For as long as I can remember, Halloween has been a holiday that has not been enjoyable. I avoid haunted houses, skip the scary decorations and even turn out the lights for trick or treaters. It just doesn't feel good to celebrate darkness.
Although the holiday has been over commercialized and wasn't intended to be about the dark side, the truth is, our society can be obsessed with extremes, and Halloween is no different. I've observed how scary movies try to outdo each other, adding new levels of fright to the big screen. In a world where art imitates life, it is curious how our society is willing to accept the presence of frightful things.
Flooded by Fear
I wonder if this gradual acceptance has translated into something more dangerous. Fear is on the rise, and of late, has reached almost epidemic proportions. This epidemic is wreaking havoc on civility, destroying our sense of community and crushing our hopes for the future. It's also become a weapon for politicians and an excuse for criminal and abusive behavior.
From my perspective, we are fully entrenched in an epidemic of fear.
Add to this Mothers Nature's merciless events over the last few years. Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, floods, and fires are now numbingly commonplace. Once nature's way of equilibrium, violent natural disasters are now thrust upon us at a frightening pace.
This natural destruction is matched only by sick beings choosing to destroy innocent civilians, with commercially available weapons that are designed with death in mind.
The fear epidemic is also fueled by maniacal dictators making threats daily, and political pundits stoking fearful fires through online and readily available social content. The political landscape, now a soap opera like experience, has unleashed deeply divisive beliefs that are now too obvious to avoid. This divisiveness is not JUST in our nation’s capital, but right here in our own communities, churches, schools and in some cases, our homes. The epidemic of fear is being used to divide us into good/bad, right/wrong and into “this” or “that” beliefs. None of which is solving any of the real problems from which the fears originated, by the way.
The truth is: fear, racism, and anti-Semitic, anti-anything (women, gays, religions, cultures, etc....) beliefs never went away. They were just hidden. As painful as that may be to accept...it is true.
What began as a cry for change, has become a stark revealing; a revealing of the fears that have been present all along. And this too, is cultivating the fear epidemic.
It feels as if there is much to fear. Most adults are feeling more afraid, not less, as the fear epidemic rips through our society. It's all becoming too much. It feels as if there is more pain than we can bear, too much to worry about, and too many that need help.
Freedom Over Fear
In a raging fear epidemic, where does one start to try to find peace and healing? The only place to start is INSIDE. We must first look inside at our own fears.
About 16 years ago, I made a huge commitment: rather than blaming my past or worrying about the future, I decided to face every fear, head on, one by one. I started with the simple fears, like fear of heights. Eventually, I worked my way through the more emotionally-entrenched fears, like fear of failure and the fear that I wasn’t good enough.
I'm grateful for this commitment to freedom over fear, not just because of how it's increased my success, but also because it has greatly enhanced my work. I am thankful that I chose to challenge every fear, because I am now immune to the epidemic of fear.
f you want assistance in identifying your fears and barriers, check out our Fear Of Assessment. I developed this tool after a decade of research on overcoming fear and achieving one’s potential.
Reversing the epidemic of fear starts with changing one’s perspective. There is ALWAYS good that can come from any tragedy, if we choose to look for it. Here are just a few things I see being born out of the Fear Epidemic:
- A multi-cultural, multi-generational community who is now awake, aware and engaged.
- A collective consciousness, inspiring us to care about all living things, all races, all faiths, all beings, as well as the planet these living things inhabit.
- A new type of spirituality that is segmented not by the religions that divide us, but rather the faith that unites us.
- A new type of power, which is driven by our internal guidance system, rather than the external power previous generations sought.
The truth is, there is nothing to fear. Only more hope, grace, love and peace to be ignited. A commitment to collaboration will overtake the societal clashes, and eventually conflict will cease.
Hatred is not to be feared, or ignored. For hate cannot heal hate; only love can do that. Love those who hate, while standing up to their hatred. We do not need to fight, we simply need to rise above and walk hand in hand with those who seek peace.
Let’s make a commitment to face the fear epidemic with the only medicine that can cure it -- faith. If we look at the world through these eyes we will see the power of God working through the hearts of people. It's there. Can YOU see it?
Let us indeed come together, accept the parts of us that need healing, pray for those who slip farther into the darkness, and move towards the light. The light of day. The light of love. The light of our higher power.
Only light can heal this darkness. Shine your light. Add light to the pain. Bring love to your battle over evil; lest we become what we hate.