Teaspoon of Happy

Defeating the Fear Monster

Many of us use worry and fear of a way of preparing for the worst: we’re already feeling it so it won’t feel so bad when it happens. It will buffer the impact, so to speak. But fear is an illusion. It lies to us, promoting the worst possible outcome. It’s a projection of our future based on overwhelming feelings. Feelings that cause us to be paralyzed, that deny us our logic and power. This may sound simplistic, but when you get into a place of fearing the unknown, remember that you are not psychic. You cannot predict the future, and even if you do have a pretty good sense of something to come, nothing – literally nothing –  is solved by worrying about it. In fact quite the opposite.

Yes you can absolutely do proactive things to promote a better outcome in a future situation, meaning take literal actions that will affect it. But fear is not one of those things. And past taking every physical action you can toward a certain outcome, you have no control over the future. Even if you are psychic.

What can we do then when worry and fear set in? Feelings of self-doubt, a fear of something emotionally painful, physically painful, an uncertainty, even a certainty of an impending doom. Let go. You cannot change it, and you cannot know it or how it will feel. If it happens, it will happen. Let go and accept that this thing might be, and if it is, it will be okay. You might hurt, and you might feel pain, but you will move through it, because you have your self. That self is greater and more powerful than you realize, and it heals. And if that self needs back up, it will ask for it from friends.

Yes, the actual physiological benefits of fear are there for a reason: adrenaline helps us to have heightened reflexes and speed to flee from harm. But other fear and worry does us no good. It makes us sick, it draws energy and strength, causing us to make decisions from more “from the hip”. Fear makes us like a cornered animal: desperate and ready to bite or run. So how to let go so that you can stay in your moment? It starts with the intention, and then it becomes a process. When you get filled with stress and worry and fear over the future unknown, stop yourself and calm down. Remind yourself that you do not want to feel this pain of worry. Breath. Maybe take a walk and have some iced tea or a Popsicle. And remind yourself that you will do everything that is in your control, and then past that, it’s out of your hands. And that’s okay, when it comes, you will deal. What matters is what you do with right now, because that’s what you can affect. Focus on today and what can you do to make it positive and healthy, or even what you can do to make your emotions more positive and healthy. If the thoughts of “what will happen tomorrow or the day after that” start up again, stop yourself. That’s another day. And you don’t exist there yet, remember?

Put simply, stay in the moment you are in right now. That’s the one you have control over, and that’s the one you live in. Not the one to come. All that fear and worry is doing is tinting your moment into something dark and cloudy and filled with pain. It is unnecessary hurt. I don’t undermine the severity of possible events. I know that some events and factors can cause a lot of harm to our lives that are very difficult to move through. But I also believe that everything can be conquered with time and with will. Despite the seemingly insurmountable, we can give ourselves happiness in our lives by simply deciding that we want to stay in a peaceful mindset; that despite all that is scary or negative, we want to remain positive as we live. Worry robs us away from our today, one that might be pretty okay or even great.

It’s not like taking a pill or flipping a switch, but an intention to forgive yourself the job of worrying provides a bit of relief. And that relief amounts to more of your life and your energy well spent. I feel we are very often wrong about what we predict in our future, and our ability to handle it. If you can move past the cloud of fear, you might find you’re amazed at how okay you really are.

Happy Sunday, and much love to you. xox Sarah

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