Sometimes it's the simplest things that create that light bulb moment. Like a game of Scattergories. If you've never played, I highly suggest this for family game night. It's simple and fun. Basically, you are all given the same category card, and everyone's answer has to start with whatever letter was rolled. Points are given for every unique (and acceptable) answer.
I've played this game for years. I remember playing it as a kid with my mom. She would come up with the weirdest and most outlandish answers. We would all playfully argue over whether her crazy answers qualified. You usually have one in every group; one who pushes the limits and causes the most challenges. On this particular night though, it wasn't a person who challenged me, it was a question. The question was easy, because it couldn't be argued -"Something You're Afraid Of."
We all agreed immediately, this question was relative. As long as you could think of pretty much anything that started with the rolled letter, it was a guaranteed point. If the letter was B and I put down blueberries, no one could challenge my answer, because maybe I am literally afraid of blueberries (I'm not, but I could be). In other words, it's no one's place to judge my fears.
Light bulb moment. No one can judge my fears, and I can't judge theirs. Every answer has to be accepted and trusted. Period. End of conversation. Next question..
So simple, but yet, as we all sit in the midst of the coronavirus, we aren't abiding by these simple game rules. And when I say we, I mean me also. I'm guilty and I recognize that. I'm also going to try to do better.
Throughout this pandemic, my perception is that we have 4 main groups of fear circulating thru our world currently.
1) Those who greatly fear the virus itself.
2) Those who fear losing their freedoms, their business, their income, their financial security.
3) Those who fear both.
4) Those who have no fear and completely, unabashedly trust God's plan.
Personally, I'd like to say that every single day and moment I fall into category 4, but I would be lying. I try to spend most of my time there, but I have a monkey mind that likes to trip me up quite frequently. So, I often find myself bouncing into category 2.
You can judge me for that, if you'd like, but I'm still getting a point for my answer. And, if you are sitting in category 1, I can judge you also, but my argument will hold no weight. You still get a point.
The bottom line - it's not our place to judge. You haven't walked in my shoes or lived my life to understand why category 2 is where I fall when my monkey mind (otherwise known as my ego) takes over. I also haven't walked in yours.
There's part of me that would like to defend my position. There's part of me that would like to try to convert you away from your fear. There's part of me that would like to judge you, but, in the end, we all get the point.
So, if we all get the point and we can't change it, what are we arguing about?
Let people express their fear, without judgement. If you'd like to express yours, then do it, but what if from here on out, we allowed people to express their fear, without the attacks?
Fear is relative. It's situational. It's based on an individual's perspective. It's riddled with scars and stories. It's personal. It's not arguable. It's an automatic point and quite honestly, it's pointless to argue against it.
What if moving forward we simply tried respecting each other's fears? My fears are going to be different than yours, and that's okay. We can still be friends. In fact, if we talk it thru, respectfully, maybe together we can help each other overcome the fear. Maybe we can sort thru it, face it or tackle it together. Maybe with kindness and love for each other, we can overcome it.
We weren't meant to live in fear. Fear is the polar opposite of love. So, what if, just what if, the next time you come across someone expressing what seems like a ridiculous fear, instead of attacking each other for what we feel is a "silly fear", how about we just honor their fear, send them some love and move on to the next question?
Angela Miller is an RN and Professional Life Coach passionately pursuing her purpose to help others remember who they are and how to become their best self. For more information, visit www.soaringforward.com.