"Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me, DANGER is very REAL but FEAR is a CHOICE." -Will Smith
I’ve been ruminating, focusing, meditating, living, and breathing this quote recently. See, I struggle with fear. I’m not sure that this is a new issue for me really, but it is more consistent now. Or maybe I’m just more aware of it. At one point recently it was fear that kept me going each day. I woke up and would move from surviving one fearful moment into the next. I’ve developed “protection” against some fears.
An example of this would be that I use a shopping cart in any store I go into even if I don’t need it. This gives me a feeling of safety and protection from my personal space being invaded by others. I refused for over a year to drive my husband’s car because I was too afraid I would do something and hurt it. My mind is a constant battery of worries and fears. But that is all they are.
Fear is not real. Danger is real and that is the difference I’m focusing on when my fears pop up. “Am I in danger?” “Is this a danger?” I’ve stopped asking myself about the fears, I know they can’t hurt me and I’m slowly but surely overcoming each fear. Some I have to face daily but others I’ve been able to beat back with the reality that they are lies. I drive my husbands car and I drive it like the racecar it is because I am strong, brave and not in danger so I have nothing to fear. I still use carts at the store when I’m alone because I’ve not been able to fully overcome that barrier but I’m getting there. My mind still swirls with worst case scenarios, night terrors, day mares and pulses with fear but I’m developing my ability to recognize danger over fear. I’m winning a battle at a time and I wanted to share all of this to point out that the fears we feel are creations and if we can learn to recognize the dangers we can overcome anything we fear.
Sarah Deats is the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer. Her goals are to make a connection with everyone that she can while building community, spreading hope, and sparking change. She believes that while life may not be easy, it is never lived alone.