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Not allowing fear to get the upper hand in 2023
On this, the last Friday of 2022, something interesting came up in in my Instagram feed. New Years Intention Setting Prompts. Neato! It had great quetions like “What do you need that you feel like you haven’t had time for?”, and “What would you like to create in the coming year?” There were five prompts, all of them envoked some good soul searching for me. But there was one, well actually two, where I just knew, almost imediately how I would answer. “What would you like to leave behind in 2022?”. The second prompt runs right on the heels of the first, “What do you feel is holding you back?” My answer? FEAR.
Looking back on the last two years, I would’ve thought that with the pandemic, 2020 would have been the year of fear. But 2020 was more like taking a year off to watch re-runs of The Office and order Door Dash. I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t lose my job. I got to work from home. We made it work.
2021 was an intense year with two major medical, family emergencies. This led to me quitting my job. My husband and I took a four month sabatical (one month of it spent on the island of Kauai), as well as spending time with our daughter in New Orleans. It was the year of re-thinking life and lifestyle…sort of a change of seasons in a good way.
2022 was the year of getting back to some sense of “normal”, and the year of finishing my first novel. All good stuff, right? I mean, it’s hard to complain. However, (there’s always a “however”) fear seemed to be the common thread that weaved it’s way in and throughout this year. Just when I seemed to be getting into good routines, meeting goals and setting new ones, fear was there waiting, crouching behind a dream of succeeding, whispering lies and regret. Fear weezled its way into concerns for the health of my loved ones, not to mention concerns over the health of our nation…social media and mainstream news ever willing to feed the beast.
Chapman University conducts a survey every year called The chapman University Survey Of American Fears, or CSAF. The topics of the survey have a broad range. From mass shootings to gun control, and the January 6th insurection. Fears were ranked by persentage of Americans that reported being afraid, or very afraid. The number one fear on the top ten list was corrupt government officials at 62.1%. Hello? Ya think?Number two was the fear of people I love becoming seriously ill at 60.2%. The fear of someone you love dying was number four, coming in at 58.1%. If you read the Chapman University Blog post on the 2022 fear survey, the results make sense considering what the world, and more specifically, the U.S. has experienced from 2020 until now. People are simply afraid.
I like to refer to fear as The Big Lie. Fear springs from the unknown. I develope fears about things I can’t understand or that don’t make sense. The what if’s and the why’s. When I don’t have all the information, my mind will want to fill in the blanks and make it’s own predictions. Trust me, I can come up with some pretty wild predictions. How can I predict when I don’t have all the answers? The saying, “Knowledge is power” rings true. If I know how long a financial recession will last, or more specifically, when the worst is going to hit, I can plan, and be more prepared. If I find out that a loved one has been diagnosed with a disease, I can educate myself on progression and treatments so that I know what to expect, and not be caught off guard.
Fear paralyzes. It cripples. Fear kills. The last thing I want is to allow fear to get a foothold in 2023. I want to live intentionally and present, taking in every ounce of joy and beauty that surrounds me, cause it’s there…the good, that is. “Find the good” what a great motto. Leaving fear behind in 2023.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true,whatever is noble, whatever is right,whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is ecellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” Phillippians 4:8