Stocking up on hand sanitizer? Refusing to shake hands at the meeting? Maybe deciding to ditch church? Wow, what an amazing cause and effect! If only we had such dedication in our lives to following our New Year’s resolutions, or sticking to our diets. Don’t you wonder what life could look like if we put fear in its place, working for us rather than against us? It seems nothing can be more motivating for human behavior quite like fear. However, there is a reason the phrase “do not be afraid” appears countless times in the bible. Obsessing about viruses and the zombie apocalypse? Read on.
1 Intuition over fear
Fear is not a gift. Intuition is a gift. It can keep us out of harm’s way by making sure our seat belt is buckled, and our doors are locked at night. Intuition is our gift of the Holy Spirit. You don’t get nudges from an intuition that is fearful or worrisome. They feel right, even when it forces a hard choice. Canceling lunch or a work event due to a virus outbreak? That might be an intuitive choice. Stockpiling toilet paper? Ehhhh, fear-based? I can’t answer for you, everyone has their own journey, their own decisions. The key is to search out the “reason behind the reason” for the behavior. If it’s versed in a sense of well-being for you and your family, it’s your intuition. If it’s coming from a “sit up in the night flushed with sweat and anxiety” you know it’s fear. Fear doesn’t come from God. Don’t feed into it.
Put ego in its place
We shouldn’t fear viruses, or airplanes crashing, or our boyfriend breaking up with us. None of that makes much sense. We have choices, free-will, but we do not have control. So what should you fear? I’ll tell you, fear yourself. Your ego is the biggest thing standing between you and peace in your life. It is the primary reason you feel “fear” and not a sense of calm. Why? Because the ego is interested in one thing—-feeding itself. It’s like the monster in Little Shop of Horrors, always wanting more and more. And it’s appetite is instantiable. Want to stop the cycle? Anytime you feel your hackles rise, your throat tighten and your stomach drop, take a good look inside and see where the emotion arose from. 9 times out of 10 you’re thinking of your reputation, appearance, etc. Don’t put these things, or yourself, on a pedestal, get OFF the pedestal by dropping these pressures like a heavy bag. It’s hard, but it can be done.
3Be mindful of your intake.
If the world seems overtaken with fear-based mantras, go on a stillness diet. Don’t read the news, listen to the radio, or watch television. Read some escapist fiction, catch up with an old friend, spend time gardening, walking or listening to music. Divorce yourself from the narrative that wants more, more, more fear. Do not let yourself get involved in an internal spin—-like a hurricane, be calm within the center of the storm. Afraid you are sticking your head in the sand? Worried you are putting your family at risk by remaining blissfully ignorant? See steps one and two. The spirit will never guide you wrong. The best part? If you make a mistake, God is there to make it right. You are already forgiven. So get back on the horse and try again.
Feel better? I know I do, and all I did was write that. The truth is, fear is the devil’s tool to bring your God-centered life to an end. Push back. Put God first place, listen to the spirit whispering in your life, and watch your home become a place of peace-—no matter the circumstances.