Facing your fear


During a recent cleaning spree, I slid a 3 foot tall, white, plastic basket into the laundry room, where I happen to be loaning space to five impossibly cute kittens.

When the basket slid into the room, they flipped out, leaping into the air and scrambling away in fear.  Kitten apocalypse.

I found the biggest kitten squeezed behind the washer, peering out warily with one little terrified eye.

Wildly amused and mildly annoyed, I decided to be finished with this hotmessdedness. I plopped the kitten right on top of the basket’s lid and continued sliding it into the room at a painstakingly slow pace.

He froze in horror but didn’t run.  The other kittens’ little heads popped out.  They watched in awe, slowly coming out of hiding to investigate; sniffing, clawing, and climbing.

Eventually, I slid the basket back out of the room with no reaction at all.

So much of what we are afraid of is simply unknown.

Surprise surprise.

We share and receive this sound missive often.  Rarely do we acknowledge  that following the implied advice to learn about something you’re afraid of, is wildly difficult.  Often, it’s so hard we actually alienate ourselves from the object more, exacerbating our fears.

A basket is one thing.  Bumblebees another.  (<–My irrational fear.)  But, what if that fear is of yourself?  Of who you might, or might not be?

What if your fear of stepping into unfamiliar territory, keeps you from realizing your life has become a cage with mirrored walls?

Mind you, I realize stuff really is flippin’ scary.

I totally identified with the kittens.  ‘Cause if a skyscraper started grinding along the sidewalk toward me, I wouldn’t wait to see whether it were fluffy or benign.

But there are ways to face your fears, by giving yourself the space to fully and safely explore them.  Safe exploration depends on your circumstances.  It may be going slowly, or taking small steps, or not.

For me, fear is overcome by faith alone. By knowing, quite frankly, that at a fundamental level, life really is good.  No matter how much suffering we stand, how much pain we endure, how much strife we overcome, still…
We stand.
We endure.
We overcome.
What’s the worst that could happen if you stopped being afraid of suffering, pain, and strife, knowing you’d stand, endure and overcome?
Maybe you’d regain a child-like wonder.  Children aren’t the picture of innocence and happiness because life hasn’t beaten them down yet. It’s because they simply don’t expect it to. Unlike adults, kids look at a snowy mountain and see a chance to go sledding, not a climb to a disastrous limb-breaking fall.
Life isn’t all roses.  We’re lying to ourselves if we believe things won’t go wrong. That we’ll never be unhappy, or fail, or get hurt.
The whole point is, we’re supposed to move on. Learn. Get better. Slowly, surely, incessantly.
Those of us who have overcome great adversity are like oceans:  Deep, life-sustaining, and wondrous.
Let life hand you the depth of character found in its challenges by putting them in your cache of experiences…
And keep moving forward.
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5 Replies to “Facing your fear”

  1. Miss Tina!

    As always you are up in my Kool-Aid all over my current lessons. I was just talking to a friend about life transitions and how our experiences can make us afraid to even be at peace because we’re so used to the trying times. It takes a great deal of trust and faith to know that no matter the circumstances or trials, each experience is to build you up for good. Thank you for sharing my dear and for adding confirming, encouraging words to my spirit. 🙂

    With love,

    E

    1. E, I’m glad the message resonated, the lessons that are harder to swallow warrant frequent repetition. One of my best friends pointed out a profound truth to me recently. We err when we evaluate our commitment to God by our willingness to follow His direction toward glory. What about when He orders our steps toward great trial? Man oh man. Cheers to fighting for that Paul spirit.

  2. Very, very powerful, and exactly what I needed today. This certainly has increased my faith, and encouraged me to not allow fear to dominate my spirit. Thanks again, and continue to allow God to use you. All things work together for the good!!!

    GS

  3. I swear someone has been eavesdropping in my prayer closet! Thanks for this Ms. Lady…reading this alone has release a layer of apprehension.

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