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  • Writer's pictureRenata Joseph

Give Fear the Boot

A common reaction I get when I tell people we've sold everything, given up our jobs and are moving to Central America is one of fear. Look, I get it. We are choosing to let go of the things that our culture says make us safe and happy with no guarantee that our future life will be better than what we are leaving behind. That is counter culture. It's anti the American Dream.

Fear and I have a kind of unique relationship. While most people internalize Fear and view it as part of their inner thoughts and dialogue, since I was a young girl I've seen it as a malicious stranger. When I was young I would have terrifying nightmares; I never wanted to be left alone or in the dark at night. My parents taught me to recite 2 Timothy 1:7, which says, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Fear is not me. It's not my conscience or my rational thoughts. It's the voice of a stranger who is out to destroy me. Fear steals peace and replaces it with anxiety and doubt. It paralyzes, tells me that I'll fail and won't recover. It lies to me in my own voice, hoping I can't tell the difference.

Fear is a stranger. It isn't me and it isn't you. For years there's been a trend of warning children about "Stranger Danger;" the concept that people you don't know can be unsafe. Rather than apply it only to the people walking down the sidewalk or the grocery store aisle, I suggest applying it to the voice in your head that is Fear.

If I welcome Fear into my head, my heart, my life, what sort of things could I be relinquishing? The verse above says, "power, love and a sound mind." Imagine having a house guest that is so manipulative as to talk you out of exerting your power, acting in love and having peace of mind. That person would be out on the street pretty quickly in my house. I am not required to entertain their insidious remarks or play nice in order not to offend them. It's my home and I get to choose who has access and who has voice in it. That's exactly how I treat Fear when it comes knocking on my door.

Sometimes I can be caught off guard and let Fear in, thinking it's Reason or Concern, but once I see my power, love or peace of mind being affected, the eviction is underway. I suggest you do the same. Don't drag your feet or apologize, give Fear the boot! Life is too short and your unique gifts are too essential to this world for you to give Fear the time of day.

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Oct 30, 2019

Wear your colors loud and proud gangsta girl!

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