A theme has emerged in my Monday morning Hire Power Open Table sessions and at a recent workshop I conducted for the unemployed. As the holiDAZE approach, it’s time to confront it head on, offer a cure, and get ready for a grand new year! It’s that dreadful four-letter word that begins with an “F.”
F E A R!
At our open table sessions we refer to fear as False Evidence Appearing Real. It holds only the power you give it. At some point it must be met head-on and dealt with, or it will rule the day. When life’s circumstances surprise, overwhelm, consume and move to control, you can be sure fear is at the heart of the chaos. Whether you are the child afraid of the monster under the bed, an adult frozen by the reality of job loss, or a homeless hurricane victim, you must FACE it and NAME it to DISARM it. What are your fears? Uncertainty, rejection, intimacy, failure, change, old age, bankruptcy, death?
John Ortberg gives the subject great commentary in: When The Game is Over, It all Goes Back in the Box: “If you’re not facing any challenges too big for you, if it has been a while since you have felt scared, there’s a good chance that you’ve been sitting in a chair too long.” LOVE that quote!
We are born with just two fears: loud noises and the fear of falling. All other fears are learned. Logic follows that if fear is learned, it can be unlearned. Fear becomes a problem when it rules your life, prevents you from healthy living, from moving forward, from progress and abundance. “When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our god. When safety becomes our god, we worship the risk-free life. Fear feels dreadful. It sucks the life out of the soul. Curls us into an embryonic state, and drains us dry of contentment. We become abandoned barns, rickety and tilting from the winds, a place where humanity used to eat, thrive and find warmth,” (Max Lucado’s FEARLESS).
There is a 100% cure for FEAR. It’s an old-fashioned remedy. It’s as simple as the change of your mind, the power of your will, the content of your heart, the desire to grow and thrive. Like all antidotes, it doesn’t work without use. The solution: Fear and love cannot co-exist. Your heart must choose. It’s impossible to feel gratitude and fear simultaneously. A loving, grateful heart will trump fear EVERY time. Who can forget Julie Andrews singing “My Favorite Things” in The Sound of Music as she danced the children through a thunderstorm.
In an October blog entitled, “12 Unconventional Habits of Highly Productive People” (Marc and Angel Hack Life), listed at number ten is: Be Grateful. “In his excellent TED Talk The Secret to Happy Work, Shawn Anchor reveals that our brain performs up to 30% better when we’re feeling happy. A simple way to boost your happiness level is to take a few seconds every hour to think about the things you’re grateful for. This can be anything, from your health, to your access to food, the internet, your family, your friends, the beautiful weather, etc. Really feel the gratitude and you’ll be both happier and more productive.”
Some folks are content with their discontent, their fearfully frozen, boring, rickety, wobbly lives. To move forward takes courage, a desire to grow and contribute. We are meant to be in community with others. Joy is a choice. It has nothing to do with circumstances. Fear is a choice too. “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others,” (Cicero). It’s a blessing to give and receive thanks. It forces you to be present in the present without worry and fear for tomorrow.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow,” (Melody Beattie).
FEAR NOT! Gratitude is the cure! Try it! You’ll be grateful you did!
~Blessings from the desk of Becky Morlok~
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