Anxiety Life Unmasked Monday Mantras SF Living

I Choose Faith Over Fear

The past four days of Memorial Day weekend were packed full of goodness and activities for Sean and me.  Yet at the same time, they were delightfully relaxing.

There were three main highlights from my weekend. One of which (highlight #3) actually inspired this week’s Mindful Mantra.

Weekend Highlights

Highlight #1: 

Saturday was spent doing one of the things Sean and I love most: wandering around SF with no agenda. The only “‘plans” we had was our initial stop to pick up locally sourced produce (and cheese!!) at the Ferry Building’s Farmer’s Market. 

The rest of the day was spent wandering the city and experiencing some “living local” fun, such as: enjoying a delicious mid-morning focaccia snack from Liguaria Bakery in North Beach, popping in local stores in Cow Hollow, snapping pics in hidden alleyways in Mid-Market, and people-watching as we strolled Valencia Street (in our own ‘hood).

Highlight #2: 

A last-minute, very spontaneous day-trip to Sonoma on Sunday to escape the rain. Instead of giving way the gloom, we chose to indulge in a lunch of Portuguese tapas (at Tasca Tasca in Sonoma Square) and partake in some wine tasting. 

We popped into some of our favorite spots…including Kamen Wines, where we geeked out with some “D-list celebrity action”…bumping shoulders with Ben Flajnik (i.e., “Bachelor Ben”) as we sipped our delicious Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah wines.

Highlight #3: 

My third highlight from the weekend was meeting up for lunch with two of the most amazing, supportive women I know. Warrior friends I’ve gained as a part of my recovery journey.

Our almost daily interaction (virtually) and support for one another has been incredibly life-changing.  We have been through the thick of it with each other and have shared in many highs and lows.  And our bond continues to grow deeper because of it all. 

It was so fun to finally get together “in real life.”  We shared wonderful conversation, met each others’ families, and blessed each other with some pretty amazing hugs!!. 🤗

It was so special – I feel so lucky to have shared my afternoon with these ladies.

This Week’s Mantra

Highlight #3 above was third in sequence, but definitely not in significance. In fact, it was highlight #3 that actually prompted this week’s mantra.

The five words I want you to chew on this week (and put in your toolbox):

How can you choose faith over fear? Relationships and community are a great way to start.

Congregate Don’t Isolate

The gals pictured above are two of the strong, compassionate individuals who have battled alongside me over the years. They are two of the many blessings I’ve gained as a result of my recovery journey.

One of the main lessons I’ve learned since entering into recovery is how much I need community with and support from other people.

For a long time (from childhood into much of my adulthood), I unknowingly operated with an “I can do it myself” or “I’ve got this” mentality.  I actually thought I was stronger for being able to “make it” on my own.  It was as if I needed to do so in order to prove to others (and myself) that I was enough.

I now realize my perceived strength was actually a weakness. My individualism encouraged an inflated ego and sense of self.  Inadvertently, I began to think I didn’t need anyone: I thought I could take care of myself and I knew what was best for my life.

Reality check: I couldn’t/can’t and I didn’t/don’t.

My achievement-driven individualism also contributed to isolation when hard times hit.  It was difficult for me to admit to myself (let alone other people) that I couldn’t do it on my own and I needed help.

It wasn’t until my eating disorder began to consume me and my life took a drastic turn for the worse that I was able to admit: 

“I so don’t got this.”

Seek Relationship & Fight Against Isolation

I can’t stress enough how important it is to seek relationship and fight against isolation.  The #1 thing that helped me through the darkest of dark places? 

Relationship

Relationship with God first and foremost.  Followed by relationships with others. 

#1: Seek God. 

Read His Word and familiarize yourself with what He says about you. Read about the many, countless ways God has been faithful to His promises and brought good out of extremely dire situations.  Learn to accept His unconditional love, listen for His voice, and follow His faithful guidance. Get to know the kind of Father He is (a sneak-peak if you don’t know Him all that well yet: He’s the most loving, compassionate, just, powerful…all good things wrapped up in One…He’s everything)

God will always come through for you. In fact, in hard times we are often even more aware of His presence and continued support.

In addition to relationship with God, we also need relationship with others. So it’s important to…

#2: Seek out and invest in a community.  

Spend time with those who share similar values, goals, passions, hurts, and interests.  Peeps who help you choose faith over fear time and time again. 

Find “your people”: those who know all about your struggles, are willing to support you when faced with adversity, and are your #1 supporters when you’re chasing after your goals and dreams.

Community Helps You Choose Faith Over Fear

When we are in the thick of adversity and exhausted from continued perseverance through hardship, it’s easy for fear and anxiety to rear their ugly heads. 

During those times it can be hard to “keep the faith.” And you will also likely come to realize: you can’t do it on your own. 

You need God.  And you need relationship with others. 

There will be times in life wherein the encouragement and support of others to help you find the strength to declare:

Keep your spirits up by reminding yourself to choose faith over fear each day.

When you’re confronted with difficult or stressful circumstances, seek God for His support and receive His peace.

And also, seek out support from your peers, peeps, fam…whomever your tribe may be.

Allow them to take hold of your hand and steady you as you bravely take that next step forward in faith.

One faith-led step after another.  It’s all that’s required to keep moving forward.

A powerful weapon you can add to your armory to help you choose faith over fear and fight lies with truth?

Music.

Music is a (fun, easy, and powerful) way for us to seek out our strength from God when fear or other feelings causes us to feel downcast.  

It’s amazing how simple phrases can lead us back into firm confidence in God and His goodness. Phrases like…

“Fear can go to Hell. Shame can go there, too. I know whose I am. I belong to You.”

“I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.”

Below, I’ve included links to two songs that I find particularly helpful in choosing FAITH OVER FEAR. There have been countless times wherein I’ve pulled out some of lyrics from these songs (such as those mentioned above) to proclaim truth in fear-filled moments. 

So, check ’em out when you have some time. Commit these songs to memory.  May these songs help lead you back to faith the next time you are confronted with fear.

* * * * *

Song #1: “Prophesy Your Promise” (a song by Bryan and Katie Torwalt)

When you only see in part: prophesy God’s promise and believe Him.  He finishes what He starts: trust Him in the process. 

No matter how dire or confusing your circumstances appear, you can be certain that God is with you and makes good out of all things.

Song #2: “No Longer Slaves” (a song by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser)

When fear causes us to shudder, we can regain our strength by seeking out the Father and grounding ourselves in the truth that we are constantly surrounded by His Presence.

We have also been liberated from our bondage and are on the winning side: we are victors in Christ. We’re the sons and the daughters of the Most High.

So, let us sing our freedom. Let us each boldly proclaim: “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.”

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