Image Credit: Gerd Altmann – Pixabay
If you are a human being like me, you have experienced the emotion of fear. This could come from your past experiences, things you’ve been told could happen or have happened, experiences that other people you know or have heard of have experienced, feelings of personal inadequacy, media etc. The emotion of fear could be grounded in rational/real or irrational/made up thoughts. In my experience, the thoughts precede the emotion of fear. But fear is just that – an emotion.
Sure, it could be crippling and sometimes even feel so real that we feel the physical symptoms. At that point, it has become anxiety. One thing I’ve learned is this, fear does not define who I am. It is easy to get lost in my thoughts and go down various rabbit holes but the results of engaging in such are always futile. But that doesn’t mean that we should completely ignore our fear(s), we need to address it lovingly because ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.
Here is a quote by one of my new favourite authors, Brené Brown, from her book Daring Greatly: “We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Mindfulness requires that we not “over-identify” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negativity.”
However, when you’ve engaged with the emotion of fear for a lengthy period of time, it is hard to just turn off the rabbit hole thinking patterns. Right now, I am on a journey to reset my thinking and challenge my fearful thoughts with the truth. One of the ways that I do this is, by studying scriptures. My faith in Christ has really helped me on this journey because I realize that this issue of giving into fear, is bigger than me. I need a power greater to penetrate my thoughts and bring light to the darkness. In essence, I am trying my best to be more intentional about choosing FAITH over FEAR. It is not easy but I know it will be worth it in the end and it is definitely better than my current state of engaging in fearful thoughts, that frankly do not serve me or the people around me.
A healthy mind doesn’t just benefit me, it benefits the people around me, the people in my life, the people I think about, the people I work with, build with and do life with. It even benefits strangers that I meet daily. This is bigger than me and I have decided to go on this journey to reset my mind with the help of loved ones, scriptures, God’s grace and mercy, reading books, sermons, music, exercise, journalling and mindful thinking.
Below are some scriptures that address the lies of fear with the truth of God’s love:
Psalms 23:4 NIV
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Isaiah 41:10 NIV
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalms 94:19 NIV
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
Isaiah 43:1 NKJV
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
Philippians 4:6 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline.
1 John 4:18 NKJV
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Isaiah 43: 2 NKJV
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
Romans 8:15 NKJV
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Psalms 91:1- 2 NKJV
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and fortress, My God, in Him I will trust.”
Isaiah 40:29 NIV
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
I hope this encourages and makes you realize that you are not alone and that you realize as Brené Brown puts it in Daring Greatly “common humanity recognizes that suffering and feelings of personal inadequacy are part of the shared human experience – something we all go through rather than something that happens to ‘me’ alone.”