In honor of Halloween, this month’s theme is fear…as in, what are you afraid of? The answer to that question is more complicated than it appears on the surface.
Recognizing and then admitting our fears can leave us feeling vulnerable. It’s in our DNA to hide our deepest insecurities from others, lest they be used against us. Our subconscious is so wired this way, we even hide our fears from ourselves, often choosing to live in denial rather than face the awful truth that we are vulnerable in any way. Someone who suffers from anxiety is most likely dealing with unexplored and unresolved fear that so threatens their sense of themselves and their existence, they will suppress the awareness of it and allow it to manifest in destructive ways (panic attacks, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, etc.). It can be so deeply hidden from our conscious minds that we don’t even know what it is we are afraid of.
To be clear, it’s not death itself I fear, since I’m a believer in the hereafter, but the fear of the unseen monster of unpredictability, and the knowledge that no matter what I do there will inevitably be pain—whether it comes from a slow, ugly demise, or losing those dearest to me and living a life of heartache without them. If I didn’t love so deeply, this wouldn’t be a problem. It turns out, loving deeply has a cost, and sometimes I catch myself holding back in relationships—unwilling to invest wholeheartedly or setting hardened boundaries around what I’m willing to give of myself. Living in “protection” mode, aka “survival” mode, may help me keep a wall in place that buffers me from the worst pain, but it also overshadows the fullness of joy that comes with living and loving with an open heart. A work in progress, to be sure!
The definition of faith is believing what you cannot see will come to pass.
Choosing faith over fear will always bring you one step closer to peace and serenity.
Happy All Hallows Eve!