Conquering Fear

My vivid imagination, in conjunction with a Type Triple A, drive-it-to-the-ground personality, means that I conjure up all sorts of dire and dreadful scenarios for any given set of actual facts. The less probable the outcome, the more likely I am to come up with it, and I am fully capable of fancying an array of potential scenarios ranging from the mundane to everything that you find in a Bruce Willis movie.

I never have seen Bruce Willis out in the wilderness, subjugating things. His wilderness is an urban one. The Pataha, by Steve Henderson, available as signed limited edition prints

(As an aside, have you noticed that Bruce always starts out crisp and clean — well, as crisp and clean as Bruce can manage — and by the end of three hours looks like something the cat upchucked on the back porch?)

I digress.

Through the years, the progeny has been the primary recipient of largesse from their parent’s dubious gift of mental B-grade screenplays, and they are all familiar with the admonition, upon their going somewhere, anywhere, of “Don’t get stolen!”

Now that they’re older, my parental thoughts run less on their accepting candy from strangers than on their forgetting to turn off the car lights, stranding them with a dead battery in a strange city, at night, in one of those covered high-rise parking lots where bad things ALWAYS happen.

And with the three minutes left on the battery of their phone, they call me:

“Mom, I’m someplace in inner city Chicago. And the car won’t start.”

It’s not as if, like any parent, I don’t have original material to work with. It’s just that, when it actually happens, it’s never like I fear it will be (sometimes it’s worse). Whatever it is and whenever it happens, however, it’s real life, in real time, and we all get through it.

There’s a difference between what we dream, daydream, and fear. The daydreams are definitely the best of the three. Daydreaming, by Steve Henderson, is sold, but note cards of the image are available. Just follow the link on the picture.

Last night, I had a dream – not a Martin Luther King dream – in which I spent hours on the computer, viewing one website after another, hitting links, reading content that didn’t actually exist because it was circumscribed to what I created in the subterranean miasma of my fog-befuddled subconscious.

At some point, I awakened enough to realize this, my intellect delivering a stunning piece of coherent thought:

“Don’t waste time,” it told me, “following non-live links.”

While this idea has been expressed far more eloquently by others – the apostle Paul comes to mind with his “Whatever it true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,” recommendation in Philippians 4:8 – it never hit so hard as when I awoke from three hours of work with absolutely nothing accomplished, because everything I had read or seen was confined to what I had generated in my mind.

It wasn’t real. It never would be. And I didn’t have the power to make it so, or not so.

“Why then,” I asked my fully wakened mind, “do you waste so much time – sometimes under the guise of prayer – thinking, fearing, and worrying about, what could happen?

Life, in real time, offers beautiful, fear-free moments worth filling our thoughts with. Dandelions by Steve Henderson of Steve Henderson Fine Art, available as an original, miniature study, note card, and soon, a signed limited edition print.

“Why do you follow links that exist only because you think they do?”

Bad habits don’t disappear overnight, and they don’t just “disappear,” actually, without significant work, discipline, and effort on our part. So one little dream won’t lasso my tumultuous thoughts into submission.

But that dream, however, is a step forward, one of many through the years as I absorb what the word “Trust” means, and Who it is that I want so desperately to give that trust to.

Someone with Live Links.

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About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
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7 Responses to Conquering Fear

  1. cabinart says:

    Jana the List Lady is here:

    1. The best word I’ve ever heard for this type of imagining is “to horriblize”.
    2. Perhaps some of your horriblization could be the basis for a novel.
    3. My worst nightmares are the ones where I can’t get anything accomplished – every effort is interrupted or restrained, and the clock keeps ticking. Hate that! At least mine don’t involve computers.
    4. Brilliantly gorgeous painting – “Dandelions” causes me to study the painting closer.
    5. Is “trust” the antonym of “worry”? Never thought about that, but I think it is.

  2. Hi, Jana:
    1) Nice word. I’m wondering on an alternative spelling: “horriblelize.” Perhaps that’s too convoluted?
    2) Ah, a novel. I’ve thought about it, but I don’t have what I want to say. Until then, I write my essays.
    3) My worst, literal nightmares, center around public bathrooms with broken stall doors. I hesitate to think of what this means about my inner being.
    4) Thank you — Dandelions has a sweeping, impressionistic feel that blends, literally, with the representationalism of it. We are looking to add it to our print collection later in the summer, and if you’re a newsletter subscriber, it will be offered at an initial special newsletter price.
    5) Good point — and I think you’re right.

    I wish you the best of a beautiful day! May you, like me, grow in your journey of trust.

    Carolyn

  3. oldswimmer says:

    It’s said that dreams winnow out toxic stuff in our heads… maybe they wash out the (sorry) “horrible lies.” ? Or, like little ones with nightmares, they drive us to the protecting Parent. Either is good. . I like that: “He has working LINKS.” Thanks for sharing, Carolyn

  4. Thank you, Susan. I love that Jesus spoke in parables that his listeners would connect to, and if he were literally walking the earth today, I’m sure he’d incorporate Facebook, Twitter, SEOs, and websites into his stories.

  5. I’ve been reading your posts from the FASO Newsletter for awhile and finally checked out this blog. It’s great! I found myself doing something like this (horriblelizing) the other day, concerning my grandchildren. Thankfully, it’s become less and less of a habit so it was more recognizable and I could turn my thoughts to our Sovereign Loving Father. “Fear not little flock, it’s your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Ahhhhh . . . the Kingdom, no fear, no worry, and the Lamb of God is their light. Thanks for this blog.

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