My victory over the irrational fear of joy

As i write this post I find myself wringing my hands as I look back at all the various things I have done wrong and right. Some of what I did I know was completely right, while other things I at least fixed. Having been challenged over the last year on all possible levels I started believing that if something good happens you just have to be patient for your world to shatter into a thousand anguished filled pieces. This because that was my frame of reference, forced into my psyche by situations where every time something good happened the inevitable (at least, that was how I felt) heartache would follow. So let me share some of the things that happened in general terms so you can understand where I come from:

  • My marriage was doing well
    My wife passed away
  • My 4 month old baby was admitted to hospital (same day as one above)
    Found out our medical aid broker cancelled our medical aid after reading the facebook post from someone else about number 1, while my daughter was still in hospital
  • Found someone
    Realised I was being manipulated, used and emotionally crushed, hence the end of that
  • Went for checkup at the dentist
    Was there off and on for 4 months as fillings broke, sometimes twice in a week
  • Helped a new author from Bosnia to publish his first book and carried most of the big costs
    Found out he has been bad mouthing me in the author groups I always frequented at other authors I really respect
  • The list goes on… But you get the gist of how insane my life got.

There was a time that I got so blaze about bad stuff happening I kind of accepted that bad things have to happen so I could get to the good. Very defeatist. Those who know me can tell you that giving up isn’t part of my DNA. I did get very damn close though.

Then I got better, through in all probability lots of prayer from the people I see as my parents, through a mentor and his wife praying for me all the way from Dubai and probably many other people I do not even know about. I came back to being me, being the man I was made to be before being sideswiped by outside influences. I realised my own worth in God’s eyes and that fundamentally changed how I viewed the world, how I interacted with the world and what my priorities and tolerance limits were for many things. I remember the day after I took the first step down the right path my father in law phoned me. Then a couple of things happened.

  • I lost in-laws and gained parents
  • I made decisions for my own best interests and gained so much blessing
  • From stepping back from the world I gained the courage to try and change it
  • I gave up on just wanting to love and be loved and gained a partner for life
  • Instead of being judged (even by myself) I found someone who accepts me as God does, with no judgement and incredible love.

For me this just goes to show how harsh life can deal with you and force us to focus on so many wrong things. Sometimes even in the guise of being “good” things. So my message today is about encouragement. I want you, wherever you are, busy reading this to take a moment. Sit back. Breathe and just think for a bit about what things or situations are currently driving your behaviour and actions. Are you acting out of a sense of what you decided on doing or are you being led by the nose? Is the effort you are putting in because you are running the rat race or is it for your own sense of accomplishment that you are expending energy?

The difference won’t be visible to people around you. The amount of effort you put into you career, house life and relationships probably won’t change. The difference will be your own internal sense of peace. For once (again, hopefully) you are striding down the road of your life because you are choosing where to place your feet and not because all you can see is the designated path expected of you.

Today I know that what happens in life, no matter how cruel, is just life. We live in an imperfect world. Imperfect. That means our expectancies are irrelevant. Our dreams are just that, dreams. Stuff will happen that will completely derail you. That is normal. Once you accept this you can stop fearing what life can do to you. Fear in life is there because we fear the uncertainty of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Accept that your will face challenges, it might be absolutely horrible. But cling to this concept – nothing can ever, under any circumstance, take you from God’s hand. You will get through this portion of your life. He can take you to that place of peace that completely annihilates fear of the world.

Do the best you can, however and in whatever place you may be. Just make sure you know why you are doing it and that you are happy with your reasons.

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