Fear Not

As news mounts daily about the coronavirus, unfortunately many people are being thrown into panic. It feels like there is a secondary epidemic – of fear.

In short, there is a huge opportunity right now to be swallowed up by fear.

Or Not.

I’m reminded of these lines from Kipling’s famous poem (which I’ve included below):

If you can keep your head when all about you   

Are losing theirs . . . .

I was talking about this earlier today with my friend and colleague Dr. Gwendolyn McClure who points out the role emotional contagion plays in situations like this, wherein one person’s emotions trigger the same emotions in another.

In the meantime, how are you doing with all of this?  On a scale of 0-10, where is your fear level?

If you are in fear, can you take a step back and observe yourself being in fear?

I know we have many “good reasons” for fear.  There always are.  At the same time, can you see that you have a choice in the matter?  We have been conditioned to live in fear and worry. For many of us, it’s become our default setting.

But does it serve us?

I’m not aware of any evidence that people who panic fare better than those who stay calm and collected?  On the other hand, there is tons of evidence that fear and stress deplete our immune system, which is what we need to strengthen, not diminish.

What if we trusted ourselves to educate ourselves about the virus and use that information to take care of ourselves?

What if we could leave fear behind?

And take one day at a time.  One breath at a time.

Take heart my friends, and fear NOT.



About Eileen Barker

EILEEN BARKER has been writing and speaking on forgiveness, and guiding people who need to either forgive themselves or someone else, for many years. A practicing litigation lawyer who rejected the traditional adversarial role, Eileen has focused her practice on mediation, helping thousands of people resolve disputes outside of court. This work led her into a deep exploration of forgiveness as it relates to resolving conflict and making peace, both with others and oneself.

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