a regular basis. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes and the Faith word can conquer the Fear word any old day!

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