OK this is the one. This blog covers why I have been blogging. It was to try and externalize this dodgy period in my life and thus try to help others by recording what has been happening and why. On my dog-walk today one answer came to me with power and simplicity, and the answer is – FEAR.
The whole thing is based on fear. Fear of many things. Panic is clearly based on fear, anxiety I believe is also based on fear, and ‘general anxiety’ is based on chronic fear. What is confusing is that general anxiety often cannot be linked back to any one specific fearful thing and so it becomes bizarre and freaky and uncontrollable.
What do we have to fear? Well surely there are a myriad things we are all frightened of to some degree. Fear of losing health or of dying or being injured. Fear of losing employment or usefulness in our daily life. Fear of growing old and of moving from one stage of life to the next. Fear of changes in our relationships. Fear of being lonely or isolated or emotional suffering. Fear of losing contact with friends or relations. Fear of events in the world causing us pain or distress. Fear of making mistakes or of spoiling our reputation under the gaze of others. Fear of being afraid! You will be able to think of any number of fears that are most relevant to yourself. Isn’t even daily common-garden worrying is based on fear of the wrong outcome of an event or plan.
This fear, unchecked can take over our lives and it gives birth to anxiety. The chemical imbalance this produces is a symptom rather than a cause. So what is the solution? Pretty obvious really – do not be afraid!
Easier said than done, but is there a really good reason why we should not fear? Well it depends what you believe. If you believe we are merely star-dust blown across the annals of the cosmos then you should not be bothered by fear, presumably it is a logical evolutionary process? But if you believe God is your God then hear him say “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Here the call to courage is supported with a very good reason, God is with us!
Moreover he tells us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” so the believer knows that switching away from the fear of things and to fear of a loving and gracious God is both smart and therapeutic!
Now if I can only remember that!