How do you know when fear is running your life? I don’t think running your life is the right word, but I am having one of those days that I just can’t seem to come up with the right words to get out what I want to say. I don’t think fear runs your life, but I do think that it consumes your thoughts, then from your thoughts into your decisions, then from your decisions to your actions. I think fear is a process. It’s like a seed being planted and your mind throws fertilizer and water on it. It starts out small and can escalate into something big. I also think there are those out there that have had such traumatic experiences that a person’s subconscious mind plunges them into a pit of fear at the first trigger of danger. It’s a defense mechanism the body automatically controls for you. I experience both kinds of episodes and it makes it really hard to calm my mind. To get my mind to slow down and concentrate on one thing.
When I first starting having panic episodes my family would say, “You need to get ahold of yourself.” All that did was bring on another wave of panic and make me feel alone. Getting ahold of myself IS the problem. I feel so out of control that the more I try to get in control the worse I become. Its more than me trying to control my emotions, it’s a knee jerk response my body plunges into at the first sign of a trigger. I think trying to figure out what a trigger is, is just as hard as calming my body down. So, I ask myself, not only what do you fear, what is danger in your mind? Most importantly, what is it in the last 24 hours that made your body kick into a defensive stance? You see, something happened yesterday that altered my mood. Instead of it being one thing, I think it was more than that.
Yesterday, I was telling someone about my blog and website. My excitement has had me running around smiling for weeks now. Everyday I feel more and more excited about this book God gave me to write. The conversations and post I have read give me hope that it will help others. Then this person (whom I will call Mo) said, “Well have you ever thought about podcast, because podcast is more popular than blogs right now.” I know Mo wasn’t trying to downplay all that I was doing at that time, but trying to encourage me to move forward and show me my options were endless. Mo continued to say, “I can see you sitting around talking freely about mental health and I think a lot of people would listen to it.” Mo was encouraging and trying to be helpful, but something in me didn’t take it that way. Ya’ll it took me 2 weeks to get my website together not including the 2 weeks before that it took me to create an author face book page, and Instagram page, a support group page. Then I am still trying to figure out how to connect them. Most troubling is managing them. I think all of the sudden I became overwhelmed with the possibilities. My mood went from living on a joyful note, to all the sudden being very unsure if I was doing the right thing. Did I just spend a month of my life wasting it on all the other media avenues when they are a dying source? The agonizing moments it took me of learning to make these pages and websites are they all for nothing?
Then, that afternoon I made a post on a support group, and got no response. I was instantly defeated. What’s the point? This is never gonna reach anyone, no one cares, and I am wasting my time. The thoughts kept coming and coming until I was on a train going nowhere but in circles. The cortisol started flowing and I am so alert everything is catching my attention and I am overwhelmed and my mind is racing. I needed to get off this train. So, I started telling myself that it was okay. I call it self-talk. Then I named off some other authors who didn’t get noticed in their first year of publishing a book. Let alone 1 book. It took them many books and time. I need to give it time. Most importantly, I needed to let God do it. There are so many things out of my control that I need to let loose and let God take this where He wants this to go. Not me. I needed to slow my mind down and listen. The best way to slow my mind down was to watch that train go by. Tell it I didn’t need the ride, because God’s coming with a Plane that will take me to places and sights, I can’t dream of. Most importantly I needed to believe this so it would stick. I remember a couple of my favorite verses and I am filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose”
So how do I know when fear is planting a seed? For me, its when that train of thought comes and I struggle to let it go. Or, I am triggered by an event or situation and my body is in automatic response. It’s like being thrown on a fast-moving train without warning. Sometimes I am already on it and speeding down the tracks wide open before I know what’s going on. Instead of getting mad at myself, I do the opposite. I commend myself for recognizing it and I slowing get off the train with thoughts of what’s in front of me or thoughts of truth. For truth will set you free. I will definitely ride that train a few more times today before I lay my head down to try and rest. So, I will continue to get off that train with care. Care for my situation, care for my state of mind, and care with kind words and encouragement for myself. Before I know it, I will be concentrating on what’s in front of me and not on what I cannot control.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”