Wednesday, October 3, 2012

F(alse) E(vents) A(ppearing) R(eal)

It irks me a little when people tell me "stop worrying!". As if I worry for fun or wake up every morning and willfully choose to spend my time fretting. Because I don't. Granted, I realize most people tell me that with all the love in their heart, but it's hard to listen to because I'm what you would call a "worrier". I'm also an over-analyzer, and sometimes a worst-case-scenario type of person. For the most part, these traits are what helped me become a therapist. But they really suck when I'm trying to not let fear get the best of me.

Speaking of which, I had an interesting text argument with an old friend recently about this. Because it was a text argument, I took something out of context (crazy how important body language and voice inflection can be). I don't even remember what it was exactly, but my friend responded with, "You need to stop worrying." Which of course made me even angrier, 1. because I hardly ever get angry, so when I do it doesn't take much to stoke the fire, 2. because I knew this person was right, and 3. I WAS WRONG. And that pissed me off. So what did I do? Well, I did what any mature adult in my situation would have done: I stopped texting them back. So then my friend flooded my phone with a speech that went something like this:

"You struggle with anxiety of worldly things. But it needs transformation to be a concern only for the eternal. Then you will be set free of the binding that causes you to fear what has no power over you."

Ugh... I stomped my feet and rolled my eyes at that. WHAT-ever. Like my friend knows me...

Sigh. Okay. Okay.

It wasn't until the next day that I'd calmed down enough to accept how right they were. I do fear worldly things, things that in the grand scheme of life, don't matter as much as I'm allowing them to matter. And even if they did matter, I focus so much time and energy on worrying about them, that it takes away from my most important task: to love God with all my soul and strength.

Now I know what you're thinking: "There she goes, climbing on top of her God soap box again". And/or, "Will this blog ever end?"

Bear with me, I'm almost there - I'm only climbing on this soap box because it's the only truth I have. God is everything. God is love. Love is everything. And if these things are true, who am I to fear anything? Who am I to doubt or worry or complain? If I believed in these things like I claim to believe, why do I waste so much time running or hiding or worrying about things I can't change?

Why do I believe that fear is more powerful than Love?

Fear is so loud sometimes. It's energetic and alluring and so easy to listen to, whereas Love is soft and quiet and tranquil. It's much easier to notice the crashing wave over the serene pond, because the wave causes a ruckus and the pond stays ever-still. I'm much more likely to be pulled and pushed by the wave, trying to fight against it, getting dragged under, only to be spit out on the beach, sputtering and spent.

And it makes me wonder: what if I were to let the fear wash over me, knowing with my whole heart that it was just a feeling, something transient, that is sometimes protective but oftentimes misleading? What if I didn't fight it, but trusted that if I held onto Love with all my might, when the wave passed, I would still be standing, soaked but safe?

What if I believed that Love truly conquers fear?

Fear is a powerful thing, but I'm tired of believing that its power is greater than the Love that has saved me, and will continue to save me, every day from now until forever.

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