Dave Brisbin 5.17.20
As the outbreak crisis continues, fear is ramping up in us either directly or through its son and daughter emotions of anxiety, stress, anger, and depression, among others. It’s becoming painfully clear that our fear is now creating new problems and exacerbating others, which brought a quote to mind from another era: the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Franklin Roosevelt said that in his first inaugural address in 1933—another era, but as history always shows, one much like our own. It was the fear of the people that had begun driving the Depression deeper, and he was offering the hope of new solution and direction as a bridge to repairing broken trust. Fear is not an evil; it is the means by which we survive the clear and present dangers in our lives. But we need to determine that those dangers are clear and present and whether our fear levels are justified or becoming part of the problem. We can manage fear and use it to focus and motivate ourselves as long as we have hope and trust in the way forward. And ultimately, that means hope and trust in God and the unseen reality of life.

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Where is our FDR to show us the conviction and confidence we may have lost somewhere along the way? The great mystics and contemplatives, those who have had near death experiences, Jesus and Paul in the gospels and epistles all tell us the same thing. When life’s losses or we intentionally clear out, even momentarily, the thoughts and habitual thought patterns that carry our fear, we can again see what was always there, the ultimate truth of things: that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

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Everyone is recovering from something… Admitting this is the first step in spiritual life, because any unfinished business in our lives–trauma, unforgiveness, fear-based perceptions–fosters compulsive behavior and keeps us from connecting spiritually and emotionally.

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