Thursday, May 5, 2011

Embracing Fear

You may have noticed a theme lately with my posts. Fear has always been a dominant enemy in my life, but usually its effects are worse after enduring some sort of trauma. Needless to say, this year has been difficult, but instead of experiencing depression I have been bombarded by anxiety. I'm anxious about EVERYTHING! I wish I could say these were rational fears stemming from legitimate threats, but that's rarely the case. And the panic attacks rise up completely unexpected like lightening from a baby blue sky. I have been desperately trying to wrap my head around all this fear- mostly because I am no longer in a position where I can allow fear to rule my life. I am a mother now. I think one of a mother's most important qualities is the strength of her backbone. Anyway, I was at a thrift store with my Mom and I spotted a book called, "Embracing Fear." It was 10 cents. I took it home with me.

"With fear in charge, you can never fully relax, let your guard down, be your true self. You can't open up because you are afraid of how people will respond if they were to meet the real you. When fear is in charge, you simply cannot take that chance. Fear will not allow honesty, fear despises spontaneity, and fear refuses to believe in you. Fear may mean well, but it ruins everything by overprotecting you, insisting that you stay hidden and keep a low profile, promising that your time is coming...sometime later. Fear is bold, but insists that you be timid. Take a chance and there will be hell to pay: fear will call on its dear friend, shame, to meet you on the other side of your risk taking, to tell you what you should not have done. Fear will trip you, tackle you, smother you, do whatever it takes to cause you to hesitate, to stop you. In this way fear is fearless.
Your assignment is to live a life that is not ruled by fear. To do this, you must be able to identify, at any given time, exactly what fear is telling you- or rather threatening you with- and to disobey its instructions. Every morning when you awake, make a conscious decision to remain in charge of your own life. Fear cannot occupy the space in which you stand. Fear cannot force you out of that position of authority, but it can, if you let it, scare you away. Let your personal motto be 'No Fear.' Say those two powerful words as you put your feet on the floor, as you look into the mirror, as you walk out the door. Ask yourself each morning, and all through the day, what will NO FEAR mean for me today?
Ask yourself the question...and don't forget to listen for the answer."

"Embracing Fear" (Pgs 30-31), by Thom Rutledge

I hope my kids understand the importance of recognizing fear for what it is and pressing forward anyway. And I know that they won't gain this knowledge unless I can get my stuff together. I find great comfort in my favorite scripture-
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
- John 14:27

*Sigh* Heaven help me!


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