Don't Let Fear Control You - The five things I do to push past fear
Last Sunday started out like most days for me. The sun was shining brightly and it was mild outside. I had plans to go out for a social distancing photo shoot but my allergies were acting up so I decided to stay home. No need in taking my runny, itchy eyes out to the park where the blooming things would have aggravated my condition right?
So I was relaxing and watching television when I got a FB post that there was a disturbance in my community and that the police had blocked off certain streets. Fast forward and I begin to get phone calls that there was rioting going on and if I was not at home I should head home. I actually watched on FB as one friend tried to get home from the north side but all the streets downtown were blocked. At one time she was the only one on Lake Shore Drive. It was a strangely eerie feeling. As the night wore on I watched on television as looters were going in and out of stores with their arms full of stuff. I saw other scenes where protesters and police were in a standoff. I spoke with several friends in other states and it was happening in their cities too.
Coming on the end of Covid-19 this was too much. How much more of this were we expected to take? What would be happening next? On Monday, the destruction was obvious. Neighborhoods burned, looted, destroyed. As I kept hearing people talk about what store or building was destroyed I started to feel afraid. Not a big blow up fear, but a tiny grain of fear. As I thought about what we had been dealing with since March and right when we were beginning to come back to life this happens. What would be the repercussions?
Black people are frustrated, angry, tired of being mistreated. Tired of the unfairness of their lives. It is time for a change. And I understood all of this, but at the moment I was feeling afraid. What was going to happen next? Were we going back to total shutdown? Was the National Guard going to be patrolling the streets? My mind was having a hard time digesting this situation. I didn't open my curtains that day. I still had that nagging feeling of fear. While I felt safe in the security of my home., I was still unsure of what would face me on the outside. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I checked in with family and friends. We compared how we were feeling. Everyone admitted they were overcome with emotions and just feeling raw about the situation.
It's too much I found myself repeating over and over. This is too much. Thursday I opened my curtains and made the decision that I can't live in fear. I can't hide inside my house. I made myself go outside. Just to the garbage dumpster and then I sat in my car enjoying the sun on my face for awhile. Friday I ventured out. I drove to the Post Office. I hung out with my cousin. I started to feel a sense of calm as we drove around doing normal things. Even though we had on masks,. I know that life will not go back as it was before. I know there will be some changes. I know that more bad things may happen. But I also know that I can't live my life afraid. Wondering what is going to happen. I know that fear will paralyze you and I refused to be paralyzed by fear. I had to put aside those feelings. Faith over fear. That's my mantra these days.
What Can I Do?
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
When things happen that cause you to be afraid it really helps to call on your faith to give you a sense of peace and calm.
2. Meditate on Scripture
“Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
When you are anxious or worried turning to the word of God keeps your heart and mind at peace. Find some scriptures that deal with your fear, worry or doubt
3. Talk to Yourself
I talk to myself all the time. This really helps me to figure out things. When I feel worried or afraid I tell myself things like "this too shall pass" "God has not given me a spirit of fear" "I can do this" "If I am going to pray why am I worrying: and other motivating things
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true… think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
4. Talk to Someone
It always helps me to talk about things that are worrying me. You should have people in your life that you are able to share things with. When you feel afraid or concerned it helps to talk to someone. I am so blessed that I have a trusted circle of people I can talk to.
5. Do Something Fun
Take your mind off of whatever is concerning you. Do the things that you enjoy doing.
Remember it is faith over fear. Don't let fear paralyze you.