FEAR and what I learnt from it?

I would like to add this post as a follow up to my earlier post, Faith & Fear cannot co-exist.

This post comes a month after me and my family tested positive for Covid-19. By the grace of God, we were fortunate enough to have mild symptoms that could be treated at home.

In my blog I have always been talking about Being Positive and taking every experience positively. But the last few days came with its own set of challenges. I am sure there are a lot of people out there who faced similar problems, predicaments, challenges (maybe much worse) and handled it in their own way.

I went through a series of emotions during this time. I was the first one to get the symptoms and although I isolated myself immediately, it just wasn’t enough. My son and husband were down within a day, followed by my daughter in the next few days. It was overwhelming. Sometimes the instructions, precautions from well wishers and sometimes the stress and exhaustion that comes with the illness.

These series of emotions included a major chunk of “not being positive” (ironic as it is). Guilt, anger, frustration and most importantly Fear.
I felt guilty as I think I was the one to bring this illness to my family. Anger, irritation and frustration for not being careful enough. But most importantly, FEAR. The fear of the uncertainty that comes along with this illness. Will the symptoms get severe? Will my family’s symptoms get severe? Is this going to have a long term impact on our health? Will we get the medical essentials like a hospital bed, oxygen, remdesvir injections, if matters take a turn for the worse? There were so many messages floating on various whatsapp groups about people losing family members due to lack of hospital beds and the required medicines/ injections. And I have to admit, there were a few moments where this dark fear gripped me.

The immediate counter to that thought in my head was, Where there is faith, there is no fear. Truth be told, I started feeling like a hypocrite. When I wrote my blog that Faith & fear cannot co-exist, it was the truth. And it still is the ultimate truth for me. Then why was this fear gripping me? Why was I suddenly not able to delete this from my head. It kept on creeping up every few hours. I was able to overcome it by thinking about Lord Krishna because that’s who I believe in. That’s where I have put my faith. For others, it could be another God or another form or something else that they truly believe in. Lord Krishna always says, Not a leaf moves without my will. So the almighty is the doer of things and hence no matter what happens, it always has to be for the best although we are unable to justify it with our logical mind bound with its limitations.

It took me about two days to completely overcome these thoughts. After I recovered from Covid-19, I spoke to few people who have shared with me some inspiring yet very simple anecdotes of their spiritual journey and they were kind of enough to explain my predicament to me. The take away from those conversations were, Guilt comes naturally to every human being. That shows you care. Although in retrospect I think its futile, because none of these things are really in my hands. Did I take the necessary precautions? Yes, I did. Then I did my best, and that’s it.
About fear, well that also is very natural. And the fact is, feeling afraid or experiencing fear is not the problem. Not overcoming it, is the problem.

I found this beautiful quote to explain it,

I learned that courage was not the absence of Fear, But the Triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

Nelson Mandela

And I think our Faith helps us conquer the Fear. That is my takeaway from this experience. It is Faith which generates positive vibes and helps us overcome our fear or negative thoughts. It may not happen in one go, It may take few days, months or even years to entirely let go off the fear. But with every such experience one moves forward little by little to conquer that fear and move on.

As Aristotle states, “He who overcomes his fears will truly be free!

Today’s conditions, circumstances are such that there are a lot of people out there living in fear. I hope that through this post I can relieve the stress and help them gather the strength and faith required to pass through these tough times.

Faith & Fear cannot co-exist

While talking to my aunt the other day, she happened to mention this, “Faith & Fear cannot co-exist”. So profound! She told me how it had impacted her and every time she had negative thoughts of fear – how she reminded herself of her faith.

So true! I have been fortunate that I got a chance to read the Bhagvad Geeta in the past few weeks. Why fortunate ? Well, the book has been in my house for the past 7 years and I have tried reading a few chapters in the past. But the understanding and interpretation of that holy scripture that I have today is very different and it is making a very POSITIVE impact.
It is very enlightening and rejuvenating.
Bhagvad Geeta shows one the Way of Life! How to live a life which is fulfilling and purposeful. I can talk about the Bhagvad Geeta for hours but I will stick to the topic I have chosen today.

Today the whole world is gripped by the fear of the Corona virus (covid-19) pandemic and in these difficult times everyone is dealing with it differently based on their experiences, circumstances and Faith.

I believe that when one has faith that everything happens for a reason and it is always the Best and that it is designed by some Higher Power or Almighty or as some people choose to call it – LIFE ( as in Robin Sharma’s Book The 5AM club – Own your morning. Elevate your Life). In his book he writes, “Trust – always – that Life has your back – even if what’s unfolding makes no sense”.
These current circumstances are no different. It just doesn’t make sense and is very hard to grasp. We are not sure when life will be back to normal or whether the normalcy of life will be redefined? It is quite daunting. The news and multiple forwarded messages on social media platforms about the death toll and heart wrenching experiences of some patients and their family members adds more fear to the already bewildered and completely wrecked state of mind.

The ‘state of mind’ being the term to emphasize on.

Yes, this is an unprecedented event of our times. There is no documented (or rather adequately recorded) evidence of the entire world being affected by a pandemic for such a long time where the global economy had taken a hit. These uncertainties bring out the fear of the unknown in all of us which spins to a whirlwind of negative thoughts only to be sucked into this dark pool of hopelessness.

What is happening to the World is beyond our control right now. But what is in our control is Only Our State of Mind, as is the case in life with all the adverse situations and circumstances. Faith is the only anti-dote for this hopelessness. The rock solid foundation which makes our mind a fortress knocking out all negative thoughts and not allowing any hopelessness to penetrate.

I had read somewhere that FEAR can be handled in two ways, Forget Everything And Run OR Face Everything And Rise!
Our faith helps us, supports us to Face Everything and Rise positively. It is that strong belief that whatever happens, happens for a reason and it is always the best – which gives us the power to accept and rise positively.

I would like to leave everyone reading this article this positive thought and close this topic for today,
“The struggle that we are in today (no matter how frustrating, painful, unwanted it is), is developing the strength that we need for tomorrow. – Just have faith”