We all have fears. Some fears we know. Like rats. I hate rats. Some fears sneak up on us, though. Sometimes you don’t know you’re afraid of something until it’s happening. Like when I called a girl for the first time and her dad answered. I wasn’t expecting it, and I was very afraid.
To be candid, I realized lately I have been struggling with fears I did not know I had. I guess you could call them subconscious fears. I think we all have subconscious fears that lay dormant inside of us for years and can suddenly be activated by a change in our lives.
When I was younger and single, I didn’t feel like I had much to lose, but now that I’ve started a family, it has brought with it a new set of fears. Fear of losing my family. Fear of not providing for my family. Fear of failing my family. Fear of a having children with complications. These are fears that have sprung up on me without me even realizing it was happening.
“It’s not that we fear the unknown. You cannot fear something that you do not know. Nobody is afraid of the unknown. What you really fear is the loss of the known.”
– Anthony De Mello
The more you open yourself up to love, the more you have to lose. Nothing really lasts in this life and no one is invincible. I hate to think about it, and I hate to write about it, but it has to be addressed at some point.
I could lock myself in my room and never build a relationship with anyone and live without fear, but some of the most fearless people are also the loneliest. There is a scale that only tips one of two ways—either you live without love and you live in loneliness, or you open yourself to love and be loved and you will eventually be hurt.
“If I never have anything, I’ll never have to lose anything.
But then again if I never had anything worth losing I guess I lost everything.
Either way you could say pain will become a result from both,
So actually I’m giving in to the very thing that I fear the most.
Losing it all.”
– John Reuben
Love will always be a risk. But with that risk, there also comes joy and purpose.
I’m learning to move past fear. Fear works against me, but I know God is for me. God is calling us to be brave through him. 1 John 4:18 says “perfect love drives out fear.” The more I focus on God, who I am through him and his love for me, the more I’m able to love. The closer I come to God, the farther I feel from fear.
To me, bravery is not the act of ignoring fear. Rather, it is acknowledging the fear and moving forward in spite of it.