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Fear and forgiveness

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

For most of my life I was in fear. Everybody feels some anxiety about change for example, but deep rooted fear stemming from mistrust, is very likely to impact on our lives more so than healthy levels of anxiety will.

I think having an early onset of fear comes with a "confirmation bias" effect: we overly look for and find, things to be scarred of, rather than let things scare us on their own accord, as and when. Looking back at my own life, I think my paranoid illness, and the insight I lacked, was therefore no wonder.

A fearful person puts out signals such as guarded body language, and suspicious speech, or a lack of it. Some people are very receptive to these messages, and they know how to capitalise from people who reveal them. Without self-awareness, when we get scarred, we don’t know its root, how it’s not our fault (especially when an early onset is involved), and we failed to turn that fear into controlled anger, or another emotion we can more productively use.

Both fear and anger directly affect us: we feel both, and they may be unpleasant. Reiterating, some degree of anxiety is useful, but it's a fine line between feeling anxious and the related emotion of fear. John Lydon's autobiography is "Anger is an energy". Whilst anger can be positively channeled, its positive and negative sides lie precariously apart.

Here's where forgiveness comes in, because forgiving the people that took advantage of your propensity to be scared, and who you ultimately felt anger towards, helps to remove it. That's the link between fear and forgiveness. With this new tack, and insight, your fear should become less automatic too.

Whilst you needn't be a Christian, or a follower of any religion at all, St Matthew reported in chapter 6 verses 9 to 13 of his gospel, that Jesus told us how we should pray. The church based the famous Lord's Prayer on this. Following on from those verses is a suggestion: “if you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins." (CEB)

In line with my personal thoughts and interpretations, I think our heavenly Father forgiving us speaks volumes, because we are the heavenly Father! More so because my words draw again from John chapter 8. Verses 31 and 32 say, 'Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teaching. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”'

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