Recently some of my dearest and oldest fears stopped by for coffee.
We had a nice chat.
Usually, my fears do all the talking, but this time I had a few things to say, too. My fears wanted to stay for lunch, and maybe even an impromptu sleepover; but, since I had a pretty busy day, I sent them on their way.
I wasn’t always so disciplined when fear stopped by. I didn’t really like the visits, but they were familiar, so I often allowed them to overstay their welcome.
An acronym for “FEAR” is False Evidence Appearing Real. When we live in fear, we mortgage today’s peace thinking about, fretting about, worrying about things that might not even happen. Worse, all that fretting, worrying and such isn’t even useful. Fear clouds our vision, and, when we are in its grips, it is difficult to think or act to good purpose.
Unchecked fear creates anxiety. The anxiety builds and builds until we feel compelled to do ANYTHING to relieve the anxious tension. If you look back on your life, you are likely to see places where fear drove you to invest in all sorts of crappy relationships, career choices, financial decisions, geographical moves, and other knee-jerk decisions.
A better strategy when faced with fear is actually to PAUSE. Take a breath. Ask for a moment of peace. Reach out to a friend. Share it all.
Put Your Attention Elsewhere!
That’s right. Do nothing for at least 24 hours.
Then, make a list of actions you could take, since Right Action is the solution to fear.
And what does Right Action Look like?
Well, it might look like service, because service gives us so much – perspective, appreciation, community, hope.
Which leads us to a better acronym for fear: Face Everything And Recover. Let’s do that together now — see the P.S.
P.S. – Now it’s your turn. Let’s swap fears. In the Wisdom Circle comments below, leave a fear you’re sort of tired of, and pick up someone else’s to trade. You can share anything you want – finances, health, the upcoming football season. Let’s have some fun with this.
P.S.S. – I’ll start. Just for today, I’m giving up my fear of “how stuff will work out.” Instead, I’m picking up a great big heaping dose of “So What? Now What?”
P.S.S.S. — After you’ve played along, please share this post with others via the Handy Dandy social share buttons below. The more fears we can “out” the better!
Photo: Flickr, sasha fujin