Sunday, November 30, 2014

Faith vs. Fear


I know that people probably get tired with me talking about anxiety...but.....I don't care. 
I saw this little "storyline" about anxiety and I thought...."yes.  yes this is me".  Anxiety, as I've mentioned before, is something I've struggled with since I was about 13.  That was when I had my first panic attack and I thought I was dying.  As I've gotten older I've started trying to figure out the "whys".  The thing is that most of those "whys" can never be answered.  So instead of figuring out the "whys" I decided to learn how to overcome it.  Experiences in my life have made my relationship with my Heavenly Father a strained one.  I would talk to him and then I would think...."ok I have this under control...I don't think we need to talk anymore".  As work got busier, church attendance became harder.  I started living my life with the thoughts that I didn't need to go to church.  I didn't need to read my scriptures or say my prayers.  I was fine.
I was not fine.  
I mean I wasn't going off the deep end or anything but I was apathetic.  And apathy is not living any type of fulfilling life. I was not fulfilled.  And dare I say....I was not happy.  In fact I was experiencing more consistent panic attacks than I'd ever experienced before. And it left me feeling empty. 
 So I did what every twenty-something does and I analyzed my life.  I took inventory of where I was at and where I wanted to go.  And I made a list. A list of things I wanted.  They included: love, contentment, peace, marriage and a family, healthy mind and body, and of course Beyonce fierceness.
So then I needed to figure out how to get there and I knew the answers.  I knew the answers all along.  They are what we call "primary answers".  Scriptures.  Prayer. Church.  
Why are the easiest things sometimes the hardest.  

The first conversation I had with my Heavenly Father was a big one.  And yes...there were tears.  As I continued these "small and simple things" I continually felt more peace and contentment in my life (check two off the list).  Because of this contentment I felt empowered to make other changes. I started changing my lifestyle and getting a healthier body (check), I started talking to a counselor to help with my mind (check).  That left love, marriage, and a family.  Well....marriage and a family involve another person so that made things trickier (turns out you can't make someone fall in love with you like in "Practical Magic"...sorry to ruin that for you).  But what about love? (the first person who can sing the next line of the song I just thought of receives 35 points to Griffyndor)

Love.  Love is often mistaken for romance and relationships.  If you only associate love with these two things I can promise you that you will never feel love or notice it in your life.  Trust me on this.  
The reason I know this is because it's exactly what I was doing.  I would have conversations with Heavenly Father asking "why?....why am I not worth being loved?  Am I not pretty enough?  Smart enough?  Why not me?"
Anxiety leaves you feeling unloved a lot of the time.  Not because you are but because that's what the thoughts in your mind tell you.  I was constantly searching for love.  It was all I wanted.  
I was having a particularly hard time with these thoughts and because Heavenly Father is much smarter than most of us give him credit for....He gave me something....He is amazing.
That something was a scripture.  
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

And I was blown away.  That is a lot of love.  The greatest kind of love.  A love that will never be matched.  In addition to that....think of the love that then, in turn, Jesus Christ has.  That he would then lay down his life, suffer unspeakable pain.  All for love.  Love of us.  Love of me.  ME.  Also in the book of John, Christ prays the most beautiful prayer to our Heavenly Father in our behalf (Chapter will change you).  Telling Heavenly Father over and over how much He loves us.  
He knows us.  Better than anyone knows us.  He knows our fears.  He knows our pains.  He knows the loneliness we feel.  He knows the feeling of being unloved but there He is.  There He is with a never ending, never failing, powerful love.  The kind of love we all dream about.  We already have it.  We just have to realize it.  
Since coming to this realization I can honestly say that my anxiety has been greatly reduced.  I haven't had a serious panic attack in months.  I life a full life, trying desperately to seize every moment.  I feel like the first twenty-something years of my life I was sleeping.  Now I am awake.  I am awake and happy living the best life I can imagine.  Love: check.
I am still learning a lot.  Every day.  I am learning new ways to make my life better.  I am still working towards goals.  Marriage and a family...they will come when it's time.  In the meantime I will continue to magnify this love that I have and share it with anyone and everyone.  Because it's the best!

And as for the Beyonce fierceness....I've got that covered.

P.S.  Here is a video that will make you feel even more of that love.  I's a thing.

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