Functioning in Faith rather than Fear

     There is peace and power in choosing Faith over Fear.  This world is so full of trauma and difficulty.  Even just lately, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters have wreaked great destruction, pain, and difficulty in our world.  We all experience fears on a personal level as well.  I have been dealing with a situation of  fear and worry on the home front, over the safety of a family member.  It has been draining, when I allow myself to stay in that mode. I am trying to choose Faith over fear.

     Since fear is a negative emotion, it takes energy away from us.  It can even put us in panic.  My acronym for panic is “PAIN and NO INSPIRATION COMING!”  Panic puts us in the “fight or flight” mode where it is hard to think things out rationally and make good decisions.  We want to live in the positive, peaceful emotion of Faith.

When I find myself in fear and panic, I am trying to STOP and (1) Take some deep breaths (2) Take it to God in prayer, (3) Take inspired action, and (4) Take 5

That’s my TAKE on what we need to do when we find ourselves in fear and panic mode.

Let’s look at each step in more depth:

(1) Take some deep breaths.  When we calm the body, it helps to calm the mind and vice versa.  In fact, as we breathe deeply, we increase our oxygen.  Not only does that help us to relax the body, but the increased oxygen to the brain enables us to think more clearly.  We are then more likely to act in inspiration rather than reacting in desperation.

     Here’s some examples:  When my son was in the  toddler class of the college children’s school, they taught him to “Calm his Body.”  He was such an emotional kid, when he got upset, he would actually cry so hard, he would choke on his saliva and throw up.  This is obviously not behavior we want to continue, so he had to learn to first calm his body, in order to calm his mind and gain control again.  My daughter hyperventilates when she is upset.  This doesn’t help, especially because she has asthma.  We help her to calm her body and tell her to “Breathe!” (sometimes we get her to breathe in an essential oil with peppermint, which helps her to breathe more deeply and or a calming oil, like lavender).

     I have a friend who has taught me and others to Breathe out Fear and Breathe in Faith.  When she is afraid or worried, she literally makes herself take deep breaths and she pictures (and even verbally says when possible), that she is breathing out Fear and breathing in Faith.  This simple exercise has helped me as I have begun to incorporate it.

(2) Take it to God in prayer.  I could write a book on just this CRUCIAL, HEALING, DEALING WITH, action step.  There is something so lifting, unburdening, and empowering about this.  Whatever your belief in a Higher Power, when you are afraid and worried, Take it to God.  Tell Him your trouble, ask for HIS help in having clarity, inspiration, and courage.  Let him help you carry your burden and if necessary, Give it to Him.  There are times (especially in our situation of a family member in an abusive situation), where I meditate handing the family member to God and  my Lord and Savior.  I picture this family member being held, loved, and protected.   I will NEVER give up trying to help, because HE will not.  I think out what I feel God would have me do, and then I TAKE INSPIRED ACTION.  Sometimes this has been to do something difficult and brave.  Other times this inspired action has been to simply to “Let go and Let God.”  I must trust and feel the peace that comes from that.

(3) Take inspired action born of faith, rather than fear.  This is a crucial step because, many times, in fear and panic (remember that’s PAIN AND NO INSPIRATION COMING), I have wanted to do something desperate, that may not be wise, especially in the long run.  I have to check back with God, confirming the action I think I should take, and then DO IT!!!!

(4) Take Five.  After taking steps to calm the mind and body so that you can think, taking the problem to your Higher Power, and Taking inspired action, the fourth step is to Take Five.  This means RELAX.  Welcome and allow Peace to envelope your body, mind, and spirit.  Envision it washing over you, filling you up, lifting you up, and encircling you in the arms of love like the comfort of a warm blanket or the Holy Spirit.  Allow yourself to feel the warmth, like a Heavenly hug.  I have a favorite scripture that God guided me to in my trial, and I say it often for comfort.  Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”  There are many other scriptures on faith, trust, and peace, and I highly encourage you to read them.  Memorize a few that you can go to when in need.  The scriptures are full of God’s word and wisdom.

     Take five also means to relax and take a break from the work and worry of the problem.  Do something different, create, clean, or put something in order.  Take time for healing of body, mind, and spirit, so that you have the strength to endure and do what you need to in your trial.  (See my post, Peace in Troubled Times, for more concrete tools for restoring and healing daily in a trial.)

     Because faith is a positive emotion, it adds to us and adds to our peace.    We can share that peace born of faith with others.  This world needs more peace, especially right now.  When we are at peace, others can feel it can help them calm their fears too.  We are drawn to “peaceful people of faith”  and want to stay away from “panic people” that zap our energy.  I have a declaration that I like to say each morning, “I am a being of Peace, Order, and Organization.”  I used to be this really stressed out person that was stressful to be around.  I have tried to change that (although occasionally, I will slip in the fear/panic mode until I remember to use  tools).  I choose to make the shift to positive energy.

     We live in troubled times, but I know from very personal experience, that we can function in faith over fear. There is peace and power in this choice.

When you find yourself in fear and panic,  STOP! (1) Take some deep breaths (2) Take it to God in prayer, (3) Take inspired action, and (4) Take 5

These simple tools are helping me and I believe they can do the same for others.  Please join me in choosing Faith rather than fear!   by JoLyn Olsen Holladay

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