LEARNING TO LIVE WITH FEAR
We can let fear get the best of us if we allow it to. Once you've lost someone you love so unconditionally, it's even easier for fear to creep into so many other areas of or lives. I have to admit, I've been the kind of person who experiences a good amount of fear on a regular basis, so it's nothing new to me. I've been that way as long as I can remember.
In the recent aftermath of the loss of my son, I thought to myself : Okay, bring it on, what else can you do to me now? You've made my worst nightmare a reality (this directed to God or whatever super power that let this happen). So, what else ya got?" That's scary thinking. I realize this did not "happen to me" but it sure felt like it did. I'm pretty sure most of us feel that way. In the process of trying to make sense of my pain, I actually remember a moment of feeling relief. Now that the worst was over, maybe I won't have to live in so much fear anymore. Well, I found it doesn't work that way. Fear still exists and rears its ugly head and tries to torment me on a regular basis.
That being said, fear is not always our enemy. Fear is a primitive human emotion. It exists to help us survive. Fear alerts us to danger and threats in the form of physical or psychological danger. Where it gets tricky is that it can also come from imagined dangers and we are not always consciously aware of the difference.
Sometimes it's easier to give into fear than to take on the challenge of trying to overcome it or understand it. That's not always the best answer. Neither is making statements bold enough to challenge the hands of fate or indulge in that type of negative thinking. Over time I've found that if I'm not in real immediate danger, I can name it, claim it and allow it to be there until I get a better understanding of it's origin.
I have also been able to shift my perspective.
I realized all of the ways I'm still fortunate and had so much more I could lose. I still have two amazing sons and an amazing family and friends that I adore. I have a four legged girl that will follow me everywhere (if I let her). I have so much MORE I could lose. I can't change what's already happened, however I can change how I think about my life going forward.
If you find yourself struggling with fear due to a loss or possibly something else in your life, take a look around and see what you still have in your life that matters to you. Are you in immediate danger? What provides meaning, purpose and value to you? If you look hard enough, I'm pretty sure you can find something. Make a choice to focus on that instead when you know there is no real threat. Take the time you need to step back and notice how you are still fortunate. I think what you will find is that a little understanding and a small shift in perspective can go a long way.
Until next time,
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