July 17, 2020
No Longer Afraid When The Lights Go Out
I can't tell you how long it took me to get to this point. But I can go to bed at night now without the sense of despair racking my body. I am no longer afraid when the lights go out. Actually, I will usually be the first one to get up and go check things out. Ray just snores away...
But I know for many of my grieving friends, this is not the case for you today. So many memories flood your souls in the stillness of the night. So many regrets... so many thoughts of lost time... I pray for you. I know the agony of these nights.
After 22 years, I have developed coping skills. Here are a few:
1. Stay up late watching movies until you can't hold your head up any longer.
2. Stay up researching on the Internet reading all the latest until you can't hold your head up any longer.
3. Stay up reading a book all the way through, because you know you can't ever put a book down until you finish it in one reading...
4. Chat with a friend, especially one that lives in California on a different time zone until you fall asleep while they are typing and you are trying to answer back...
5. Do a lot of self reflection and self talk. (What is self-talk you might ask? Self-talk is your internal dialogue. It's influenced by your subconscious mind, and it reveals your thoughts, beliefs, questions, and ideas.). But make sure it is positive self-talk.
6. Stay up writing a book, a poem, a song, or even doing a podcast (if you can do that without waking up your spouse).
7. Stay up praying and reading my Bible, especially if your working on your devotionals (which I should be doing right now).
See... I got coping skills. They didn't all happen at one time in my life. But little-by-little, I started dealing with my grief in the dead of night when most people were sound asleep. Now I'm typically not a "go to bed with the chickens" kind of person. I rarely go to bed before midnight or about 1am or 2am. (I almost have to be sick to go to bed early.) Fear likes to come creeping around during those times of the night/early morning.
However, I am no longer afraid to face myself or my feelings at night. And when I feel anxiety start creeping back up... I go straight into self-talk and then to prayer. Praying always calms me. It helps me drive away fear that attempts to creep into my soul. I'm not saying I never feel fear; but what I am saying is that when it comes, I combat it.
There's a song that Francesca Battistelli sings called "The Break-Up Song." I LOVE THAT SONG! It's one of my all time favorites. And if you have ever lay in bed, night-after-night, feeling the very breath you have being driven from your body until you feel like you have become encapsulated in your own tomb... I think you will like this song too.
The chorus goes something like this:
Fear, you don't own me
There ain't no room in this story
And I ain't got time for you
Telling me what I'm not
Like you know me well guess what?
I know who I am
I know I'm strong
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here!
Every time I feel fear, I use every tool I have in my toolbox to get rid of it. It would be nice to be able to call someone when you feel these overwhelming emotions, (And I have some grieving friends who have called me or messaged me at times. I always tell my friends they can do this.) but sometimes it's just not feasible, or maybe you don't feel like you should. Well, if that's you... get a toolbox... load it up... and next time fear comes knocking at your door... hit it! Smack between the eyes!
The Bible tells us: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7.
Do not be afraid!
Send fear packing!
Fear does not own you!
Much Love To You All!
To Be Continued!