Confronting Your Fear

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Palm Sunday focuses on the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem at the end of his ministry. He does so on the unridden colt of a donkey. The foreshadowing provided in the Gospel narrative indicates that Jesus knew his fate and that he was committed to it. We know from the story that his death was not his end, but a step to something much grander.

According to the story, people cheered and spread garments and palm branches on the road as a show of support. Yet, a few days later, those same supporters would call for his death. Jesus was very much alone in this final phase of his earthly life.

What do we learn from this? The story depicts conviction and the absolute courage to uphold it. It is not likely that any of us will be confronted with the threat of death for our beliefs. We are, however, confronted with the fear of death, fear of change, fear of the unknown, or fear for no reason at all. Fear, in fact, is one of the most debilitating emotions that we harbor.

If it is true that we were not given a spirit of fear, then where does it come from? When you think about it, it comes from inaction. It rises in us over some situation, and we consider it a natural part of who we are. In dealing with fear, our focus is usually on the thing that sparks it, not fear itself. In the story, Jesus is proactive. He makes a choice that would provoke fear and then he confronts it.

How do we confront fear? In stillness, we release that part of us that is afraid. We recognize that this fearful self is not the real spiritual essence that we are. We want to die to this self, like the seed that dies to become the greater plant. An affirmation like this can be very helpful:

I was not given a spirit of fear. I now let go of this false self, this shadow of the powerful spiritual being that I am. I am confident. I am fearless. I am at peace.

When fear arises do not give it the opportunity to dominate your emotional state. Confront this fear until you put it behind you.

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