Lesson 26, Part 1:Fear is not the enemy

fear eraser, wipe out fearI have been thinking about fear quite a bit this week, and the bungee jump my sister did off the Bloukrans bridge in January this year. The main thought being why we have  fear built into our systems. Can you imagine if we were immune to being afraid? It would either get us into a lot of trouble, keep us sane or it would send us 6 feet under. That fear though is what keeps us safe to some degree and it is the same thing that keeps us too comfortable or from venturing into new uncharted territory.

The funny thing about fear is that it isn’t just something that aims to protect us physically but it also aims to protect us emotionally – which is why sometimes we push people away just in case they hurt us first or we keep others at arm’s length just in case or a relationship meltdown we are already half way to the exit.

It is a normal survival instinct that warns us when to fight or flee. It is when fear begins to take over every aspect of our thinking and decisions – when it begins to limit our living and pushes us into a corner where we are too afraid to step out of and really grow that we need to start paying close attention. The question is how healthy is your level of fear? Does fear limit you and keep you from really living?

What I have learned in my life is that fear is often a really good way to ensure growth, if you don’t let it rule you. Yes, you may be afraid but if you are determined to move beyond the space that gives you sleepless nights you can overcome the fear that holds you back. You can choose toe use it to push you forward. Once you get past fear it can serve you and not the other way around.

In the last few years of my life fear has been constantly knocking on my door reminding me of the risks we have been taking – the possibility of failing and looking like fools and being the topic of everyone’s gossip stories. It has been biting at my heels telling me to choose the easier path and it has been shooting not just arrows at me but hot fiery bullets at my ‘fear-proof vest’ telling me it will never happen and that we are fools to believe this radically for something that is reasonably impossible to the naked eye.

At any moment when I let fear in, even for a split second – it’s like an evil little leech and it begins to suck on my faith, injecting that sweet inky poison into my system called doubt. wipe out doubt, erase doubt

Fear and doubt work so perfectly together. Fear comes in and weakens you faith, your strength and resolve – once that has been done successfully the next step is to get you thinking in the wrong direction and before you know it – you have slipped off the path of determination and you are tumbling down the embankment of ‘oops I gave into fear’ straight towards the jungle of doubt and torment. I have first hand experience on how quickly you can land up there if you are not on guard against those  fearsome bullets and sneaky manoeuvrings of fear.

Despite this  – it is not fear that needs to be feared. NO…think about it…

It is in fact being blissfully aware of what is lurking in the bushes, waiting around the corner for just the right moment to karate kick us off of our feet. It is our inability to take heed when those warnings, checks and words of wisdom are sent our way to manage what we think, to stay focused on that which uplifts and brings hope and it is our complacency when it shatters through the resistance instead of us counter attacking.

So how do we deal with it? What are your counter attacks?

Related lessons:

Lesson 11: fear it or face it

Lesson 9: Frogs legs

 

Advertisements

9 comments

  1. Hey, Mich; I know exactly what you mean. Fear is a sneaky little devil, and when it surrounds you, it’s difficult to get outside of the bubble. All those warnings seem to be in a cloud of fog, and the words of wisdom appear in a language other than our own. The answer is to defy the fear, cry out to the One who has the strength to burst the bubble, and be completely honest in your weakness. “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.” Psalm 107:28

    1. It is Susan and it creeps up little by little until it has you fully in it’s grip. I am so sad when I physically see it ruling lives and am so aware of being on my guard to allowing that in my life. The warnings do feel like they need translation thank goodness we have a might God who promises us freedom from the bondage of fear. I just love that Psalm – and Psalm 91. We have the victory over this.

  2. Always a lovely encouraging read!
    What are My counter attacks?
    Music mostly – singing – that is normally if it is a small practical matter such as DOING – you know – like driving a to an unfamiliar place in bad conditions. (scares the hell out of me!) So I sing and – well – I just do it because I have to. (and I hate going shopping on my own – I am used to having a little people with me)

    When it comes to more ‘situational stuff’ like fear of my words or actions being wrong or a relational issue (you know those things?) I write – I write …A LOT! I work through ALL those inner fears with writing..and at times – I do it with my art.

    OCCASIONALLY I may email a friend 😉 Or two (SUSAN!!) or I may just stare desperately into the grey sky and – well – I just have trust that the answer will come – because it has been shown ENOUGH times that it will.

    SO when fear comes in and I am filled with doubt and dread and it seems there is no hope or all I had imagined is just a lie – I just hold out – and hold and hold – working through it – because though I KNOW that the ‘feelings’ that dread brings – those negative self doubting self loathing self inflicted times of deep dissatisfaction either due to anothers ‘actions’ (real or imagined)or my own darn stupidity – are all paths to learning a new truth.

    I know that those thoughts are not real and not the truth (because if they confuse me then they are not of God but I must be patient too as sometimes it may be a BIT confusing and then as it unfi=olds it makes so much sense)- yet I know too that it is a process of looking at those fear filled places and tearing it to shreds that I finally get to the next rung – the next ‘deeper understanding’ –

    So I go through major fear driven times – but whereas I USED to be crippled by them – I can NOW – with some focus and faith and PATIENCE work through to the other side where you know what?
    It is as if one moment the sky is grey and dark and I am thinking (and knowing) this can not be! The sun should be shining now – it was said it would! But yet, LOOK it is visibly grey – the rain is pouring down – I can not argue with THAT! AND then – as happened to me this morning – two birds flew past and they reminded me of a simple truth…seasons and unity in those seasons. THAT was the lesson that I needed to learn through my recent torment.

    So to answer more briefly: My form of counter attack is to not allow the fear to paralyse – but to use it to gain understanding. To LIVE – It causes headaches and sleeplessness and at times great sorrow – but – it is a hell of a lot better than sitting stagnant and moving no where fast.
    I just keep moving – and THAT scares the hell out of fear itself 😉
    KYK noord en ? ? you know the one 😀 The answers and strength to overcome – come in the right times – in the right way – for all the right reason – to teach us the right lesson …my dear teacher of lessons in French 😀 (but you know all that !)
    Love you.

    1. Did you know that you are victorious my friend? Have you ever considered just how much you have overcome and conquered? I can see it in every word – how you think things through and then find the answer and if the answers are not immediate you find a way to stand through the storm – that is courage – doing it afraid. You are a remarkable woman – you are willing to learn what needs learning – even afraid. Joshua 1 verse 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 😉 I love how God puts all these amazing people to encourage and lift us up just at the right time!
      Love you too!

      1. I do NOT flipping feel victorious most often 😉 But thank you for your very bestest thoughts – still a long LONG road to walk ey my Friend 😀

        Imagine when we are 75 yrs old – oh the stories we will be able to tell each other. HOPEFULLY sharing a cuppa steaming hot tea – and I will supply a bucket of chocolate biscuits 😉 Actually – wine – wine sounds quite nice.

  3. MiF,

    Jayne Major, Ph.D., is the authority behind the “Breakthrough Parenting” program. She wrote something that has really stuck with me: the basis of all anger is fear. If something upsets me or provokes me, my “counter attack” is to introspectively ask, “what am I afraid of?”

    Often there is an unconscious fear or anxiety at work.

    1. It is so true – anger is our protection mechanism – it subconsciously forms the shields to protect us from the core stuff – I like the question – the more we question the fear the more we can understand what we are really stressing about – and often it is unfounded and as you say that unconscious anxiety at work.
      Thanks Nav, some good food for thought.

Share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s