The Weekly Dream: Facing your fears for change
“A friend creates comfort, but an enemy creates change. Big giants never guard small treasures.”
Long ago and far away, my grandparents temporarily relocated to rural Carbondale, Illinois. On my frequent visits, I did everything a country boy could do: run, trap insects in a jar, and eat a ridiculous amount of food. One fateful day, as my grandfather and I walked along the road, I inquired what created the random tunnels in the ditches running alongside the road. Instead of telling me they were gopher holes, he told me of a mythical creature called a “pincher” because if you put your hands in their hole, they grabbed you and never let go.
Now, these holes were everywhere. You could not turn around without coming across them. In my five year old mind, the last thing I wanted was to be pinched. So, one day, I happened to look out of the window and I thought I saw a pincher, looking right up at me. I was scared to death and refused to go outside for the remainder of the day. The next day, I thought to myself, “Surely, the pincher is not still outside” and sure enough, he was. This went on for five days. I would not leave the house. Finally, I had reached my wit’s end. Pincher or no pincher, I was going outside. So the next day, I tip toed outside up to the pincher, only to find out it was only a jagged tree stump.
I have never felt as foolish as I did that day. So whenever I am afraid or anxious, I think back to that day and I realize that my fear is really just a tree stump masquerading as a “pincher.”
Fear, fear, go way
Fear is the apprehension of a negative manifestation. It has not happened yet, but how often does our perception of our fears and anxiety translate into reality, only to find out upon closer inspection that they were not as bad as we had drawn them up to be?
Fear must be confronted head on. When you feel the fear welling up inside, that is a cue to act. We must train ourselves to examine our fears against what we know to be true. What we do not know, we must find out because next to action, I have found familiarity and preparation are the best antidotes to fear and anxiety. Use fear as a catalyst for assessment, action and consequently change.
What about the times when your fears are not baseless and there is a substantial chance of them manifesting themselves? Then you must engage in what I call “damage control.” This is a course of action that will minimize the negative outcome on you. If it is unavoidable, then accept it with serenity, look for the reality and move on.
Five Smooth Stones
In addition to the “Pincher Story”, when I feel outmatched, outwitted, or insecure (it does happen at times), I turn to the well-known story of “David and Goliath.” David faced his greatest challenge on that field. Behind him was obscurity and the cowardice of the Israelite army. On the other side of the giant was a kingdom and immortalization-a future bigger than he could ever imagine. And with him, all he had was unwavering faith, a slingshot and five smooth stones. In slaying the giant, David became one.
Like David, we must put our fear to the side and fill it with something empowering. Our fear is a challenge calling us to our destiny. Sometimes, all we will have is faith to guide us down the path. But I believe that faith is enough.
Life is an adventure, face it head on.
Big giants do not guard little treasures. Get what is yours.
Truth and Peace,
Steven M DeVougas
Question of the Week: How do you overcome your fear?