The other side of fear

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Fear…most of us have it.  We all face it at some time or another.  Fear of the unknown, fear of a new experience, you name it.  Some fears are irrational.  Some are healthy and rational, I suppose.

But what I have found is that since I became a mother, my fears and worries have grown exponentially.

It’s been fear of change, fear of my kids growing up too fast, fear of aging, fear of what others may think, fear of pain, fear my kids will get sick or hurt, worry, fear, and more fear.  It’s a continual practice I work through in therapy and processing my thoughts while also connecting the dots back to childhood.

But I’ve also realized it’s more than that.  It is having the tools and self-discipline to keep my thoughts positive.  Because I tend to expand the thoughts behind my fears into bigger, all-consuming problems than if I had simply let them go.  I recently attended an inspiring conference with my husband affiliated with his practice, and this one sentence from that morning has stuck with me (among many others):

Thoughts are not facts.

A thought is simply a thought.  If you’re dwelling on the same negative thought, ask yourself, is it true?  Then, (because the brain’s initial reaction may be “yes”), is it absolutely true?  How does this thought make me feel?  And then, what would things be like if I didn’t hold this belief?

9 times out of 10 it is pretty clear to me the thought is just that:  a thought.

Listen instead for the voice that fuels you.  What thoughts are life-giving, build you up, and prove to take you down a different mental path?

Over the past year I have worked on changing my thought process, so it was fitting that this conference paralleled where I am on my own journey.

Life has been, and will continue to be, different.  I am learning to choose joy.  I am learning to sway the thoughts behind my fears to an entirely different realm of thinking.

I choose the thoughts that make me passionate about my calling.  I choose the thoughts that make me appreciate my life and all that God has blessed me with.  I choose the thoughts that make me feel strong and capable and ready to tackle any challenge.  These thoughts will never let me down.  They will not take me down the slippery slope of pity or despair. Because the truth is, life is pretty darn good.

This whole process is still relatively new for me.  I am a work in progress and probably always will be.  But I’m grateful for these changes and for the words of wisdom spoken into my life.

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

Henry David Thoreau

 

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