In today’s world, it can be incredibly easy to get caught up in many different kinds of fear. I’ve written about this before, but it’s come to mind again recently. As a preface, this is a vulnerable post that describes something I struggle with, so if you’re not up for that, it’s ok if you choose to come back tomorrow.
I feel like everywhere I turn there’s another advertisement for cancer care, another blog for someone who just found out they have cancer, or another charity event to raise money for (insert type of person) with cancer. It’s an incredible thing to see so many people rally to the cause and to see the positive effect it has on the people going through the struggle. (This doesn’t apply to just cancer — it can apply to many different topics, but this is one that hits home for me.)
All of these things can add up to be a bit overwhelming at times, especially for me. I’ve always been scared of getting sick — any kind of sick — and cancer is the ultimate form of getting sick. A billboard for cancer care burns a logo into our minds alongside an image of a family member, friend, or coworker we know or knew during their battle with the disease… Which makes it a powerful branding tool for those in the business of treating disease.
As I’ve grown older (perhaps this is a common occurrence), I’ve grown more aware of my mortality… Really, now that I think of it, I’ve been intensely aware of my mortality since a very young age. Seeing things like cancer care advertisements brings that awareness back to the forefront in the form of an intrusion into my psyche that I have not asked for. However, I know there are real people (a growing number) suffering from the disease and it’s a real possibility that many of us will face it in our lifetimes. Compared to their struggle, my fear is of relatively small importance.
So the question I’ve found myself asking is this: in the face of so much uncertainty, and even occasional fear, how can I remain positive, upbeat, and grateful?
One solution came to me as I listened to Episode 6 of the James Altucher Show with Dr. Wayne Dyer. In it, Dr. Dyer asserts that we invite into our lives the things we expect to come into our lives. The power of our mind is immense, and we control what we allow to control us.
As he made the comment, I came to a realization. One way to interpret the landscape I described above is to become fearful and shy away from reality as much as possible. Another is to embrace hope and be ever more grateful for every gift we’re given, whether the gift is related to our health, relationships, finances, career, or anything else.
Whereas an attitude of fear invites that fear into our lives and allows it to take over, an attitude of gratitude and optimism invites positivity into our lives. It allows us to support the people who need us (like those who may have been diagnosed with cancer, recently lost a job, or are suffering through some other challenge), while valuing every opportunity we have to create the life we want.
When we own the fact that we create our reality, it becomes much easier to let go of fear, express gratitude for every gift we have been given, proactively invest in the habits and relationships that create the reality we desire, and ultimately have faith in God that he’ll take care of us if we take care of ourselves.
When I change my outlook, it helps me change my actions, and vice versa. I believe I’m here for a reason. I believe God put me here and gave me free choice to act on my beliefs. And I believe that I have the opportunity to affect my future, today and everyday thereafter. But to do all of the above, I have to come from a place of hope and gratitude, not one of fear and anxiety.
I hope this post is a form of positive affirmation for you today. If you’d like to share fears you’ve had now or in the past, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.