Have you ever struggled with fear? Whether it’s the fear of being alone, or the fear of getting hurt, losing a loved one, the fear of heights or trusting people? I’m sure we’ve all feared something. I believe there’s such a thing as ‘healthy’ fear, meaning we have a natural reaction to something scary like a scary movie or a scary moment driving down the road, or worrying about our kids etc. Fear is a natural emotion. But ‘unhealthy’ fear would be fearing something so much that it keeps us from being able to live our lives to the fullest potential. And overcoming it isn’t something that happens over night….
When my first husband and I split up I was 21 years old with two kids (almost 1 and 3 years old at the time) and I was so afraid of being alone (you may have heard some of this story). We moved in with my best friend Jennie and her husband, which was such a relief. But 6 months later it was time for me to be on my own. Ugh, I HATED being alone, especially home alone. When my kids were home it wasn’t so bad because yes, I was the mom who let her kids sleep in her bed, don’t judge! 😉 But I was so afraid sometimes to be alone that I was always on the phone making plans so I wasn’t alone, I wouldn’t dare go out to eat alone, I’d sleep with the tv on, and on the weekends when my kids were with their dad, I was staying over at my sisters or a friends house. My fear didn’t stop there. I became afraid of losing my kids, I was afraid of them dying or of something happening to me, and I was so afraid to meet someone because they might hurt me more than I was hurt before. I was afraid ALL of the time about everything and I could hardly sleep. What I realized as time went on and now looking back, I was afraid I wasn’t in control. I couldn’t control some freak accident from happening involving me or my kids, or any other crazy thought I was afraid of, and it was deeply affecting my everyday life. Living in constant fear robs us of having a fulfilled life.
I remember one time I had picked my kids up and I was stressed and afraid about something and my daughter EllaBleu (she was probably 6 or 7 at the time) said “Mom, God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of the power of love and a sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV. I just remember it was like a light bulb went off. I had heard that verse and read it before, but that reminder of Gods power from my 7 year old hit me like a ton of bricks. As the years went on I eventually started to enjoy being alone. While I still didn’t LOVE being home alone at night when my kids were gone, I was loving the peace and quiet. I started turning my fear into trust in God.
After I had Hudson I went through some major hormonal changes and postpartum depression, and I was once again riddled with fear. I was afraid Hudson was going to die or that my husband would get in an accident and I’d be alone with 4 kids (some of the thoughts I had running through my head were seriously psycho!). I realized at that time that fear isn’t something that will completely go away, it’s something that comes back to haunt me; it’s one of my weaknesses for sure. But, I’ve also learned that when I’m consistently reading Gods word and trusting in the Him, my fear is under control (remember, I’m a total control freak haha!). Fear doesn’t just keep us from a fulfilled life, but it also keeps us from a closer relationship with God. When we let fear get the best of us, we are not able to 100% trust in God, and no matter what happens, HE is in control, not us.
Ok I know I’m going on and on, so here are a few things that have helped me over come my fear:
♥ Pray of course! I know praying doesn’t come easy for everyone, so even mediatading and trying to calm down and shift your focus can help immensely. And believing in and trusting Gods plan for our lives is so important and can calm the fear storm!
♥ Laugh! Call a close friend or family member and share your fears with them, then find another topic to talk about to help shift your focus away from that fear… and LAUGH! Laughter is my favorite thing and I always know I can call my best friend and tell her anything and by the end of the conversation we are always laughing at something
♥ Seek counseling. I’ve talked in the past about seeing a counselor and how much it helped me. I felt a huge amount of relief just having someone validate my feelings and understanding why I was feeling that way, and I left with tools to help me overcome my fears
♥ Yoga. I LOVE yoga, especially hot yoga! I don’t follow the spiritual stuff that some yoga teachers practice and teach, and the quiet space of stretching and getting a nice workout is not the only benefit of yoga. Some of the poses and stretches help release certain things (I don’t know enough to share but you can look it up or ask one of your instructors) in the body leaving you feeling better and more peaceful. It’s amazing
♥ Working Out. Like yoga, working out releases endorphins and we all know endorphins make us HAPPY! Working out is one of my highest priorities almost daily because I know and feel the benefits, and I’m a much nicer person to my family!
♥ Find a good book. There are hundreds if not thousands of self help books out there and there are some great ones to help with overcoming fear. Of course I tend to gravitate towards Christian based, but I know there are some really amazing ones that are not Christian based too. Amazon and Barnes and Noble are full of these. The Family Christian Store has many amazing books to choose from and they also have an online store, you can visit that here. Oh, and they have amazing coupons if you sign up for their mailer. I don’t usually buy anything with out a coupon because they always have good ones out. I just added this one to my kindle and I am also interested in this one.
I couldn’t continue to try to do it all on my own, when I try to tackle things alone with out faith and trust in God, it seems to always turn into a disaster at some point! Fear can be like poison to our soul and the sooner we face it, the less likely it will affect us.