“Fear not” is referenced about 365 times in the Bible.
That’s also about the number of times I tell my children to look out for ant beds when we go outdoors.
I can be paranoid, delusional, and just plain scared at times– especially when it comes to people I’ve birthed.
I fear they will get too cold.
That they will have to defend themselves one day.
That they are too far away from me in Wal-Mart.
I fear they will all get sick!
That they will fall.
That they will fall and I won’t be there to catch them when they do.
I fear my 8 year old is really 12.
I fear that one day I am going to realize I had everything wrong about parenting/adulting.
I fear that I am spending too much time fearing for the safety and well being of my children that I am forgetting to enjoy life…and those silly giggles…and their dad… and restaurants where we pay people to prepare our food. 😊
I fear the fear isn’t even real and I wonder what it really must be.
I fear / I fear / I fear
The list of fears continues and can be broken down by category. (Disorganization scares me.)
Worry is what I try to refrain from…
“Worrying pretends to be necessary, but it’s not proactive and it’s not helpful. Worrying buddies up with your imagination to exploit your fears….Worry is junk food for your fears.” –Katherine Schafler
I try hard not to worry about aspects of my life that are clearly out of my control. Maybe I’m (finally) learning to take the bitter with the sweet. Once I acknowledge and accept the hardship I am facing (the bitter part), I tend to get productive. I greet the chaos and hurt, and deal with the inevitable fear that accompanies it. 365 TIMES?! Even God knew it would be hard to shake fear.
Maybe you feel misunderstood. Maybe you are totally misunderstood…by everyone! But dinner still has to get cooked. Children still have to get homework done and get to their practices. Babies still have to get their bottoms cleaned. We can’t always shake the fear that comes from being overwhelmed, but we can learn to live healthy with such fears.
Fear comes naturally to us as flawed, imperfect human beings. It’s a condition that we learn to live with, but not be controlled by.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m desperate for strength and wisdom. I’m learning to navigate the turbulence. I’m determined to be on the other side of fear and I’m learning to distract myself from feeling it (fear) or becoming stagnant as a result of it.
Nina Simone once said that freedom is “the absence of fear”. My question is, are we ever really free?
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.