There are so many “what ifs” that we contend with every day. What if a bus hits me? What if I get in a car accident? What if the plane I am on crashes? What if I get ZIKA virus? What if I get bitten by a tick and get Lyme disease? What if somebody breaks into my house? What if my neighbors are looking into my windows? What if someone doesn’t like me? What if I offend someone? What if the wrong candidate wins the presidential race? What if the wrong country takes over all international trade? What if the polar ice caps melt? What if strip mining destroys all the forests? What if I have bad breath and underarm odor? WHAT IF???!!!
We live in a culture of fear. Fear is used as a tool to get page views, TV program viewers, advertiser dollars, and most of all to get you to buy things.
“If you use body lotion on your face, the skin of your face will become…” What will it become? Skin?
“If you do not buy this home security system, burglars will choose your house instead of your neighbor’s house…” According to whose statistics? And you think thieves are really afraid of a cardboard sign and some rent-a-cops?
“If you eat a conventional apple instead of an organic apple, you will get cancer and die!” Nope. No you won’t.
“If I let my child go anywhere or do anything by himself, he will get abducted and/or ruin his own prospects for his future…” If you never let your child learn independence, and street smarts, and how to manage himself, you might end up with an adult child depending on you.
“If I wear the wrong shoes to this wedding, everyone will think I am a dork and that I don’t have any money to buy shoes…” So what? So what if they think you’re a dork with no money? If that’s all they have to think about, you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd.
The culture of fear is not reality. Reality is much higher, bigger, and more interesting than the culture of fear. If you’re tired of living in the shadows of all the what ifs, the only sustainable and effective option you have is to distance yourself from the what ifs and explore reality. Get to know yourself, get to know your soul and its Creator, and illuminate your corner of the world. Self-defense and activism certainly can help you to feel more secure — I’m not telling you to stick your head in the sand and become a defenseless victim — but you have to see them as part of a bigger picture. Do your part, and recognize what you do and do not have control over.
Exercise: Choose one “what if” that’s dogging you right now. Spend five minutes writing about why it scares you. Then spend another five minutes writing about why it is something you do not have control over. Record your answer in MyMLC.
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