Yah, you? Don’t you feel trapped? No way out? What if you hit a car? What if a car hits you? What happens if the building collapes? What if the knife slipped while I’m cutting these carrots? I’m home alone-if I die how long would it take someone to find me?
It’s a four letter ugly word.
Once you have lived in it-you never want to go back.
Not being brave – just fearing less.
Sometimes not fearing-that is as brave as you can be.
When I was laid off in 2011 I went from fearless and bold to fear-filled. I became trapped in wild and crazy imagined things. As my circumstances got worse-I went longer without finding a job, as I bills began to pill up and I didn’t have the money to pay them or even know how to go about getting the money to pay them. As my pantry emptied of food. As I stopped Iced Coffees from Starbucks…as the Keurig ran out of pods…as the dog food container was more empty than full…as despair moved in…it spawned friends. One of those friends was fear. It wasn’t my friend, but it seemed to become a constant companion. What if someone breaks my patio glass – comes in steals my dog and rapes me? What if there is a fire? What if I drown taking a bath?
Crazy irrational things began to race with wild abandon through my mind…and the more that I let them run unchecked and untamed – the crazier and more unusual (and unlikely they became).
I went from BOLD – to a person who whimpered at shadows.
What did I do to free myself?
Well that was a much longer process than getting trapped by fear. It required that I first fully Rely on God and when I didn’t trust myself, my emotions, my thoughts or my opinions about me…that I trust Him 100%. It also required that I walk in faith – faith that things would get better…that now wasn’t forever. It required that I learn how to hope again. It also required that I become aware of my negative thoughts capture them and declare that whatever random thought flashed through my head was a lie. (Sometimes I wasn’t screaming this – sometimes my voice was barely a whisper – but I had to learn to talk back to my negative head chatter.)
Something else that I did was I began to memorize scripture. Things like:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
4 Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I also discovered Dr. Carolina Leaf (just go read her books – this isn’t a book report, I’m not recapping – it will only work if you do the work.) At first I wasn’t sure if I bought into everything that she was saying about our thoughts effecting our DNA structure. But, when you have nothing to lose – you have nothing to lose. SO when I found myself being negative, I focused on what I was thinking. Then I started rebuking those thoughts – calling lies and when I discovered distorted truths I spoke to my thoughts. I would play music – listen to scripture being read. Sometimes I would just move – get up – walk – go do something different.
What I want you to know is that if you are living in fear – it is possible to get to a better state of mind and living – it is possible to fear-less. Life gets better. There is hope.