Faith over fear…do you believe it?

I try. Sometimes I think I try too hard and the opposite happens.

I try to avoid fear, but there really is no going around it. There’s no detour. The only thing I have in my tool box is faith.

I have trouble with trusting the process. It’s an ongoing struggle to dissipate the storms of fear that attack all my strongholds. It chases me down with chaotic thoughts while I try to find rest and when I do it crawls into my dreams. Mental paralysis threatens to put a strangle hold on my creativity.

Here I am in The Sunshine State. I once believed that moving away from what I thought was the dreariest places on earth where it rained most of the year was the problem. So what’s the problem? It’s me.

This is how I see it. In the distance I hear the rumblings of fear. Before I know it, lightning bolts of panic and anxiety strike me down. It engulfs me with doubt and despair. Now I’m treading water in a constant state of worry and fear. It’s suffocating and exhausting draining me of emotional and physical energy. I am so tired. I ask for a break only to be pummeled with a new challenge. God help me! I am drowning again.

Why is it so easy to talk about challenges after the fact? I can easily wrap a bow of sunshine around the whole thing, but when I’m going through it and I am going through it right now, I just can’t. I can’t fake it. It sucks I want to pull a blanket over me, but I need to get up, get moving. I suppose that’s half the battle, right?

During these times I think back to days where I have created my own sunshine. I wonder if I have become one of those annoying people who have toxic positivity syndrome. It’s no syndrome, but it should be one. There’s only so many well-meaning sayings, spiritual quotes and upbeat anecdotes to get me by. When I’m going through it, I don’t want to hear it. Instead discouragement and emptiness fill my being.

Having faith amidst the storm.

I would love to put a silver lining around all the negative sh*t, I go through, but it isn’t possible, at least not in the moment. I have to feel those feelings and go through the emotional storms, it’s all part of the process. It goes back to experiencing pain. Only then do we understand what is happiness. One of my daughters feels her feelings a lot. Her tears flow down her face over simple tasks like cleaning up after herself or brushing her teeth before school.

My head goes in two different directions. The knee jerk reaction is a reflection of my upbringing. In my house, you didn’t cry. If I did, it was in private and it was the silent tears that I made sure no one could see, hidden behind closed doors. If I wasn’t careful I would hear, “Why are you crying? There’s nothing to cry about.”

I remind myself that I should let her feel her feelings. I am continually trying to reprogram my reactions. Of course the not feeling my own feelings has turned into feeling all the feelings, but now it is tolerating the feelings of others. Little did I know that my childhood would catch up to me filling me with the ongoing process of growth and understanding.

I’d like to say that I am strong, but unfortunately I succumb to fears like I’m in a cage. I lay in a metaphorical fetal position. When that cloud of fear hangs over me, I allow the days to take me and stop taking on the days. It’s the same ole rigamarole. Fears from my past catch me in the present. There’s the fear of failing life as a whole, the fear of not being a good enough wife, mother, daughter, friend, or writer. The one thing I have to remember is that whatever challenge I’m experiencing, it eventually passes. It may not occur during the time frame I hope for, but it will pass.

Keeping the faith

The faith of a mustard seed. I once saw those words on an LDS poster. What does that even mean? It is a simple practice, that sometimes feels too easy. If we have the faith of even the size of a mustard seed, we could do so much more with our life and not succumb to our fears that willingly take us for a joyride. When the storms rage and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up, I keep the faith, even if it is the size of a mustard seed. Without a doubt, the sun will come out again.

I am in the midst of a storm and it so happens that I came to a relevant bible devotional. It was about letting go of fear and allowing God to step in. I need to stop trying to control the things that are completely out of my control. Once again I have to remember to cast my burdens to the all knowing.

Well, duh! I knew that, but it doesn’t mean I practice it regularly. Writing it out helps me to realize the things I already know. How about yourself? What do you do when life’s challenges have you in a strangle hold?

This is me braving the storms of fear and remembering to look up. I’d like to believe I know a thing or two about faith, but I have still have a long way to go. Writing has been my way to get through the yucky uncomfortable stuff. I share my ups and downs with others who may also feel weighed down by their own challenges.

If I have learned anything from my past, it’s that breakthroughs don’t happen when life is content, it’s usually when we have the carpet ripped out from under us.

I would love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment!

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