Michele Corgiat
marriage and family therapist
Fleeing the Fear
by Michele Corgiat on August 19th, 2017

I have a habit... as I know many do.  One of the first things I do in the morning is get out my electronic device and check my email, Facebook, news, etc.  I'm not even out of bed, but I am preparing for a stressful day because of what I am looking at online.   I am commonly met with news of  tragedy, violence, hurt, rhetoric, and frustration.  Although my body may still be waking up, my mind begins to race, and my emotions become ajar.  I feel anxious, angry, and downright emotional.  I then lie there and ask myself, "why did I do this to myself?"    The answer to that is actually pretty complicated.  

We live in a culture that loves to be afraid.  How many have paid your hard earned money to go to a scary movie?  A whole bunch of you did!  The horror film industry raked in $413 Million dollars in 2012!  We tell ghost stories as children at sleep overs.  As adults we are always planning for the worst case scenarios.  We live on fear.  We are being shown graphic issues by the media that brings the worlds ugly into our lives and our fearful natures feed on it.  Some become emotionally motivated to take a stand, while others want to go back under the sheets and hide.  For those who are taking a stand, they often mock and criticize those who don't. Social media has blown up in the past year over these issues.  Families not speaking to one another, friends have walked away from lifetime relationships. Life is hard enough without walking away from the people we love and love us because of politics, social views, or differences of opinions let alone fear.

So people....Let's get a handle on this!!!!  Let's walk a different path.

I choose to flee from the fear.  My emotions tell me I need to "fight or flight" when I'm fearful. Maybe I need to stop listening to the fear and start listening to the facts.  
  • Fact: Political Rhetoric has been happening for what seems like FOREVER.  Why are we really getting our panties in a bunch because our current President tweets?  Is it stupid?  YES.  But do I need to get emotional about it? NO.  Do we have a president that everybody likes?  NO.  Did everybody like the last president or  all of the presidents prior? NO.  Does somebody like him? YES.   Has he made some political moves that people don't like?  Yes.  Could he make any decision that will be healthy for our country?  Only time will tell.  There seems to be a whole lot of criticizing and finger pointing between parties but that too is not a new development in the political field (go see Hamilton).  So again, do I need to get fearful? NO.  I will not be unaware.  I will not be naive.  But I choose not to fear the unknown.  I choose to not attack others with different opinions than I. I choose to love my neighbor.  I choose to love my friends and family.  I choose to most importantly, love my God and follow his leadership. 
  • Fact: There are some crazy world leaders with nuclear capabilities.  There have been crazy leaders for at least the past 2000 years.  (Read about King Harod some time.  He was pretty crazy) There have been nuclear capabilities for the past 70 years.  I choose not to live in daily fear because should something happen, I DON'T HAVE CONTROL EITHER WAY!!!!!  Take it as it comes and have some faith.  I personally believe that should I die, I will be in far better place. Whether I die from old age, falling down some stair (totally possible for me), or from a nuclear or zombie apocalypse, my destination will be the same. I don't necessarily want to die in the next several days, but should I, I know it's part of God's bigger plan...and who am I to question God?
  • Fact: (this one may get me into trouble) Racial tensions, crimes, prejudice, and injustices are real but NOT by everyone.  We have been watching the emotional tensions build and explode.  I read and listen to people rant about the injustices and I know that for many, their experiences have been upsetting, unjust and sometimes tragic. Let's, however, not generalize to "all whites" , "all blacks" , "all hispanics", "all middle-easterners" or "all cops".  Let's stop the finger pointing and get to some core issues.  In social science, we look for trends and patterns in behavior, cultures, and social influences in order to attempt to predict behaviors. Research is showing us that a common thread to many of the issues that seem to be plaguing minorities is the disintegration of the family unit.  NOT AN EASY FIX!  But, if we can be targeting our energy and resources toward the problems instead of fighting and fearing the symptoms, maybe we will have more success in finding peace and strength within our country or at least, within our homes.
There are so many other issues to fear but I choose to look at the facts and not get wrapped up in the emotional draw of these situations.  Honestly, media likes to pull on your heart strings and emotions.  Be wise when listening to the news.  Remember, their ratings are based on you not turning the channel, so they will feed your fear as to hook you into their programming.  It's not personal, it's business.    

I invite you all to join me in making a few key choices.   Choose wisdom over the emotional tsunami's that come our way in today's world.    Choose faith,  choose hope,  and choose love.  

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