Fear is Hard Work

Conquering fear is a full-time job

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” his words were meant to reassure us that everything would be all right, and we should not succumb to our fears. My friends, I don’t know about you, but I’m not nearly as afraid of the Coronavirus/Covid19 as I am of the news reports, uncertainty, and the unknown.

I have no problem staying in the house and working from home—I love that my weekly roundtrip to Nashville for work just became a trip from one end of the house to the other—the things I was unprepared for were the empty shelves and the mass panic that gripped every other person between the toilet paper and the milk aisles. Hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes disappeared like the morning dew and I still don’t know where to go to escape the germs.

It took everything I had Sunday not to hug every single person at church as is my custom—trust me, fist and elbow bumping were a sad substitute for hugs but since many congregations chose not to meet, I kept my hands and hugs to myself. As the death toll rises and the measures to protect us become more extreme with warnings of “the worst yet to come,” this is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

Here’s what I do know: yes, we must take precautions, but fear is not helpful. We must listen to the experts but press forward to get as much information as possible so we can make good choices.

Further, we must care for one another and share. Many nursing homes have stopped receiving visitors except in hospice cases to protect vulnerable patients. We must obey the rules and not endanger our loved ones. This may be the perfect time to send cards and make phone calls.

For sure we must wear protective gear where recommended, and since we’re staying home, this may be the perfect time for cleaning out closets, kitchen cabinets and bathroom drawers, organizing the garage, spring cleaning and washing windows—well, maybe not windows, but doing those chores that we always delay.

I believe when it’s my time to go, it’ll be my time to go, and until then I intend to live triumphantly! Fear is debilitating, crippling, unnecessary, unhelpful—we really can’t name one thing that fear is helpful for. Until we know how long the virus will be with us and how to protect ourselves from it, live like today is the best day of our lives. Live and laugh on National Let’s Laugh Day (March 19) and when spring makes its debut this week, rejoice and plant some flowers to enjoy this summer.

Find a perfect spot to admire and enjoy the beautiful budding trees and make plans for at least two gatherings of family and friends later when it’s safe.  Let’s not dwell on what we can’t do but what we can. Lend a hand to your neighbors and pick up something yummy at the drive-thru as has been suggested.

For the children who are home all day every day, help them use their imaginations to create activities instead of attaching themselves to electronic devices. Listen and hear how they’re feeling during this disruption –if we think it’s tough for us, just imagine what they must be feeling without their social circles and freedom.

I pray that this, too, shall pass, and like Ebola, SARS, AIDS, polio, flu, and other scary things, we will love more deeply, grow stronger, and live fearlessly on purpose.

Let’s discuss how to lead a fearless life at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

Leave a Comment