Monday, February 1, 2010

The Spirital Series: Part IV

Fear

I discussed this with some women on my online board awhile ago, but I think it's worth discussing here too.  All around me, I see fear.  I see people make decisions based on their fear.  I see people using the concept of fear to pursuade others for or against a certain argument. 

No question:  it's hard to not know what's coming next. I lay awake at night and feel anxiety and uncertainty about my life, but mostly where money is concerned.  Because I'm self-employed, most of my "fear" comes from not knowing where the next paycheck is coming from.  This is the cycle:

Business slows down.
I get anxious.
I pray.
I get more anxious.
I continue to pray.
I remember that God will provide.  (Sometimes I hear God say, "Calm down.  I got it."  And on really bad days I hear God say, "Seriously? You again?  I said I got it."
My prayer is answered.
Every time.

This is the greatest area I have fear, just because of the nature of my business.

Overall, I am not a fearful person.  I make a conscious effort not to be, and an absolute effort to be trusting and positive.  I feel angry at people who prey at others' insecurities and create fear.  Obviously, I'm referring primarily to politicians, but I see it in other areas.  We cannot use fear to get our way.  It's unkind.

My pastor has a blog (long story, post for another day).  He's sick and has left the church to get well.  I miss him dearly, and am grateful he has a blog.  He talked about fear the other day on his blog, and I loved reading it. It again cemented that there is no reason to worry, or fear.  Everything will be okay, by the grace of God.  (If you want to read the part on fear, you have to scroll down to his January 22 entry.  For some reason, I was unable to copy that link.)

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink;
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more important than food,
And the body more important than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air;
They do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your Heavenly father feeds them
Are you not more valuable than they?
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Matthew 6:25-27

I am comforted by scripture.  I am not afraid.

7 comments:

Andy said...

Fear stems most of our maladaptive behavior as humans. Cognitive-Behavior Therapy has figured out that much of what we do in our own worst interest is based upon two basic questions: Am I lovable? Am I capable?

At the core of those two questions is fear.

Fear fuels. Propels. Perpetuates. Propagates. Spreads.

Outwardly and inwardly.

I appreciate this topic so much, Leanne. Thank you for broaching it--it's nothing that can ever be completely eradicated, but it can certainly be managed. Minimized. Debunked.

My favorite is to debunk fear. Completely pull the rug out from under it. Deflate. Dash.

We personify fear. It can have a face. So, just like Jennifer Connelly says to David Bowie in the movie "Labyrinth," I like to tell fear, "You have no power over me."

Leanne said...

Thanks, Andy, for your insightful comments. This subject has been rolling around in my head for months, and I just needed to spill it.

I think its ability to spread is what bothers me the most. Especially when we are sincerely *not supposed* to be fearful. Ah, our human nature. :P

Julie said...

Fears. If nothing else, they can be a motivator, that's for sure. They motivate people into action, motivate people to seek truth, motivate people to fight and protect. They can be something to respect (consequences, etc.) but they can also cause a lot of hurt and pain. In the end, we all grow from some of them that we overcome.

Sometimes the most meaningful truths come from fears I have battled head-on and came out trusting, having learned something important.

Although they quite often accompany one another, I think there is a difference between fear and worry. Fear of not being able to provide will always keep you motivated to work hard. Well, pride too but let's face it, work sometimes stinks but most people aren't going to quit, especially now. When you're doing the best you possibly can and still worrying about tomorrow, well, that's not so productive. :)

I love that Bible verse- so beautiful and reassuring. Funny- as big and wonderful as our plans are, God's are always a little better, aren't they? Different but better. :D

I love that- "Seriously? You again?" Lol! That's exactly the way I feel sometimes!

Thanks for this post.

Julie said...

I wrote the last comment right before bed last night and was a wee on the tired side, hence the rambling length. :)

I was thinking- I don't think fear is a friend but I wouldn't call it a foe either. It can limit us but it can also push us. I definitely agree though that it's wrong when people manipulate others by preying on their fears. It happens way, way too often. It's a bummer because we never know if the information we are getting is true or if someone has a selfish, ulterior motive and they're just playing with concerns we have. :P

Leanne said...

Julie - I understood your post and I appreciate it so much. I agree. Our own personal fears do push us to do better. Complacency isn't so healthy either, huh?

elizabeth said...

I didn't see this post. I've been thinking about fear a lot lately.

My key learnings of late are that behind every fear is a need (in my case, they usually boil down to safety and love) and every fear (speaking of personal fears here ..) is our way of trying to protect ourselves in some way. The trouble is that if I don't know what the need is, and react blindly based on fear, I'm probably not really giving myself what I really need. And when I don't recognize that my fear is there to protect me, I am always fighting it - which based on past experience does not work at all. Plus, the trouble with fear is that its way of protecting us usually hurts worse than the thing (that might or might not happen) that it is trying to protect us from.

elizabeth said...

Oops .. I didn't finish my thought.

So .. if I can figure out what my fear is protecting me from, I can use logic to see that it might actually be preventing me from doing the things that will actually help protect me.

This probably would make more sense if I used an example ..

Not the best one on short notice, but ..

I had a lot of fear come up around doing the things I need to do to start my business. So I was stalling about doing them. Well, the fear was trying to protect me - it wanted me to be safe and supported. Except it was keeping me from doing the things that I needed to do to help me remain safe and supported (e.g. look for clients ..).