Fear can grip us powerfully, but we can overcome it and soar.
It’s the dread we feel even when everything is going well. It’s the shiver that goes down our spine when we just landed our dream job, found a person we love, gave birth to our first child. When we should be celebrating and grateful, we have this thought of, “This is too good to be true.” And we imagine dark possibilities that may strike us. We reek of fear instead of reveling in abundance. We think that the universe or God will pull the rug out from under us and watch as we fall on our faces and then laugh at us. And we weave stories in our minds, laced with terror. We imagine the worst that could happen to us, and we believe it. We hypnotize ourselves with fairytales where the fairies die, and the demons thrive, torturing us. But that is where the answer lies.
They are just tales that we tell ourselves. These narratives that we have in our minds aren’t real. We make them up, scaring the crap out of ourselves. Awareness of that is key to breaking free. Recognizing that we are the ones creating this fear lets us know where we need to do the work. The source of the problem is in us, so that is where we must labor, fighting ourselves, our thinking. Understanding that helps us face it and call it what it is–irrational and foolish. It’s unfounded; it’s false. We need to see the truth of that, and doing that will help us think differently, better. Those fears will be less scary because we will know that they have no teeth to them. They are all gums with no bite. Remember that.
Yes, bad things do happen, but we can’t always control whether and when they do. Pain happens, and it can be inflicted on us. But we desperately want to play some role in controlling that, even if it harms us. I suspect that we tell ourselves those scary stories about the future as a way to protect ourselves. It’s a twisted defense mechanism that is supposed to prevent us from being surprised and letting life get us when we are vulnerable. Because when we are happy or feel hopeful, we feel exposed, weak. We have something to lose. And if we lose that dream job, new love, etc. it would be like being sucker-punched by the universe. So we tell ourselves terrifying tales to restrain ourselves from feeling too happy, just in case we do get knocked down. We scare the crap out of ourselves so that we won’t feel like suckers just in case life serves us a raw deal.
But that’s silly. That fear is only keeping us from enjoying the goodness we have right now. Making ourselves afraid doesn’t protect us from future pain; it only robs us of our present joy.
Yes, we do tell ourselves terrible fairytales, but the answer isn’t to stop weaving stories in our minds, no. We need to tell ourselves better ones, stories that inspire us and help us to revel in what is good, giving us hope for what will come, releasing us to be present, allowing us to dance while we hear the music. In the process, we will envision a brighter future.
Allow yourself to see that dream job lead your career to greater heights than you ever imagined, the new love blossom into a loving family filled with laughter, your firstborn grow and live to bless the world. Fill your mind with a future soaked with happiness, joy, abundance, and hope. Give yourself the chance to give thanks.
Gratitude unshackles you from fear, releasing you like a caged bird to soar into the blue sky. It frees your mind and reframes it from scarcity to abundance, from terror to optimism. And instead of dreading what will be taken from you, you can enjoy what you already have: your loved ones, mind, health, richness, opportunities, choice, education, job, future. Let your mind flutter with such thoughts, filled with anticipation and beautiful stories. You are free.
Live without fear.