FEAR By Belina Nassi Fruitman, LCSW, CAClll

Preface: My hope is that you will ponder and seriously ask yourself these questions below, it may give you hope.

In honor of the new year, let’s face our fear(s).  Many of us do not pursue our dreams nor passions due to fear.  What better time than now to face fear head on?  Why wait and live, both figuratively and sometime literally, in a “place of fear”.  Jack Kornfield, a great teacher and author says, “Fear is the cheapest room in the house, I’d like to see you living in better living conditions.”  So, where are you living?

If you are living in a state of fear, the cheap seats, then let’s talk about why you are scared or hesitate about change.  Are there any benefits to staying in the room called Fear?  If you see benefits like “avoiding possible rejection” or “safety around the status quo” or “staying intoxicated keeps me from feeling self-loathing”, please reconsider.  Instead ask “what if there is no rejection?”  Or “what if perceived safety is not safety but isolation and loneliness?” “What if sobriety enhances my life, gives me clarity, better relationships and productivity?”

What do you have to lose by trying to change your thinking which leads to changing a behavior?  One person recently told me that fear to her is “dread”.  Dreading what?  If we dread something do we have the power and control to alter that dread? This is when we ask our self “what can I control here?”   Is it better to live with dread or fear than take a relatively small step towards change?  A small step could be when one with Agoraphobia goes to the front porch for the newspaper or to get the mail.  Or when one struggles with fear and social anxiety attends a book club once to see how he feels there.  Or it is committing to sobriety one day at a time to see how that feels and how that alters one’s relationships.

In John 4:18 of the Bible (18 in Hebrew means life by the way) it says, “there is no fear in love but perfect love drives out fear.”  So please consider loving yourself enough to drive fear out of your life and face better living conditions.  You deserve it.