There's no question that there's a lot of fear to go around right now in the world. Fear is a powerful emotion that can cripple someone, keep them from moving forward in their lives or even from getting out of bed in the morning. Some are afraid of unknowns, such as change or the future. But there's another side to fear.
Fear is capable of motivating someone to greatness; to take action. Fear is a chemical reaction that takes place within our bodies when certain emotions are triggered. When we realize what it actually is, we can choose how to respond to it.
The first step is to understand what it is that we're truly afraid of that's causing all the chemicals in our body to create that fight-or-flight feeling in our stomachs. What are the unknowns or changes we think will be required that are generating these feelings? What are the possible outcomes that are so scary about the situation? Fear lets us know that there is an unknown ahead; that we feel unsafe; that there might be a chance of being hurt physically or emotionally. Therefore, fear in itself is quite helpful if kept in perspective. Fear in animals keeps them safe from bigger, more ferocious predators.
So how do we move from a place of fear to a place of love with something we really have little control over? Start by separating yourself emotionally from the fear. Imagine it's something that can be held in one's hand and examined from all angles, like a rubber ball. Evaluate the reality of the situation. How big is it? What are the ramifications that seem to be so scary? Are they real or is it the fear itself that's generating the emotions and chemicals happening? What are the potential outcomes of the decisions one might make as a result? What will it take to carry out those decisions, and will it be worth it in the end? Once we have those answers, we can control what we can, and let go of the rest.
For a couple facing decisions about canceling their wedding to remove potential risk to family and friends, it might mean choosing to postpone their wedding and reception. For another, it might mean getting creative around the "how" they get married, and how others can participate in their joy. That couple may plan a much smaller wedding now, holding out for a few months to host a reception with everyone in attendance. Another couple may choose to elope, skipping the big wedding and reception altogether. Perhaps another couple might use technology to allow their family and friends to witness their joining together live or recorded, and find other creative ways for family and friends to celebrate with them. In each of these cases, the couple has chosen to move through their fear, finding a creative way to let Love still be celebrated, while making wise choices for themselves and their loved ones. Checking with vendors regarding cancellation/rescheduling policies may be the first step - eliminate the unknowns so one has the facts to make a better-informed decision.
This same type of logic can be used in other areas of one's life. Whether it's fear around a job, a relationship, a life change or something that might require growth, we can use the same principles to move through it. Let fear be a positive motivator in your life!
Rev. Ronnie was ordained in 2010 as an interfaith minister through The New Seminary, located in New York City. She is available to perform ceremonies throughout the United States, aboard ship or in other countries.