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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Facing (or Ignoring) Your Fears

Recently a popular author asked "what are you afraid of?"

Despite the dangling participle, it's a fair enough question.  Many people harbor fears, from spiders and clowns to intimacy and abandonment.  Some fears are momentary, like the millipede racing across the carpet, and some persist for years (like abandonment).

Recognizing what are fears are and how they effect our lives is important.  Becoming fixated on them could paralyze us further.

Here's Dooley.  Dooley is pretty terrified of thunder storms.  This is not an uncommon fear, and after some severe storms this past Spring, lots of local dogs developed them (and people too!).

Dog behaviorists recommend putting a dog with this problem in a room where they can not hear thunder or see lightning.  They also recommend that a dog's fear is not reinforced by constantly petting the dog and giving it lots of soothing talk. 

What works then?  There's a little something called a "thundershirt" that is effective in calming a dog's anxiety.  It's a snug fitting shirt that basically lets the dog feel a light embrace.  In short, it gives them security.

Turning to God when we are anxious allows us to remember He is our protector.  He keeps us in the palm of His hand forever.  We may not be able to escape our fears, but He is with us through fearful circumstances.  He's sort of a spiritual thunder shirt.  Yet, isn't it good to remember we are held by the Mighty Creator?  Cast all your cares on him today.

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