Rather than face our fears, most find it much easier to avoid them altogether. Fear, while a basic instinct, is not pleasant to go through. It is not enjoyable and can even cause permanent physical, mental, or emotional damage in extreme situations. Life is much more enjoyable if we just avoid what scares us.
So why on earth would I even bother to ask the question, “What do I fear?” The truth is, sooner or later we all come face to face with our fears. Just look at the fear that has gripped the world amidst this pandemic. Fear is inescapable. So why not examine what you fear instead of avoiding the issue? The more we examine, the more we learn and the better equipped we become at handling our fears when they confront us.
If you do a little research online, you will see long lists of the top fears of individuals in our country. But, at the end of the day, each fear boils down to one thing: suffering. No one wants to suffer. We all just have different ideas of what “the worst” suffering would be.
Suffering, however, is not all bad. Suffering is actually a great teacher. Yes, it is the worst to go through. Let’s not kid ourselves. But it is still possible to experience joy in suffering and come out the other end better for having gone through it. However, this can only happen if we maintain a proper perspective. Think about this pandemic for a moment. Yes, all of these bad things are happening. But is there not also good happening as a result? Do you think we, as a nation, will learn from this and become better and stronger for it?
I can attest to this personally when I lost my father just over six years ago. Losing him was one of the most devastating things I have ever gone through. But I learned more in that hardship than in any other situation before it. And yes, I even learned to find joy in the experience (If you would like to know more, please reach out, I will be happy to share).
Examining our fears helps us face them, and prepare for them, in a logical way. But don’t stop at what you fear. Work through why you fear it. Ask yourself what the worst-case scenario could really be and why that is so bad that it deserves being afraid. You may be surprised at what you begin to uncover.
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