I was asked me recently about how the power of fear can control and affect a person’s life. From experience and research, I know that fear leads to one of two reactions. Either we pretend it doesn’t exist, or it paralyzes us. Fear ties us up with chains, locking us up from living life in full colour.
Fear lies to us. Love leads us into truth.
It’s actually love that frees us from fears chains. Love makes us feel safe, seen and heard.
Feeling safe is fundamental to our well-being. When we feel loved emotionally, mentally and physically safe, we find it easier to take a risk, reach peace of mind, plus sleep better.
We have a choice to make. Like LJ Vanier wrote, “I don’t always make the best choices, but today I choose compassion over intolerance, sympathy over hatred and love over fear.”
The present comes alive.
When we feel safe and secure, it enables us to live and be present, right here, right now. No longer do we live in the past or long for the future. We can be fully present. The results are profound. Your family, friends and work colleagues will thank you! The gift of presence is so rare these days. Think about it. How often are we focused on the person in front of us?
What makes you feel safe?
Firstly, it is a sense of having control over yourself. We can cultivate self-awareness by paying attention to what’s going on in our bodies and mind.
Second, knowing deep down that you are loved. Love frees us to be who God intended us to be. Love is free from torment and punishment.
Third, being able to explore challenges and discover healthy boundaries. One lesson I learned a few years ago is how to say ‘no’. Being able to say ‘no’ to certain things leads to life. In order to say ‘yes’ to the best things for my life and family, I have to say ‘no’ to some other things. Saying ‘no’ to fear’s control leads to saying ‘yes’ to living fully alive! If we don’t establish healthy boundaries for our lives, then no one else will.
Fourthly, freedom comes when we give ourselves permission to rest, feel, try something new, or even seek help. Joy will emerge in profound ways. Will you say ‘yes’ to love and ‘no’ to fear?
Love’s touch frees us.
Feeling safe vs being safe.
We can define safe as free from harm or hurt. So, feeling safe means you anticipate neither harm nor hurt, emotionally or physically.
When last did you not feel safe? Perhaps it was a terrible rainstorm or driving on the freeway? When we feel unsafe, our emotions are all over the place. When I was feeling unsafe, I was scared and anxious, and my body, at times, froze in place. My heart pounded and my mind was racing to figure out what was going to happen next. It often happened at night when someone shone a torch or a bright light was directed my way. Because I was not in control of my body’s reaction, the panic was closing in. The trauma from the armed robbery affected my daily life for many years. But, there is good news.
Working through the fear, feeling unsafe and trauma, was a journey of discovery. Over time, my body and mind healed. I spent time in prayer, reflection, counseling and being with others who helped me experience safety. Love freed me.
Here are a few journaling prompts for you to think about:
1. What scares you?
2. What calms you down?
3. What makes you feel safe?
4. Does love need to envelop you?
Live in the light, let love be the catalyst for freedom and a world of possibilities will open up to you.
Are you looking for encouragement or support to overcome fear? Mandi is a regular speaker on the radio, trainer, and coach. She also offers bespoke coaching and helps others overcome obstacles. Contact her for more information.