Have you ever worried about your family member’s safety? How about really concerned for your children’s education? Or may be anxious about a sick and elderly parent? Chances are you do face some form of fear, anxiety and worrisome. Yes. You’re right. Having fears is a natural part of life. Fear enables us to be careful and not subject ourselves to danger. However, fear turns out to be unhealthy and undesirable when you allow it to take control of the way you live your life or relate to others. In fact I have seen many cases where fear has so gripped the person’s life and emotions that he is totally “paralyzed”, it means his mind goes completely blank and he cannot make any normal decision in that situation.
I would like to share with you two very common fears happen in families. From the examples you could chose to react to your fear positively or the other way. Are you ready to look at them?
Fear No. 1: The Straying Partner
You love your spouse. The last thing you want in the family is infidelity. You are so caught up by your fear that your partner is cheating on you. Although you cannot find any solid proof, you’re psychologically convinced that he or she has cheated you. You are suspicion of your spouse because you see your body weight going up and up each year. You’ve lost the beautiful bodyline that once admired by many.
Facing your fear:
In the example above, you can overcome your fear by separating the truth from the lie. You need to understand that it is not your partner’s disloyalty that has caused this fear. It is most likely the consequences of your bringing up which creates a deep sense of insecurity within you. Even though your spouse may need to learn the art of giving more affirmation and assurance to you, it is unwise to push all the responsibility to him or her. You have to make a good decision to face your fear squarely.
We will look at this scenario closely. Try to consider two different reactions that the super sensitive and suspicious spouse can have and make a conclusion for yourself later.
You need to stop accusing your spouse of straying or cheating on you, especially when you have no proof whatsoever. Continue to do so creates a longer term problem and your spouse can find you totally non sensible and nuisance. Instead you’ll sit down with your spouse and ask them whether they’re unhappy with your weight gain. You share your feeling of self-conscious about your looks honestly with them. This will help them to understand you better and allow communication channel to flow freely. A very positive move that you can do is to enroll in a weight loss program to boost your self-esteem.
What do you think of this reaction? I’m sure you agree that this is a positive and healthy reaction. You are facing your fear squarely and addressing the true issue of your insecurity with your spouse. Your spouse’s behaviors may not change at all, but you’re changing your relationship with them and boost your self-esteem.
You get very nervous. You are so convinced that your spouse is cheating on you. You are highly suspicious of everything and start riffling through your partner’s belongings and spying on their messages, emails and Facebook interactions. In your desperation, you may find yourself naturally drive by their workplace at lunch time, hopefully you could catch their infidelity to prove your suspicion. After going through all these and you found no trace of your spouse’s straying, you continue to invade their space more and more.
What is your verdict on this reaction? You’re right. This reaction is unhealthy because your insecurities is taking over your life. You loose confidence in your body image, and subconsciously you are sabotaging your relationship by accusing your partner falsely. Imagine how your innocent partner will feel about your reaction? They have the right to be upset and even angry over your wrong accusation. This reaction will lead to bigger gap between your relationships with your spouse.
Fear No. 2: The Concerned Parent
Being a father, I understand how important your children to you. You love them so much that you cannot imagine how you will one day loose them. If you’re like me, some thoughts of tragedy cross my mind from time to time. The fear of loosing your children is very real for concerned parents.
Facing your fear:
In this example, again you need to have the courage to face your fear squarely. Youmay need to detach your emotions and consider the reality. The reality is no matter how much you try, it is impossible to shield and protect your children from the world. Over protection can create long term damage in your children’s personality. Your responsibility as a good parent is to do everything within your power and ability to ensure a safe environment for your children to enjoy life.
You take reasonable steps to ensure your children’s safety. You tell your children the standard daily safety precautions, such as crossing the street accompanied by an adult, don’t talk to strangers. If your children are to spend a night at a friend’s house, you have an extensive chat with other parents to ensure things are safe and well. If you’re religious, you can always pray for your children that God is watching over them while you cannot be with them 7/24.
It is purely good parenting that you are concerned with your children’s safety. However, it is also important to know that you cannot shield your children from the world by having them with you all the time. Your children will be deprived of many experiences which are essential for their growing up. You do your very best to ensure their safety.
You are so paranoid with your children’s safety that you do not trust anyone with their safety. Your children’s socializing circle is limited to cousins, family friends and neighbors whom you know very well. You rationalize your action by preventing something bad will happen to your children when they are outside.
Over protecting your children, disallowing them to make friends will have serious unhealthy impact upon their characters. Your children will find it hard to socialize naturally with people when they grow up. By limiting your children’s experiences of new things and new people can also harm their self esteem and their ability to be adventurous for success in the future.
Fear is natural in our daily life. We should not feel guilty when you realize that some unhealthy fears are inside you. The positive way of dealing with these fears is to face them squarely. When you are courageously facing the fears, you are then able to take positive steps in conquering them. Talk to matured friends who are close to you and find the right solutions. We want to live a vibrant and quality life, we do not allow fear to paralyze or take control over us. We may not have the strength to face the fears and deal with them, it is precisely in these moments of weakness that we cry unto our God. It is His words which say, “My grace is sufficient for you and my strength makes perfect in weaknesses.”