“Stay near me, so I can protect you”, my husband said to me in the grocery store.
As we were shopping, I became angry and fearful when other people did not adhere to the 6 feet distancing rule. I kept darting around carts and got separated from him during our trip.
Weeks ago, the woman who had reminded her husband to show compassion and grace to others during this national crisis, had completely broken her own rules. I chose fear over trust, anger over kindness and let my emotions get the best of me.
Ever been there? Embarrassed and shocked at how you reacted? It happens to the best of us.
In last month’s blog post, I covered two strategies in Choosing Trust Over Fear During Crisis – Part 1: focus on the goal and believe in the impossible.
This month, I will cover two more strategies.
For us to choose trust over fear, we must remove negative thoughts and walk by faith, not sight.
I felt so vulnerable and broken that day in the supermarket. I was confused and scared to move.
It’s natural to question why things are happening when the whole world seems like it is falling apart. It’s also natural to be fearful about something we have never faced before, especially when a hug, a touch and kiss could make us sick.
We will all be faced with negative thoughts, we are human. But when they come, they don’t have to be a welcome guest in our house (our mind). It’s the dwelling on thoughts, the ruminating repeatedly on the negative thoughts that keep us discouraged. Recognize it, but let’s not let our thoughts stay there.
We are all faced with many choices. We can ignore what is going or get sucked into fear. The key is to be prepared and have a plan. Our family plan after that day was to stick together and to ask people to move back in a respectful way. We also decided that we could order our groceries online and pick them up if needed to relieve some of the stress.
When we remove negative thoughts, it is easier to choose trust over fear and see beyond our present circumstances. The second strategy is the result of removing negative thoughts; walk by faith, not by sight.
This strategy is based on a biblical scripture from II Corinthians 5:7 – Amplified version. It says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises).
When I was getting angry at people who were not social distancing, I was focusing my attention on the circumstances around me. I took my focus off the promises that God can protect me and heal me. Trust and faith cannot happen when I am judging other people and afraid of getting sick. I can only control my own emotions and not let what I see around me affect my believing. My husband prayed with me in the middle of the produce section. Then, I was able to extend compassion to others and myself. That is walking by faith, not by sight.
If we remove negative thinking from our lives, then positive thoughts like hope and trust can get in. Hope is seeing a better future way beyond what we see with our eyes. Trust is a result of removing negative thoughts and firmly believing in the reliability, ability or strength of someone or something.
How we react is a choice. What we believe is also a choice.
Let’s choose trust over fear during times of crisis and any other times negative thoughts comes our way.
Have there been times in your life when you got distracted by things going on around you?
What strategies have you tried that have worked for you in the past?
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