There is little in life more powerful than fear. It makes us sick. It cripples us. It steals years from viable living. We give fear power, fueling it when we should be putting our energy and intentionality into our creative pursuits. Can you imagine how much more productive we would be if we eliminated our fears and concentrated more on what we could do rather than what we might not be able to do?
Julia Cameron explains it best in her book The Artist Way with this epiphany: “Life expands or shrinks in proportion to one’s courage.”
But you can’t just wish away fear. You have to be intentional and vigilant about fear—how you handle it and, for that matter, how you mishandle it.
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear […emphasis added].
This is not a passive act.
Not much in life is passive actually, and the sooner we learn this lesson the happier, more creative and fulfilled we will be.
One thing I’ve been learning (failing and then intentionally recovering from) to do is to be more intentional about praying (action) and asking for God’s help in making changes in my life (active) especially when I am fearful. And God knows I’ve had my share of fear—but He also knows that each time I have intentionally made a positive change I release something inside that has been trapped and eating away at my soul—like releasing a toxin.
The other day I decided to wallow in self-pity on my couch. Life was not going according to my plan that day and I was exhausted. I felt my options were limited and I was stuck—trapped in this never ending cycle of insanity. In short, I was afraid. I stayed in this emotional state for about 10 minutes—a world class pity party until I realized all this passivity was doing was making me feel worse and not better. It wasn’t about releasing emotion, it was about regressing into a childish tantrum.
Thankfully after a prayer for strength, I picked myself off the couch and did something about it. Once I took that active step, I felt 10,000 times better and it actually yielded an unexpected return—synchronicity at its finest.
Actions—activity—doing—that’s how you cast something out, not by passively allowing your fear to take control of you. You take control. And that’s why action is so cathartic and healing. Doing something literally puts you into a self-empowering mode, on a path where fear is no longer in the driver’s seat—you are, or better yet, God is. And who doesn’t want control like that?