Be Not Afraid

How can we fight the fear when the latest horrible threat to our lives and freedom is right in our face?

The fear of a thing can paralyze us even if the thing itself never happens. As we see the machinations of those who would rob us of our liberty, let’s remember Jesus’s words as he walked through the storm on the Sea of Galilee towards the disciples’ boat: “Be not afraid.” Matthew 14

I don’t like to be afraid, especially when the fear has been deliberately created. Advertisers threaten bad consequences if we don’t buy their products. Politicians — and even worthy causes — play upon our worries to get us to send money.

Freeing yourself from the grip of fear can start with taking a really deep breath or two. This puts you back in control of your body. Changing your focus, by going back to work, gives you a bit of helpful distance from the problem. Deliberately noticing the positive things in your life improves your emotional state. Remind yourself that good must triumph over evil and has done so over and over throughout history! As you feel more calm and hopeful, you can face the issue again, better able to judge it from a perspective of self-control. A friend compares this to properly using a hammer – first you pull back, then you hit it hard.

It is vital that we understand fear so it doesn’t stop us from using every ounce of our critical thinking. Fear is a signal. It shouldn’t be a state of being. We can only muster the courage to act if we’re not paralyzed by fearful thinking.

The Litany Against Fear (Dune, by Frank Herbert)

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

The Psychology of Fear and How Fear is Weaponized

American Thought Leaders interview with Gavin de Becker, author of The Gift of Fear

Treat fear like the enemy. Recognize it, and “be not afraid.”

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