Facing Our Fears Through Emotional Sincerity and Genuineness

Categories Emotions

“Do not be Afraid; peace be still” – Jesus

Fear is an unpleasant emotion that is caused by the perceived or real threat of danger, pain, harm, or threat of survival. The most common fears for humans are heights, starvation, closed spaces, snakes, bugs, rats, water, and wild animals; the common denominator is that they are all dangerous. Some of these fears are adaptive or learned, but many fears are built-in; they are meant to protect us. They prepare us for the fight-or-flight response, which is also called hyper-arousal, or acute stress response.

We also fear non-tangible things such as change; bad news; failure; rejection; and, being lonely or left alone. Many fear being exposed, despite the fact that we want to be understood, to be loved, to impress others, and not to fail. We do not want those around us to know our real selves, probably because of the fear that we will be misunderstood or rejected if we open up to those around us. In the book, “Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am”, John Powell says, “I am afraid to tell you who I am, because if I tell you who I am you may not like who I am, and it’s all that I have”.

Be that as it may, there is a solution to fear; and the answer lies in mastering the art of learning how to think, feel, manage and communicate emotions, including fear; in being more emotionally open and developing the courage to be our real selves. Dr. Powell suggests a five-pronged approach on how one can deal with emotions such as fear and anger. The first step is: to become aware of the emotion; followed by admitting it to oneself that one is angry or fearful, instead of denying it; investigating where the emotion originated and what one’s role in it is; reporting the emotion to the others involved, so that one can take responsibility for what he/she owns; and finally, integrating the emotion, that is, lessons learnt about oneself, the emotion, other people around, conflict and how to resolve conflict.

Only when we face our fears can we learn to like ourselves and trust that others will accept us. And none exemplifies the ultimate handling of emotions better than Luther Burgess Bridgers (1884-1948), who wrote the hymn, “There’s Within My Heart A Melody”, in the midst of tragedy that had just befallen him. In 1910, seven years after his marriage and having become a famous evangelist and an ordained Methodist Minister, Luther Bridgers accepted an invitation to hold a two week revival in a church near his wife’s parent’s home. After arrival at the parent’s home, he left his wife and children at the home and went to a nearby town to worship in a revival service. Towards the end of the service, he received a call whose message was that his wife’s parent’s house had burned to the ground and that his wife and their three children had all perished in the fire.

It was amidst this agony of losing his entire family through such a horrible inferno that he wrote the song whose lyrics of the first verse are as follows:

There’s within my heart a melody,
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
Fear not, I am with thee, peace be still.
In all of life’s ebb and flow.

Luther Bridgers made up his mind to think positively beyond the tragedy. A positive thinker sees the impossible; feels invisible actions; has a winning attitude; is self-aware; is self-motivated; is confident; and, knows how to love him/her self and others appropriately.

I am an epic introvert, who quickly becomes an open book when I pen what’s in my significantly fertile mind; fertile as a result of bombardment by realities that are continuously captured by my inquisitive eyes, ears which are constantly rubbing the ground, through constant reading, and through dreaming too.

Writing provides an opportunity to ‘say’ what my unapologetic quiet mouth will not say; which not only soothes me, but also bequeaths to me a relief, a release, and a hope that the written words will change the world, even if only one person at a time.

And so should you seek, that’s where to find me; deeply tucked inside the blankets of reading, seeing, listening, dreaming, and then writing.

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