N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “Fear and Anxiety

FEAR or COURAGE?

Are you killing your inner-self? I can hear it now…”What in the world are you talking about?” I’ll explain.

This morning I read an article sent to me by the Blue Zone, which addressed something similar to this question. It was written by Richard Leider, founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company. I would like to share, in part, some of this with you. (The full link can be read by clicking his name.)

But first, have you had these thoughts in the last few months?

  • I don’t see anything in the near future, but mostly staying at home.
  • If I leave my house to shop or eat out, I might come back with the virus.
  • Should I even give a hug/or kiss to a family memberor refuse a handshake to a person who offers it?
  • What if I need to go out of state, would it be worth it?
  • If I am invited to someone’s home, should I take the chance of going?
  • What would I do if a mob should surround my car or harass me in a public place like I’ve seen on TV?

These are only a few things that may have been in your brain that has basically caused you to put your life on hold. I know many of these same questions have crossed my thoughts. I found out that the virus could be a definite trigger that stops our growth as human beings. It is then up to us to mentally decide if we are going to allow this to happen to us.

According to Richard Leifer, you have stopped living and your life is on a plateau…not moving forward…in limbo because of a “trigger.”

Before the virus and a loss of much of your freedoms, things were moving along…and forward and then it happened (the trigger)…you hit the plateau. Everything seemed to stand still. Nothing was what it used to be.

Leifer says: “…things seem like they’re under control. You have good work, good health, enough money, a solid base at home, a network of friends and colleagues with whom to share your life. At times like these, you may actually feel like you do have this whole thing figured out! Or at least you’re satisfied with the way things are.But then, inevitably, a trigger knocks you off the plateau; you leave the flat area and take a turn into a new zone, limbo.”

What exactly is a “trigger?”

…a trigger is a wake-up call—a conscious choice or an external event that disrupts the comfortable status quo of our lives. It’s a moment when the game changes, and we have to adapt to the new game.

“Triggers can be positive but most often are negative. Of course, the pandemic, economic recession, and racial unrest are all triggers. In addition, there are the personal triggers:

  • Do you know someone you care about who has just heard from a doctor with an uncertain medical diagnosis? You are concerned.
  • Do you know people who have lost their jobs after decades of stability? They don’t know which way to turn or where to start, and you share that anxiety with them, wanting to help but not knowing how.
  • Do you know someone who has been caught by surprise by an unexpected death or divorce? All of a sudden, the stability of a long-term relationship has been replaced by the unfamiliar, unwelcome experience of learning how to live alone for the first time in a long time.

These are the moments when we feel like our lives are out of control.”

If we could say “YES, MANY OF THOSE ARE MY THOUGHTS” to any of the questions given above…you may be in a limbo state and that is not comfortable.

What is a LIMBO STATE?

Being in limbo is all about learning to cope with the “in-between times.” As a result of a trigger, we’ve ended one period of stability or even one phase of life, and looking forward we don’t yet see another one beginning. We’re forced to live in the question “What’s next?” The door behind us has closed, and we haven’t seen the new doors that lie ahead. Or sometimes, although we see the new doors, we’re not yet ready to make the choice to open them.”

We are often thinking how things used to be before the virus hit and everything changed. Our country, as a whole, has been put into a spirit of fear.

“Being in limbo can be scary in the way uncertainty often is. It feels like being between two trapeze bars – hanging on to one while seeing or reaching for the other with no safety net. And it can be even more debilitating. Limbo can become a form of resignation, a kind of prison sentence to accept the way things are as the way things have to be.”

Am I in limbo?

THIS IS WHERE WE ASK OURSELVES…do we plan to live our lives in this isolated prison? Many say, “Hell NO!”…and take no precautions, which may not be smart thinking.

I’ll give an example from our recent experience to moving forward. My husband and I felt like we just needed to get out. We decided to go for a lunch together at a restaurant that we know is careful about social distancing and sterilizing tables. We chose a time early before the lunch crowd arrived. Wore our masks until we ate…and had a very nice lunch. Another example is that a friend of ours ask us out to their house for a meal. They have not been sick and neither have we, so we accepted their gracious invitation. Both couples are extremely tired of isolation and we have made a decision to go forth with our lives…carefully and thoughtfully. There could be more illustrations, but everyone has their own decisions to make on what is proper for them and their family.

Making these small, forward moves brings us one step further OUT OF the limbo state and a beginning to climb out of the plateau flatness of life. Probably the most profound thing that Richard Leider wrote is the following:

“The worst-case scenario for those who succumb to limbo is “inner kill”—the condition of dying without knowing it. People with inner kill often feel that they either don’t have enough or aren’t good enough. They get stuck living in comparison with others or with some idealized, unattainable version of themselves.You have inner kill when you’ve stopped maturing, growing, or ripening, and, when you’ve given up on yourself, or when you find yourself always taking the easy, safe way. ”

As far as our virus concerns and isolated living, we may fit into what he said by comparing what we are doing to live through this time as to what others are doing. Did you ever say, “Look at those people…they aren’t wearing masks…or they are standing too close to someone!!” I am guilty because I am concerned…but does that help? The answer is “NO.”

We must remember that people will make their choices and we have to make ours. There is no way under heaven to control the masses…or an individual. The media, especially at this pre-election time, will be certain to point out what society should be doing or fails to do. Those who speak for medicine often change their thoughts from week to week. That is because everyone, including these experts, are still trying to figure things out. Nothing will be fairly stated online or on media because of varied viewpoints…so why listen?

Therefore, once again it is up to us to do the best we can with what knowledge we have. Of course, being bombarded day to day doesn’t help in the “out of control” feelings that most have…when they see society out of control. A limited amount of this permeating into our brains might be a good idea.

Leider leaves us with a good challenge: The question isn’t whether we’ll be hit by triggers or get kicked into limbo. We will—all of us, at every phase of life, in all kinds of ways. The question is how we’ll react when triggers come, and we find ourselves in limbo. Do we retreat? Or step into the uncertainty? Respond out of fear? Or move forward with courage?

The Holy Scriptures gives us this a blueprint for living a life without fear and full of courage.

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7


THE HUMAN MIND….GOD’S GIFT

Our minds are a controlling factor to our emotions, critical thinking and ultimately…our actions.  It has come to my attention recently that we are rarely in control of our minds…even if there are millions of cells making up our every thought. By the very nature of our modern society, we are allowing this.   Why is it that we should give over to others to program into us what our minds will retain?  Am I saying that we should “stick our heads in the sand?”  Not at all.  We do, however, have choices.

science of connecting cells

We are influenced by what we hear and see. Most every household has a TV that is turned on hours upon hours of the day.  People who are alone, especially the elderly, use the TV to give them company.  Depression can set in rapidly in these cases.

The people who spend much of their time watching and listening much of what is programmed today are allowing themselves to be conditioned into a type of mind control. A steady dose of truths…or lies are being filtered into our brains that are becoming part of our very being.

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What was it like before TV?

A city life in past history would be filled with noises, the smell of the deli down the street, a woman hanging out her clothes from a window, as she calls to a neighbor on the street.   The loading and unloading of produce or goods for the stores would fill the air with noise. old time market place A person would move around these things, filtering out what they wanted to be around or what they wanted to hear. Life could get tough in a crowd, but this would be the learning of “street smarts.”

In the country, a person may get up early to milk the cow. A mother starts making her bread and encouraging a young one to do their chores. Life would surround a person with the clinging of the cow bells, the birds in the trees and the cat or dog that moved around the barn.  Life was simple and calm.

farm life2

When the industrial revolution hit our world, many things changed.  People moved out of the country to find good jobs. Life became more complicated and people were on the move.  Almost everything became a faster pace. The automobile was invented…and the wife/mother moved from baking bread to the TV dinner.  Basically, life would never be the same.

Ships and airplanes moved us around the world. Our sense of security was shattered as enemies became not only domestic, but foreign. Our minds and hearts were broken with two world wars and continued fighting around the globe throughout the decades.  Fear had become a mind set…as it continues today.

TV watching

The mind has a hard time catching up when it is inundated with other people’s beliefs to what we should be and do. The real term is propaganda and we fall for it. We are made to feel less of a person if we disagree with the norm. Our young people “can’t live” without the best kind of shoes or cell phone.  God never intended for us to store all these thoughts of inadequacy in this great gift He has given mankind.  The mind is an incredible thing. We may feel like we have no control over everyday life that enters its billion cells, but we do have to a great extent.

This may be the primary reason that we will have to make decisions for ourselves. We can CHOOSE to turn off the TV more hours of the day.  It may also be a time where we deliberately look for uplifting stories or documentaries that give us encouragement rather than despair. It is really our choice, but we are addicted. Why do I say “addicted?”

Just try to change the routine that you have become accustomed to for year after year.  It is hard to make a change, but your mind and emotions may be saved grief, depression and more if you decide to make some changes. I speak from experience.

It is only natural to want to tune in to who has committed the most damage in one of our big cities…how many more cases of virus are killing our people…or what is happening in politics? It all is becoming TOO MUCH! Our minds are tired.

It is only natural also for families to use TV…with all its junk as a babysitter.  Just think what those little minds and hearts are absorbing!

A doctor friend told me recently that he tuned in with his toddler to one of the kid’s programs on TV and saw that even tiny children are being indoctrinated about sexual life styles as being just fine. Isn’t a parent suppose to decide what is good for their child?  He was shocked…as should be all parents who take the time to pay attention. The young mind is eager to absorb.

tv family watching

So what do we do?  We first of all must be deliberate in our decision making for ourselves and our families.

I remember something I noticed while visiting a family one time years ago. There was a teenage son…or perhaps early teens…who was sitting and reading. I asked his mother what he was doing and she said that he was suppose to read a chapter in Holy Scripture each day before doing anything else.  At the time, I thought that was a strict requirement.  Yet, that parent was giving a young mind a discipline that perhaps he would follow the rest of his life. Whether he understood its importance at the time, may be questionable…but he was exposed to the commands of God for a good and happy life.

God has told us to raise up a child in the way that he/she will go and when they are old, they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)  For those who have tried to do this, we are praying and believing His promise. It may be that we will not know or even see the fulfillment in our lifetime. Yet, we can trust.

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What actually does the Holy Scripture tells us about things that we find ourselves thinking about…perhaps over and over?  We need comfort today and for the future…and here are a few words from God to give our minds just that:

ABOUT ANXIETY

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

Bible reading

ABOUT FEAR

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

bible reading older lady

ABOUT COURAGE

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

African American family

ABOUT HUMILITY

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7bible reading by child

 

ABOUT GOD’S SPIRIT

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

bible reading young woman

ABOUT PROTECTION

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day … Psalm 91:1-16

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Today….look at nature in God’s beautiful world. See Him in the smile of a friend.  Do something you love to do.  Give your heart a fresh start in a new day that is only yours moment by moment.  Your MIND is your gift from God…PROTECT IT.

Video:  Turn up sound. Push red line back to start from beginning.