Continued from Overcoming Fear And Phobia
Determine The Cause: For years, I had unexplained feelings of fear, anger, depression. I didn't know if I was becoming manic-depressive or I was being attacked by evil spirits. It was weird. If someone happened to be discussing something controversial with me during one of these times...Watch Out! It wasn't pretty. A few years ago, I found out I have Adult Onset Diabetes. Guess what happens when your blood sugar levels get out of whack. Mood Swings! My emotions weren't due to some mental disease or psychological disorder, it was diet. Now, when those fears come over me I understand them, which makes them, and me, a lot easier to live with. What's the point? See a doctor! Find out if there's a physical cause. Is there a family pattern? Are there "triggers" in your diet, conversations, thoughts, relationships, TV programs, seasons, weather? Was there a traumatic experience in your past that establishes your fear today?
When I was a child, my brother came into our dark bedroom and threw something at me. 10-15 minutes later I felt something crawling on my face, grabbed it, and held it up to the light from an open doorway. As I began to make out the shape of a long-legged spider, still wiggling in my hand, I threw it and screamed so loud the whole house woke up. It's no surprise I have a fear of spiders. I'm still a little fearful just retelling the story of something that happened about 45 years ago.
This is how fear can have far-reaching effects. This fear almost caused a traffic accident last year, when I was driving back from a visit to the country and saw a spider on my leg. The effects of fears-phobias can be crippling to the sufferer and can harm those around them. At 50 MPH, with my wife and her parents in the car, I almost lost control. Some cousins of ours made a pile of money in business and retired at age 40 to live out their dreams of getting a travel trailer and visiting the whole country. Unfortunately, she had a mild form of phobia that allowed her to attend family events and go to the store, but to never leave the house unless it was necessary. For 30 years, they have been trapped in the prison of her fear. How many things have we allowed fear to damage or spoil? How many dreams have we said 'no' to because of phobia? How much of life are we missing because of our imagination? How can we get our lives back?
Decide The Controls: Most fear problems developed over years and may take years to fully resolve. While we're working toward the solution, we need tools to manage and control the problem. These tools could range from drugs for the most severe cases of phobia, to mental discipline, diet, exercise and relaxation techniques for the most common fear problems. About 2,000 years ago, a guy named Saul of Tarsus wrote this remedy for anxiety: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things...and...peace will be with you."
Deploy The Solution: Be
cautious about anyone who claims they
can solve a serious fear problem in a
matter of days or weeks, with a book,
pill, seminar or tape series.
These things are great for learning
management and control techniques or
therapies to treat the symptoms. But,
unless your problem is caused by a
vitamin deficiency or something similar,
science has little to offer in the way
of a cure. Fortunately, we don't
have to rely totally on science.
As we discussed, fear can have many
causes; physical, mental, etc. If
the solutions you're being offered only
manage the symptoms, try looking one
more place for a solution. It's
the place I found my solution. A
2,000 year old document claims a curious
solution to fear...is love. It
seems to make sense. Fear focuses
on me: Will I die? What will I
look like? Will I get sick?
Love focuses on others: What do they need? How do they feel? How can I help them?
We can depend completely on this solution to our fear, because it doesn't depend on us to somehow generate the love. It depends on the one who said, "I won't give you fear, but power, love and sanity." It comes from God. Do you want help from God to get past your fear and live in peace? "Yes, I want help from God."
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