I chose the title "Choosing Faith Over Fear" because honestly that is what saved me. There were several layers of my fear. Here's part one of my "Choosing Faith Over Fear" series that led to the life I have today.
Fear: Fear of Being Alone!
My relationships with my family and friends have always been extremely important to me, and I always have tried to make the ones I loved happy. It has always been my soft spot that somehow would shift my mood based on the conversation or situation. If I loved you, I would make it my personal mission to try to make you happy. I was the emotional dumpster for everyone and while they left the conversation feeling refreshed I carried the feelings around for days and sometimes weeks. I kept asking myself why was I so sensitive, why did I care so much? I had convinced myself that somehow if I could make them happy by listening to all of their problems, it would make their lives better, and in turn they would maintain a relationship with me. I felt like it was my assignment so I internalized their feelings of hurt, sadness and betrayal. They didn't want to hear my words of encouragement or realistic synopsis of the situation, no that would be too real, they wanted to just vent. I'm not saying it's something wrong with having someone that you can vent to however there is a point where you have to say "does this person deserve all of the baggage I'm leaving with them?"
My fear of my family and friends not loving me or being upset with me for not listening to all of their problems was holding me back from living a happy life. I realized that it was self-imposed fear. No one told me that I had to be their emotional receptacle, that was a role that I chose. I always answered the phone no matter the hour, I always listened even when I felt that they were being unreasonable, and I never expressed my feelings about how their negative energy was affecting my life. We can all handle an occasional "today was horrible" but the daily "my life sucks," "everyone keeps doing (insert word here) to me," or the infamous "if it isn't one thing it's a another" is simply unbearable. Something had to change!
Faith: Having Faith that my Relationships Didn't Depend on my Unhappiness
One of my favorite scriptures is Mark 4:40 "And he said unto them, 'Why are ye so fearful? how is that ye have no faith?'" How could this be that I was so afraid of being happy. I thought my relationship, family and friends made me happy, and that if I altered those relationships in any way that I would lose everything. See I had the fear of loneliness. As I read this scripture more and more, I kept reflecting on the context of the words. Jesus instructed his Disciplines to get into a boat to go across to the other side and then they were in a furious storm. Jesus was sleeping as the Disciples feared for their lives. They asked Jesus if he cared if they drowned and Jesus responded with those words. See I feared I would drown if I lost those relationships but I had to realize that the ONLY relationship that mattered was my relationship with God! I realized that if my relationships were conditioned upon me being the negative filter then it was better to limit or eliminate that relationship from my life.
I learned to defuse negative energy by not answering my phone (this is still a work in progress), shifting the conversation to a more positive tone, and valuing my inner peace over being a listening ear. Faith eliminates fear, and in every other aspect of my life I have confident faith. I had always believed that it would work out in the end hence why it simply didn't make sense why I allowed fear to control me in this circumstance. That lack of logic caused for change.
I encourage you to choose faith. To eliminate fear and take a leap of faith in whatever is in your heart. If you are afraid of being lonely remember that God will never leave nor forsake you, and that if you have faith you can find your happiness. Remember, people are attracted to negative energy but the right people are attracted to positive influences.
Stay tuned for part 2 of my Choosing Faith Over Fear series.
Forever Fierce Fabulous & Flawless!