“The cool thing about being afraid is you get the chance to have courage.” Mike Donehey on the “That Sounds Fun” podcast.
I don’t think of myself as courageous. Courage is reserved for heroes, people that run in when everyone else is running out. Courage is reserved for people who are not afraid to try new things. Courage is reserved for others, but not for me.
I don’t like change. I don’t like trying new things. Heck, I even hate having to call and order pizza. None of these things shout courage to me.
I tend to find myself wandering around the recesses of my mind battling the anxiety that always lurks there. I live in fear. A lot of it.
Over the years, I learned from some very wise recovery folks, that fear means a lot different things.
FEAR- F**k Everything And Run
FEAR- False Evidence Appearing Real
FEAR- Forgetting Everything’s All Right
For me, the order in which they are written matters. The first acrostic is where my mind goes first. It’s the give up, give in, nothing’s ever going to get better so I might as well run away, definition.
The second, is where my mind gets stuck. There’s so much false evidence floating around that it’s easy for me to fixate on the one thing that’s said the loudest and most often. So, that “evidence” stays on loop in my brain, until the real truth can break through.
The last acrostic definition is what fear really is. I forget. I forget that I’m not in control. I forget that I can’t produce an outcome. I forget that I can’t change other people or circumstances. I forget that I am alright, even if everything looks like a dumpster fire.
But what I’m learning is that fear is also my superpower. I have the ability to know when things aren’t right or that I should be cautious when others do not.
The fear that cripples me is also the fear the freed me. Overwhelming fear forced me to rely on God. When all of my best cautioning and controlling resulted in more fear I was forced to do things differently.
I was forced to remember that everything is alright. That Someone else is truly in control.