War in Our Streets, War in Our Minds

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There is a war going on out there. Another policeman shot, another person unjustly attacked, another store burnt down, another riot, another looting spree. Death, destruction, mayhem. But the real war isn’t between blacks and whites. It’s not between law enforcement and citizens. The war is between us and our own fear.

This is a war that exceeds the current drama in the streets of the USA. This war has existed before the conflicts in the Middle East. We have been battling fear since the first time we tricked ourselves into thinking that something couldn’t be done; when we viewed the risk as greater than the benefit.

Every decision has consequences, and those consequences can be good and bad. For every choice we make, we must weigh the positives and the negatives. We must assess whether the risk of failing is greater than the reward of succeeding. It is a constant, daily struggle in our mind against a great enemy: fear.

Fear is “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined…” (Dictionary.com). A lot of things can create fear, such as past experiences, low self-esteem, and negative external feelings (from others). But we cannot control the factors that play into fear being created, we can only control how we react to that feeling.

Whether we listen to other people’s negativity, whether we tell ourselves that we cannot do it, and whether we dwell on the past; these are all choices that we can make when we confront fear. To learn that hesitation, anxiety, and apprehension do not have to be our reaction when making decisions can be liberating. To realize that we don’t have to view the world through a negative perspective can free us to move forward in our lives.

The world is seemingly in turmoil all around us, there are many things that we could be fearful of. But it doesn’t have to be that way! We can control our reaction to the emotion of fear. We can control how we move forward.

There are many who struggle with dread, anxiety, shame, guilt, hesitation, and a number of symptoms of fear, but by standing together we can lift one another up. Face the challenges together, find a “battle” partner. We are in a war, but we can achieve victory!

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