Many Americans are riddled with fear as we head into a new year. Fear of COVID, which is now spreading like wildfire, fear of inflation, fear of missing out on the last roll of toilet tissue, should the supply chain go sideways again. So much to be afraid of, so little time – which begs the question: How can we end the cycle and fear not in 2022?
Recognize the Chains
Fear is essentially a form of bondage. It promotes a submissive spirit that has caused myriad issues these last couple of years as a worldwide pandemic raged – and just when we thought it would die, it raged again. It’s worth noting, as we enter a new year, what fear has wrought in our lives: more control by government authorities, fewer liberties, and to a large extent, separation from our social construct.
Senior editor at The Federalist, Christopher Bedford, put his finger on the trigger of this malady when he wrote, “The emergency is over, but neither our corporate media, our politicians, nor the bureaucrats will admit it. They feed on our cooperation to power their theater …” [emphasis added].
Is it time we stopped listening to the Faucis – and even the president, who has turned into the greatest ever pitchman for fear? Long gone are the days when Democrats like Franklin Roosevelt tell us there is nothing to fear. In his place stands another Democrat who tells us to beware of a “winter of severe illness and death.” How nice that we can enter 2022 with such sunny optimism from our leader.
It has been well established by now that fearing the Omicron variant of COVID is akin to being terrified of the common cold. This isn’t blind sanguineness; it is a fact. And yet we mask up as if the smallpox were ripping through our country, pre-vaccine.
Psychologists will tell us that fear carries emotions like worry and anxiety. Put all these feelings together, and one begins to lose a sense of self. So, we look to others to solve our problems and dig our heels more deeply into fear. We accept – and some even embrace – fear, unaware that this feeds its power.
What If …
What if we made a conscious decision to stop being afraid as we enter this new year? What ghastly thing would happen if we lay it down and say enough already? It is possible to permit logic to rule one’s feelings. In his famed inaugural address, FDR told us that there was nothing to fear but fear itself, but few have taken the time to note the words that followed as he labeled fear a “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Wow. That’s a lot to unpack. Certainly, 1933 was an excellent time to utter these words – but so is 2022. As a polio victim, Roosevelt knew a little something about illness and fear and what he’s saying here is that it can control us, or we can control it. Living in fear permits this useless emotion to cripple and rule over our lives and, in many ways, paralyze us.
Where to go for answers? Some might seek the therapist’s couch, others a good book. Still others seek solace from the good book. The phrase “fear not,” noted author Blair Parke, “is stated in the Bible 365 times, which, ironically, is how many days are in a year.” Like Roosevelt, David knew a little something about fear. In Psalm 34:4, he wrote, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” In the New Testament, we find a scripture in the second book of Timothy that is particularly uplifting. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Whether you consult the Bible is up to you, but it is worth recognizing that living in fear is a choice. So perhaps 2022 is a time to stop living with a paralyzing fear that carries with it nothing of value and choose to live with peace and joy, no matter your circumstance.
~ Read more from Leesa K. Donner.