“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”
2 Timothy 1:7
One thing that has a force equal to passion and yet as sublime as insecurities is fear. No matter how intelligent you are; no matter how popular you are; no matter how religious you are; if you don’t know how to deal with your fear, your fear will know how to deal with you. Fear is as personal as our interests. My fears are unique and so are yours. In fact, my fears are so unique that defines where my interests lies, shapes what my beliefs are and influences how I see myself.
Yes. Fear can be self-imposed, inherited or even adopted, but there’s a fear within us that is a tangible part of us. As humans, it is proven that we are born with two types of phobias; fear of loud noises – that explains why children cover their ears so hard when they anticipate a loud noise – and the fear of falling, and that all other phobias are learnt. Yet there’s a fear within us that is a tangible part of us.
Isn’t it amazing that a child can play with a sharp knife or can crawl straight into an exposed fire? Perhaps, it’s amazing but it’s definitely stupid. That’s why fear exists. Fear is a natural instinct meant to protect us from harm. When there’s an unidentified danger, everyone in the right frame of mind would first of all run in the opposite direction. Fear is the guard of your life. The easiest way to foolishly die is to be fearless.
Take a minute to think about the many times the fear within you saved your life. It kept you from passing that dark alley. It stopped you from picking that taxi. It made you stay instead of being in a hurry to leave. It made you leave hurriedly instead of staying. We ought to be grateful to our innate fear. It cautioned us without reason or explanation. This is certainly not what you thought I’d say about fear. Contrary to popular belief, fearlessness is more dangerous and stupider than innate fear.
So did God actually give us a spirit of fear? Good question. Imagine you standing by your mom, all smiley and all. Now imagine you being kidnapped right in front of your mom. Does she look afraid? Of course. What’s the point? Fear is a good servant but a bad master. Love should be the master and let fear serve you. When fear is made the master, it distorts your reality, darkens your perspective, shatters your dreams, downgrades your abilities, lowers your self-esteem and weakens your confidence.
In other words, it basically plays it safe. Safe Mode. Fear being the master is overprotective. It will keep you from trying out new things, stepping into new territories and having new experiences. Fear as a master makes you a slave, keeps reminding you of your failures so that you don’t dare to try again. Fear usually makes us think we have no choice. Fear wants to control everything. Fear is more interested in you surviving than living.
“What if you take risk and it puts your life at risk? You can’t do it so don’t even try. What if you fail? What if you succeed and you cannot keep up with the pressure?”.
A life ruled by fear is a life filled with unnecessary precautions and no actions.
NB: When your fear poses questions of life that needs solid answers to you, then your fear is your servant. When your fear does not allow you to even think of questioning the status quo even when you know something must be wrong, then fear has been made a master. Innate fear does not put in bondage; it protects you from unknown bondage. When fear is put in charge, you become a slave of yourself, a slave to a reality that does not even exist. It’s all in your head.
So then, what do I do with my fear? Use it. Pay attention to what your fear is paying attention to. Fear is an insignia. Once you have tackled why you fear, what you fear loses its relevance. The more you ignore your fears, the more persistent it becomes in drawing your attention to the problem. Fear is the stop sign in our lives. It is always disapproving, preventing and avoiding. So never think there will be no fear. Fear will faithfully serve you as long as you live. Just make sure you don’t make fear your master.
When Love leads, there is no timidity. Love deposits the power of choice right within you. Love makes us responsible for our choices. Love is freedom. Love gives us a sense of peace and clarity. Love makes us accept what we can’t control and govern what we can control. Love does not control fear. Love governs fear.
I love you