As I mentioned last week, I have decided to participate in Eisy Morgan’s Heart Therapy. I am a little late this week because I must have missed the post on my google reader. But today’s topic is to talk about our fears.
Fear is such a weird thing, such a strange emotion. What causes us to be afraid of things? And why can that fear be so debilitating?
I have been on a personal journey with fear and learning how to identify what I am afraid of and why and then how can I control the effects it has on me. I mostly fear that “catastrophic” events will occur.
For example, if I am expecting someone at a certain time and that person is normally very punctual, my first thought is not that there is traffic or not that the person is just running late. My first thought is that person has been in a terrible car crash and is lying on the side of road somewhere dead. I will continue to think this has occurred until that person arrives or calls to tell me the real reason they are running behind.
Why do I fear this? I have no idea. I’ve never been in a bad car crash. I’ve never had anyone close to me be in a bad car crash, injured from a car crash or killed from a car crash. So why does my brain immediately jump to this thought? I am not entirely sure. I think there are deeper issues here. Issues that I have been reluctant to share on my blog. I fear the effects that sharing too much on the internet can have. But not talking about them doesn’t make them not real and not talking about them doesn’t change the fact that they are a part of me. So here it goes.
I fear being alone.
Some people might say this is a silly fear. How can you be alone in a world of 7 billion people? I know that there are plenty of people who will always be there for me. But, there are few people that I really depend on for stability and understanding. Maybe I am too dependent on these people. Maybe not. Maybe it’s ok to be that way. If I were to loose one of these people, I would experience terrible grief. Maybe it is the grief I am afraid of. I’ve never had to unexpectedly loose someone very close to me. I’ve never had a best friend die in a car crash or a parent pass away from cancer. I am scared of that kind of grief. This causes me to need to control. If I can control everything then I can make sure no one, including myself, ever has to experience that kind of grief right?
I fear the situations that I cannot control.
This is a very general fear but it impacts so many facets of my life and causes me to fear so many other things. The need for control is a terrible thing. It impacts all the relationships in my life, including the one with myself. I fear that car crash because I can’t control how other people drive. I fear failure because so many decisions about my success are made by others. I fear being wrong because I fear that will make someone think less of me. I fear that if I do something wrong someone will be upset, because I can’t control how other people fear. This last thing is something that I struggle with daily. I can’t control how other people feel. I can’t be responsible for their happiness. I can’t allow them to make me feel bad. I am the only one who controls how I feel.
So why then can’t I control my fear? Why can’t I be like so many other people who don’t constantly think about these things or make decisions based on how they think someone else will react? I don’t know the answer to this question yet. I don’t know if I ever will. I don’t know if I will ever change my reaction to someone being late from dead on the side of the road to something less catastrophic. And it’s ok if I don’t. But I do know that I can change my reaction to things. I can change the fact that I let this fear impact my behavior and decisions. And I can continue to pray for God to increase my ability to trust. To trust in Him, in His plan and in myself.
I am thankful for:
10. Our church, St. Francis and it’s wonderful priests, especially Father Bill
11. Diet coke
12. The perfect song coming on the radio at the perfect time
13. Winning fantasy football this week
14. Having food to eat whenever I am hungry
15. That I have never had to experience the grief that comes with sudden and unexpected loss
16. Compassion – both my ability to show compassion and for those who show me compassion
17. Lazy Sundays
18. NFL Sunday Ticket