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F. E. A. R.

Fear can have several meanings. They are: implying anxiety and usually loss of courage such as the fear of the unknown; an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous and likely to cause pain or a threat; a mixed feeling of dread and reverence: the love and fear of God; a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone: These are but a few definitions.

F. E. A. R. = False Expectations Appearing Real is another interesting concept of fear. What you expect and what you hold in your thoughts or consciousness becomes your real experience or your reality. F. E. A. R. also implies fear or lack of faith and trust in the universe you are all a part of.

Everyone has experienced a fear or fears in their life. Many of you have conquered these fears. Some of the fears may not have been confronted. As a caregiver, I am sure you have all experienced a fear at one point of time during your challenging role. The exercise for this week is centered on your fears and issues that arise in your daily life. The most important issue of your fear to look at is(are) the one(s) that come up for you in caring for your loved one.

Take time to reflect on your past fears. Write about them. Working through current fears is your goal, but by remembering past fears and remembering how you worked through those will help you. Remember how you conquered them. (This will strengthen you and give you the courage to work on any residual fears.) In retrospect how did you get past them? What fears do you still hold inside. Detail as much as you can from your past.

Look at the fears that have arisen since you have become a caregiver. Be honest with yourself. This will give you a clear indication of what you need to work on for yourself. Since each of you processes your issues and experiences differently, use this exercise as an opportunity to become aware of where you are and what you are feeling in relationship to your fears at this point.

Some of you may be able to work through these fears from your writing. Many of you may still feel the fears. The purpose of this exercise is to make you aware of the fears. Awareness is the most important key in processing them. While you may not be able to work through the fears totally; by having an understanding you will have begun to set the process into motion.

You may want to take some quiet time to imagine what it would be like if the fear no longer existed. Detail what the experience would be like and what you would feel like. If you find that the fears still control you, this might be a good opportunity to seek professional help so that the fears can be eliminated. By freeing yourself of these fears, you will be able to live your life more fully.



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Copyright Gail R. Mitchell
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