Afraid, that is a word that needs exploring…

“Is there anything happening around you that makes you feel anxious or afraid”?

As a person that suffers from anxiety, this question seems laughable…what doesn’t make me feel anxious?…That would be a much shorter list. But afraid, that is a word that needs exploring…

I wonder what the difference between afraid and scared is. I am scared of a million things, like spiders and ticks for instance. The way I’m understanding it though, is that “afraid” implies a constant or long lasting state of worry that may not have been triggered by any particular event. Scared implies more of a reaction to an actual happenstance.

For instance…I am scared of spiders, meaning when I see one, I recoil, scream like an infant that cannot express his discomfort or pain, and find the nearest person available to kill it. If no one is available and I have to rely on myself to do the killing…I assume from the outside looking in this looks a lot like a Three Stooges episode, audio and all. Once the massacre is over, for the most part, the fear is gone. I am no longer scared..

Afraid, I believe, is a fear of the unknown. I’m afraid of predators potentially trolling over my grandsons. I’m afraid that my husband’s diabetes will lead to serious health implications that may render him debilitated. I’m afraid that another one of my loved ones could be involved in a tragic car accident. Things that haven’t happened, I don’t physically see them happening, but they are not outside of the realm of possibility, those are always lingering in my head.

I think scared is a reaction to something you see, afraid is a reaction to the potential threat of an event that could happen.

Anxiety…I believe has nothing to do with thoughts…it’s a feeling that we put thoughts to. It’s the constant turning of my stomach, the pressure on my chest causing shortness of breath. The tightness in my shoulders and neck. Nothing provokes it, it’s just there. I remember someone telling me once “there is a difference between feeling anxious and having anxiety”. To feel anxious is in response to something happening, maybe you see potential danger, maybe your spidey senses are going off, maybe your empathy meter is red-lining for someone being bullied or made fun of. To have anxiety, that is 24/7, in response to nothing in particular but rather, everything all at once.

This is why I have to be in a constant state of prayer. God always provides me with the strength to overcome…(if God is not a word that sits well with you, please rename it, please don’t leave before finish this). We’ve all heard Queen Elsa belt out “Let it Go”, which, yes, she is totally right…BUT…we need detailed instruction, or at least I do. How do you let it go? Most people will tell you, “you just do it, you just let it go”. Ummmm, ok…that’s like me saying to someone who wants to learn a haircut…”just cut the hair”. We need deets!

I want to circle back to the question, “what makes you anxious or afraid”? I can honestly say…hand to God…very little. Although I have constant anxiety, there is nothing causing that except some kind of faulty internal wiring. What am I afraid of, honesty…nothing. What am I scared of…how much time you got?….spiders, snakes, any kind of creepy crawly things, loud noises, dark rooms, confined spaces, raw chicken, and lists of other things… but afraid, no, I am not afraid of anything…because I have LEARNED to give it to God…this was not a decision, it was a series of actions, a process.

This whole revelation reveals one thing…language needs to be explored. To look at this question at face value, I could have come up with hundreds of things, but understanding the difference between what it’s asking me and what I think it’s asking me are light years apart.

What I have learned from this whole thing is that, in this moment, my faith is strong. This invigorates me, gives me amazing confidence, and eases some of my anxiety aka faulty wiring.

I encourage you to explore words! I encourage you to follow that feeling inside of you that I know as the Holy Spirit. There was a time that those words “Holy Spirit” made me sick to hear…if that is where you are at in your walk right now…call it gut, intuition, Bob…whatever you want, but follow it.

It’s when we ignore that guidance that things go awry and we become anxious, afraid, and eventually, depressed…which I believe is where Hell actually exists. I don’t believe hell is only where a soul goes after the body ceases to function. I believe Hell exists in the here and now…listening to the inner guide is your escape rope…use it.

Xoxo, Gina