Fears can be paralyzing for many people. There are an infinite amount of things in this world that often drive people into that type of fear. Some of the ones I’ve faced throughout my life have included the fear of economic security, of being alone, of having health issues, of certain animals or creatures, of bosses at various jobs, of my sexuality, of my parents, and even of God to be totally honest.
Each of those fears have completely shut me down at times to where I feel incapacitated to do anything at all. But I’ve learned that the best way to overcome any fears is to confront them head-on and walk through it with faith that everything will be ok in doing so.
A good and simple example of this is the fact that I used to be completely freaked out by spiders. There came a time when I got tired of jumping every time I saw one, no matter what its size or shape was. During a moment of meditation on a retreat many years ago, I was able to remain calm enough when I saw one crawling near me. Instead of doing my usual running away, I did the exact opposite by asking God for protection and then reaching out and touching it. And ironically, since then, a spider’s presence doesn’t overwhelm me like it used to. And instead of running from them or squishing them as quickly as possible when I see one, I either observe them, or if they’re in my house, I take them outside.
The main reason why I’ve shared this minor example with you is that it’s my belief today that I can apply it to anything that causes me that paralyzing fear. For years I stayed in the closet about my being gay and drank massive quantities of alcohol to deal with the terrible fears I had surrounding it all. But there came a day then too when I called upon God and asked for help in dealing with those fears which in doing so, I was able to pick up the phone and call my parents where I told them I was attracted to men. I fully accept my sexuality today as a part of who I am because of those actions.
Time and time again, I have gone through many other examples where I have had those paralyzing fears and initially did nothing but crawl into my own tortoise shell and hide. But rarely have I ever stayed in that shell for very long because of my inward desire to not let any fears control me.
Currently, I’d have to say that I’m facing the biggest fear in my life yet and that’s over my current health situation. Many of my previous entries in here have touched upon what I’ve been going through on that realm. It certainly has been a challenge to walk through a lot of fear every single day as my body aches and groans continuously with no reprieve. But there was a time that I didn’t want to face my health issues and instead took a lot of medications to numb myself from feeling anything or acted out in various addictions to shift my attention away from dealing with them. Thankfully, each day now, I awake and ask God for the strength and courage to walk through these fears I have over my health issues for another day so that I don’t fall into any old patterns of numbing myself. I truly believe that just as I overcame those paralyzing fears with spiders, my sexuality, and so many other things in life, there will come a day soon where I have no fear surrounding the state of my mind, body, and soul either.
Don’t get me wrong, facing any paralyzing fear is a difficult thing. But, in seeking out God’s help for all of the major ones that I’ve confronted in my life, I have successfully been able to overcome each of them.
I encourage all of you to take a moment today and breathe as you think about any fears in your own life that are paralyzing. Seek God’s help to confront them head-on and know that they will begin to lose the power they had over you in doing so. In time, I’m sure you will look back with amazement on how you walked through each of them, which only will make it easier for any future ones that come along your way.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson