Overcoming fear: Ghosting or Immersion in Perfect Love

Keith and I finally went and saw a grown-up movie that we were both interested in, Will & Jaden Smith’s ” After Earth.”

I’m not a movie critic or a movie reviewer, so, all I will say is that I enjoyed it. M. Night Shyamalan directed, Will Smith wrote the story, with Will and Jada as the producers. Apparently, it didn’t fare well with most critics and reviewers. Which doesn’t surprise me, really. I don’t necessarily disagree with many of the points they made. However, I prefer to focus on what was good about it in the context of my life.

1) It was ultimately a story about family dynamics, specifically a family trying to grow and adjust in key life transition periods of both the Father and Son’s lives.

2) It was a coming of age story where the son has to come to terms with past trauma and grief in the face of dealing with situations and circumstances coming together in a way that triggers all the unresolved fears and beliefs developed as a child.

3) It was the story of a disconnected and detached parent whose own personal growth and development got stuck in battle mode and whose identity is embedded in his professional persona, having to reconnect with his adolescent child in a context not conducive to the exploration, growth, and repair of relationships.

The ecological morality, the futuristic sci-fi setting, and movie monster, in my opinion, were merely the vehicle and backdrop of these stories, not the point of the movie itself. The theme, overcoming fear, on the surface, was about dealing with fear in the face of physical survival. However, it was more about how our thoughts, memories, and relationships drive the fear responses in our lives.

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Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story . . .

To a large degree, I understand this statement and can even agree with it in some ways. However, I also believe that fear is more than a psychological construct. It is a deeply integrated neurological and physiological mechanism for survival. It is very real to the person experiencing it, and, in the wrong context or delivered in the wrong manner, this same message can be as destructive as it is informative and inspirational.

I have a lot of fears, some regarding my family relationships and others about circumstances and provision. They are all about future outcomes: fear of not being able to be in a healthy, constructive, loving relationship with my son and being a welcome member of his family; fear of staying stuck in a pattern of subsistence living and not being able to provide the material and extracurricular supports for Luna to be able to explore and develop her talents and gifts; fear that the combination of the physical and mental health issues (diagnosed and undiagnosed) that Keith and I experience will always hinder and sabotage my, our, efforts to move beyond where we are and keep us where we’ve been.

These fears have their roots in past and present events and experiences.

Fear is an indicator that some kind of danger is present. For me the dangers are rarely physically threatening, but are about relationships, dreams, and hopes I have. Therefore, the action I have to take is to recognize when the signs of fear manifest in my physiological, emotional, and psychological being.

As a Christian, coping with these fears means I don’t ever have to hold onto or handle those fears by myself – although, I have had a very real tendency to forget my faith in the face of my fears.

My friend, Marisa, led the worship during the service when our church community met yesterday. While introducing one of the songs, Mighty to Save, she explained how knowing that she can take her fears and failures to God, knowing that He loves her, gives her a sense of security and safety in the midst of those things.

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Rooting myself in the present moment is something I’m learning to do. The majority of my fears are about rejection, abandonment, insufficiency, weakness, and failure and based on very real life experiences where these things have derailed and damaged me and those I care about. So, I have to think about what is true, now:

I am loved.
I am accepted.
I am provided for and my needs are being met.
Strength is given me when and where it is needed.

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Perfect love casts out fear.

I don’t have to fight it, feel bad about it, or hide it. I just have to acknowledge it, accept that it exists, use it’s presence to help me examine the danger, and respond by letting the fear go and moving forward in the safety and security of what is true in the present moment.

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5 comments

  1. Nice post! The statement of fear that will smith stated in the movie to me is absolutely true. Yet it remains a path to move forward on to reach that state of mind. And it is a choice. Though we tend to give it more status than it really holds. That is its power and the illusion. Physiologically danger stirs our will to survive. The choice is how we react. You can act out of fear, which is worry of the outcome and all the thoughts that come with that fear or worry. Or we react without worry of the outcome. Drawing from intuition, common sense, guided by faith and doing what is in your power to do in the moment your in. Leaving the outcome to god and in essence the wory as well- if god could actually wory. Being there is a choice, its that relationship with God. In his love without doubt. If we as Christians know without a doubt heaven is real and life is eternal. Why would we fear anything here in this life. Because our outcome no matter the circumstances is already a reality. This is long but my point is that it just comes down to walking in faith. Living in each moment by listen and waiting for his voice to guide your heart and doing. Using God given intuition, listening to conscience. These are all God in us, living and guiding. The fear comeswhen so often we lose sight of that reality and fall for the illusion that we have control over our lives and that brings the worry (fear) if we actually do. The peace is knowing we don’t. Doing what is right in our hearts at the moment of time we need to act. This is right living. Righteousness; his righteousness that we have set free to guide us. Getting out of his way and letting God live in us and through us. With that what is there to fear. Easy said than done right? The statement is true but the explanation is much. There is no natural need for fear. It only lives when we allow it to by choice to try and control an outcome rather than be a part of the outcome. I love this topic and appreciate tremendously your life and expression of your love for Truth. Thanks for posting

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  2. Thanks for sharing. I think everyone has fears in their lives but I think it is how you deal with them that is important. You can not let fear run your life because if you do, you won’t enjoy life the way it should be. Have a great day. Anita

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    1. Anita,
      It’s true that everyone has fears. Sometimes, for some people either due to mental/emotional health issues or because the framework for constructively managing fear never having been taught or learned, not allowing fear to rule, can be monumentally challenging and it’s something that requires the constructive guidance and support of others. Often, in those cases support is limited or completely unavailable and the process takes a long time.

      Blessings,
      Kina

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  3. Thank you for this post. The many fears I have overcome and the many fears I am sure are yet to come are not mine alone. I can choose to be paralyzed by fear or I can choose to remember that I am never alone in The Lord……..He will help me overcome those fears!

    Great post!

    Enjoy the day!

    Brenda

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