Living with addiction and mental health issues, we have a tendency to focus on the symptoms of our illnesses – our behavioral problems, our emotional issues, our toxic thought patterns. What we often forget to look at, however, are the fears underlying our self-destructiveness. We sometimes fail to see that it is usually our fears at the root of our problems, causing us all of this pain and difficulty.
Our fears feel larger than life. They feel insurmountable. We feel powerless over them. We feel like it’s impossible to face them, so we do the opposite. We avoid them. We run from them. We distract ourselves from them, with unhealthy relationships, through bingeing on food or television, by obsessing about things that feel easier to handle. Our relationship to fear becomes dysfunctional. We let our fears overtake us and dominate our lives. We allow them to totally derail our health and well-being. We develop intense fear-based mental illnesses such as debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. Our fears can cause us so much emotional pain that we become depressed because of them. What happens when we make the conscious choice to finally face our fears rather than running from them?
When we start to examine our fears, we realize that we often were making them bigger and scarier than they actually needed to be. We’ve been giving them a power over us they wouldn’t have had if we hadn’t surrendered our power to them. We’ve been weakening ourselves and holding ourselves down. We’ve been giving away our autonomy. We’ve been letting our fears run the show of our lives. Analyzing our fears helps us to shed all of our self-imposed limitations.
When we take the step to face our fears head on, we realize that we’re in fact stronger than they are. We see that we’re equipped with an inner power, resilience and light that can banish our fears when we start to believe in ourselves. We learn to transcend our fears. We realize that we might always experience fear on some level but that it doesn’t need to hold us back or hinder our forward progression. When we face our fears, we start to feel invincible. We start to have faith in ourselves and our abilities again. We start to feel like there’s nothing we can’t do, which is true! We can do anything we apply our positive energy towards, and facing our fears is the first step.
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