“There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Fear is something that we all wrestle with, the question is whether or not it pins us? We all have things that we’re afraid of; for some it’s walking in dark parking lots, the thunder, spiders, or sometimes it’s as simple as “trusting”.
We create these scenarios and situations within our minds, fueling them with emotion to the point that we give them life. Our fear becomes an entity of its own, bent on destroying us. Much like beauty, fear is in the eye of the beholder. To the one that is afraid, it is as real as the chair I’m sitting in. But to the outsider, insecurity and irrational actions are all that are seen.
How do we beat fear? How do we come to a place within ourselves that makes us feel safe? Well 1# is identification. Just what are we afraid of? If we’re talking about a 5 year old panicking over the closet door being open at night, simply turning on the light and looking may suffice. However if we’re leaning towards shifty looking characters in the parking lot…never underestimate the power of a stun gun and taekwondo classes. When it comes to things like trust…that’s a little tougher.
Like I said fear is REAL to the afraid. Trying to convince them otherwise is like trying to calm that scared child mid-panic. Making them see and identify what they are truly afraid of can be difficult. As we get older, we pile so much crap on top of what we believe to be true that it’s hard to get to the root. Hard, but necessary. When it comes to relationship based fear, some would rather face the final scene of “Arachnophobia” than deal with why they always find themselves single.
We try to give ourselves false reasons for why we’re afraid. Not being able to open up or trust is a defense mechanism, we’re protecting ourselves. It may have been put into place as a necessity at one time, but now it’s simply habit. To hold on to that habit we will lie to ourselves every which way to Sunday to avoid that original feeling of pain. The idea of holding on to that fear and habit however has a major flaw…we’re not the same person prior to the pain as we are after it.
That experience forever alters our perception of the situation. We can never go back to innocence. But instead of identifying, we go “turtle in the shell”. We close up and refuse to see what’s going on. Our only focus becomes pain prevention. We need not go into panic mode/pain management. The key here isn’t to pull up the drawbridge and lock down the castle, it is to identify the threat and deal with it individually.
Pain in relationships can scar in ways we can’t imagine. Some of our hearts get hurt in the way of a skinned knee, while others go through the entire series of “SAW” movies. In the end it is up to us to heal and identify the dangers…not to be afraid.
Those fears not only keep out the bad, they prevent the entrance of the good.
Nothing to fear but fear itself? Guess there’s nothing to be afraid of.
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