Heaven Down To Earth - Words of Spiritual Guidance
by Rev. Paul Werner
Chapter 20 - Fears and Insecurities
Many of the problems we have to cope with in our daily lives will no longer exist once we are totally united with God; they will simply disappear. Our first priority should be to develop an unbreakable bond with God. The security of an intimate relationship with Him will solve all the problems that creep into our lives and disengage us from achieving our goal.
I caution you against treating the symptoms before trying to cure the cause. The origin of these problems is our separation from God. God embodies certainty and peace of mind; being away from Him is one reason for our instability. Although such a statement might make sense, digesting it is quite another thing.
With God, everything works. Without God, nothing can function. Are we with God or not? It is a simple question, but we can use it to check our status. If we have a problem, we are not one with God. Any insecurity, inferiority complex, or accusation never comes from God but from Satan.
People who are insecure for whatever reason will either subconsciously or consciously overcompensate in another way. They act as if they are greater than they are, for example, more intelligent or more broad-minded. It should not be necessary for them to appear different from who they really are, but nevertheless, they cannot help it. Any person who experiences insecurity usually offsets it in some way; perhaps he will not seem to tire as fast as others, may appear more serious, or not laugh or relate as much as others. But when a person does not seem open, others usually detect such behavior as arrogance or pride. In reality, it may be a mask for insecurity. The person may feel terribly inferior and afraid. There are all kinds of reasons for a person to isolate himself and display a "don't touch me" attitude. He may have been hurt by the comments of others because he is too skinny or he has a crooked nose. Children often say hurtful things to their peers; the sad part is, the recipient might recall these words every day of his adult life and absolutely believe that he is inferior.
Overcompensation may be the result of a person feeling that he has not been recognized properly. Subconsciously he wants to cry out to others, "Why don't you recognize me? I am a human being with feelings, too. I want the same rights you enjoy. I need to be noticed; please pay attention to me." But because he cannot come out and say those words, he may walk a little more stiffly, because inside he feels hard and inflexible. When he opens his mouth, his tone may be sharper than usual and the words spoken not as round as love normally is. Arrows fly from his mouth; those who are struck may define this as uncalled-for arrogance. The arrows are unnecessary; the accusations just retaliations. Nevertheless, we live in a world of fear and everybody feels he has to protect himself. We naturally build up protective devices around ourselves and as soon as our shell is pierced, some emotions automatically shoot out. None of them are warranted, but it happens. Although some people seem arrogant, often their behavior discourages others from investigating what the arrogance represents. Usually it is just a call for love.
We may want to rebel and subconsciously shout out, "I need love and recognition. Can't you see that? I have so many things to offer. Why can't you recognize them? Don't you want them? You don't treasure me enough; you refuse to see my value." Self-control in the face of fear is not easy. Yet we must do our best not to be duped by Satan; he wants to stir up our hatred and resentment in his efforts to remind us that he is still our master.
It is all a question of inner freedom. If you fear nothing, you will have no need to cover up. But everybody experiences some common fears: Will I get enough love? Who will love me? Will anybody recognize me? These fears evoke reactions such as timidity. They surface because you don't have enough trust in God. You fear that ycu do not have much value in His eyes or the eyes of the world. You fear that God will not work through you and therefore you have to accomplish everything by yourself. But at the same time, you are not sure that you are capable of doing all that you think is expected of you. Yet if your faith in God becomes solid, you will realize your strength, and understand that it comes not from yourself but from Him. At this moment you probably do not recognize how much guts you have, nor can you see how deep your heart is. You are not timid by nature; such a characteristic is never endowed by God. He wants you to feel ten feet tall because you are His child. Have you forgotten?
People go to psychiatrists or other trained professionals seeking for ways to overcome their insecurities. Even after Unificationists have received the Blessing and forgiveness of their sins, some are still insecure. People in the secular world have a good reason to feel insecure and unsure-this world is a cruel and dangerous place. Anything can happen and therefore there are very few people who feel secure. People live in a world of fear. It became this way through the fall of man, and crystallized when Cain slew Abel. The men and women of that age feared God's wrath, when they realized they had gone against His will. Humanity has cycled generation after generation through the continual turning of the wheel of time. But that fear never dissipated; it only grew stronger and has gained such force today that it permeates not only the relationship between God and His children, but also those formed between all human beings. People view one another with suspicion, afraid to open up, afraid to be rejected. Fear has continued to build and at this time is at its highest peak as the final confrontation between God and Satan takes place.
But in our position how can we feel insecure? Everyone is nervous and tense at times, but we have been granted immunity as a son or daughter of God. We might have reason to be unsure because of our inner deficiencies, but that can be balanced by our relationship with God. Our greatest asset now and for eternity is the relationships we develop with God and True Parents. Once we receive salvation we will feel secure-our insecurity will be taken away and replaced by peace of mind.
There are times we all lack faith in God, and hence we feel shaky and unsure. When our faith in God and True Parents is strong, we can do anything. If we are always insecure, we subconsciously proclaim to others that our power sources-God and True Parents-cannot support or defend us. As a child of God, how can we continue to be insecure?
One important element in overcoming fears and insecurities is awareness. We can pray, but how much do we believe the contents of our prayers? Many religious people claim that they believe in a higher power; they desire salvation and feel they will receive it once they proclaim their faith. We can talk about salvation for weeks, but if we examine the Principle, we will discover that in order to receive God's grace of salvation, our problems with insecurity must first be resolved. If we come to exhibit a living faith in God and trust that He will work through us, and if we believe in the truth of the Principle, a certain feeling of invulnerability will envelop us. If through our daily prayer life we can receive the power to combat anything, we will overcome our personal problems, and even banish the deepest seated fears and insecurities we have carefully hidden from everyone.
This is a challenge for each of us. We must eventually conquer our fears. We must no longer insult God by being overwhelmed by our insecurities. Being full of fear is like saying that God is weak and that He cannot protect us.
The greatest shield and protection in daily life is the love of God. We only have to unite with it. This will be our greatest security. But it cannot stay an abstract concept in our minds. We have to make it real.
It is just ignorance that brings fear; knowledge bears enlightenment. Knowing you are loved gives you insurance. But insecurity can seep in once you believe nobody loves you. You may feel that you are misunderstood. You might think that you do not live up to the standard or that you are inferior-so many unfounded fears can float through your mind. This is what Satan tells you, but in reality, it is not so. These fabrications which your mind creates unceasingly are enough to make you doubt and this gives way to the chill of fear that pervades throughout your entire body. But if you chip away the wall of fear that surrounds your heart, the heart of God will melt away with His love the lock that keeps it prisoner. When you allow God to dwell within you, your fears should disappear.
When we do something for the first time, or confront someone or something previously unknown to us, we may be a little scared and shake a bit. This happens to everyone. The reason is that the person may not feel adequate to fulfill his mission. He may fear the consequences -- that people will not find their way to God and heaven because he is too unqualified to proclaim what he should. Feeling the immensity of our responsibility can pressure us tremendously.
Some people may rightly fear their incompetence because they have been lazy or inactive, and hence are plagued by inferiority complexes or other such phobias. If that is the case, a person has good reason to fear approaching people to witness to, or doing anything at all. But if God is with them, they can rightly feel courage and confidence. Little David had guts to stand up to Goliath because he knew God was with him. Many things may seem insurmountable and perhaps given the limitations of humanity they are, but with the help of God they can be accomplished. There is no way to cope with anything greater than ourselves when we stand alone. You need the cooperation of God and the spirit world; once they show you the power available to you through them, the majority of your fears and insecurities will vanish.
You are your own greatest obstacle. When you become tense, your pores won't work right and the systems of your body may even become clogged. You become tense when you become afraid. But if love surges through you, your tension will melt away. In order to feel love, you have to learn to relax and have faith.
There are many fears to which we resolutely cling-fear of the future, fear of death, fear of not being successful. Yet when you feel insecure, depressed, or far from God, be assured that the reason is simply because you are not breathing correctly. You have to breathe the love of God, if you are deeply loved by God, or even another person, you simply will not be bothered by fear.
You must drive out the fear of death. once you no longer fear death, nothing can stand in your way because death is the ultimate fear.
Do not fear Satan. Fear itself is the foundation that beckons him. Know he is real, but also realize that you do not need to fear him. God's power is stronger than his.
We are a free people, protected by God. There is no need for us to even fear death. If we were to lose our lives, we would have nothing else to lose. Shedding our physical bodies is not "death" but rebirth. Unificationists have nothing to lose; we already gave up our lives when we committed them to God.
Do our fears and insecurities do us any good? Can't we understand and believe that we no longer have anything to do with Satan? All of us commit small sins every day and they do bind us to Satan. However, once we receive the Blessing we are cut off from him and enter the territory of God. We then must act as a child of God and by doing so, reject Satan and no longer acknowledge him as our parent.
Some people are so paralyzed by fear they cannot even admit it. I know fear intimately -- I experienced many kinds of fear during my life. But I have learned that they seemed to dissipate when I let God come closer. I learned that when I wore a robe of fear, God was powerless to help; yet when I cast it off, He could embrace me in His arms.
God is always present. I often feel Him; so do others. There is no reason why anybody should not be able reach out and touch Him. There is no need to fear-He is waiting to embrace you.
Even small fears are the result of creating a base with Satan. We acknowledge our connection to him by feeding them. Through our fears, we make some foundation or condition for Satan to claim our thoughts and feelings. We should guard against making this a habit. Instead, let us concentrate on creating bases for God to live with us. We must always think of Father. Once we internally connect with God and True Parents, how can Satan retain the power necessary to intervene or work?
You must remove yourself from the world of fear. Instead of talking about your fears and insecurities, talk about beauty and love.
Fear governs the lives of fallen people. It has many faces and manifests itself through the various problems which confront individuals. So many fears inhibit us: Fear of not having enough food tomorrow. Fear of not being alive tomorrow. Fear of the world situation. Fear of nothing; fear of everything. But these anxieties did not come from God. The one we call Satan injected fear into this world.
We must eliminate fear. We must first expel the word or the concept itself and banish it from our minds. There will be nothing to fear once we are totally united with God. If there were no more fear of surviving or what we will find after death, we would be liberated. But when we can overcome this one word, this one concept which has become one very substantial mountain to all mankind, we will be free.
By exhibiting fear, you acknowledge that Satan still has great influence in your life. However, you are not the only one in this kind of predicament. All of us are fighting against an archenemy who has been alive for thousands of years. He has accumulated such tremendous strength and influence upon mankind through the subtle ways he works. His nature is so deeply imbedded within people. There is a certain vibration of fear that he emanates; be aware that you can become incredibly influenced if you enter his realm of spirit world. You will know you have stepped into it because you will be filled with fear. Satan's kingdom is the empire of fear.
But perhaps that king has not seen the beacon shining to every corner of the world, exposing all the elements of fear. The true king of this world is God and through the rays of His love, He heals the masses of the effects that fear has had upon their lives. Perhaps Satan has not yet heard that soon he will be forced to abdicate his power. That will really give him something to fear!
One fear produces another. And that fear is the basis for an even greater fear. Just as positivism evolves into the ability for a person to embrace the whole cosmos, fear can develop to such a magnitude that a person can almost burst and inwardly break into nothingness. That is the other side of optimism.
Fear is the worst minus element in the cosmos. At the same time, it is Satan's strongest weapon. However, positive and optimistic elements are used by God to champion His cause.
When you are filled with love, your problems will seem miniscule and inconsequential. If you continuously emanate love, you will not fear nor will you feel insecure. Those elements will eventually fade away; they exist because Satan created them.
We must straighten out our relationship to God through the Messiah. Once we do this, we will fear nothing. What we should fear the most is fear itself. Fear is a terrible thing. Yet after we are assured that we are in God's hands and are confident that we will continue to live after our physical death, we can handle anything with ease. We will be able to face anything when we are free of fear.
The more you become aware of the presence of God and spirit world, the more you will recognize the magnitude of the powerhouse behind you. You will have visions and may even see the face of God. He is there; to see Him is a matter of overcoming your fear.
We have to overcome the fear of projecting our inner selves before other people. There seems to be some kind of built-in protective device that usually prevents us from doing this; we often stop short of opening up and revealing our strengths and vulnerabilities to others. We don't want to reveal who we are because we are afraid of getting hurt; no one likes to be scorned or ridiculed.
Such a dilemma may have been previously true for us, but we are now seeking and pioneering a new world. Therefore, until we do open ourselves up-to God, to True Parents, and to each other-no liberation is possible.
Self-centeredness and insecurity are the result of disappointments in life, in our parents, in society, and so forth. You are insecure because you aren't sure that you have God. And if you are not sure of God, you cannot be sure of your friends or acquaintances. You may even manifest aggressive behavior and resentments stemming from this insecurity. But when you do, you fail to take God's position or point of view. You want to feel secure at any cost so you point the finger of blame toward everyone else because you do not feel safe.
When a person becomes stuck in little things, he is usually narrow minded, insecure, and afraid. And the insecure person attempts to go through life step by step, slowly but surely always setting up security gates and protecting himself with defense mechanisms. The first thing he should do to overcome such behavior is to get away from himself.
Why do you feel it is often necessary to appear artificial when you should have no problems being genuine? All of us have inner devices which we use to protect ourselves. People generally want to hide their sins behind a wall, and keep their personal sphere very private. But when you get rid of your sins, you will have nothing to cover up. You can be open and natural; your real energies and personality will then have the chance to come forth. But if you always have something to hide, you will continue to harbor fear, especially that your sins will be exposed.
Everyone needs to discover excuses for personal inabilities and inconsistencies. People attack and criticize others because they themselves are insecure.
Many people have buried their spirituality and become more humanistic. Through the ages, people departed from spirituality and seem to relate better to the physical, tangible world. Many people who live in the status symbols of designer clothes, designer jewelry, and designer homes may appear secure in the world they have fashioned, but they are the very people who feel edgy and impatient when the conversation revolves around the world of spirit; that is a realm which they cannot see or verify. They refuse to live anywhere but the world of tangible existence because they always need to prove things; humanism is centered upon man and his values rather than the values and reality of God.
it may be the case that such people have not necessarily lost their faith in the unseen, but simply feel overwhelmed by the whole idea. No matter how much a person wants to deny it, everyone has a heart and spirit; everyone has an original mind and at the very least, this thread connects them to God. But for any number of reasons, people developed fears and phobias and then concealed their pipeline to God. Probably they subconsciously dread that if they were to share its existence with others, they would be thought of as weak and vulnerable. And essentially they are afraid of being hurt.
I saw a wonderful example of faith when I worked in a coal mine as a prisoner of war. I was victim to an accident in the shaft and it nearly killed me. Consequently, tears ran down my cheeks each time I had to go into the mine. I was afraid that the ceiling would cave in on me again.
There was another prisoner who worked with me in the mine. He was a reborn Christian. He sang songs in praise of Jesus when he descended into the mine every morning. In fact, he sang all the time. I looked at him and wondered if he was crazy. Actually, he was a wonderful fellow; he would do anything for anyone. During the time we were co-workers, I was crying and he was singing. He knew Jesus had saved him and he told everybody about it; but it was so obvious that he did not need to talk about it. We knew he didn't have any fear at all because he was saved.
And what about us today? What promise of salvation have we been given? The True Parents have interceded for us; what do we need to fear? Do we radiate the belief and confidence that we are saved? People of the world cry as they descend into the "mine" of their everyday lives, they are full of fear that the world will cave in on them and they feel they cannot bear that heavy weight.
We are the fortunate ones; we also descend into "mines" every day, but we can sing and talk about salvation to the ones we meet because fear no longer binds us. We know that we are saved.
After person is connected to God, not just outwardly through the Blessing or through recognition as a member of the Unification movement. A free individual has experienced God in his heart and set foot in previously unchartered lands of spiritual growth. Such a person can adjust his whole life and reconnect it to the life-giving spring of God's love.
If we can bring order and peace into our hearts, we will naturally quiet down inside and allow God to refuel us with love. This will remove our anxieties and fears; they are the obstacles which can make us shake in front of someone.
Originally we were created so that if we used our environment properly, especially in relationship to God and humanity, we would be fulfilled and happy. But because Adam and Eve never followed that original direction, humanity has been cut off from the source of joy and peace.
The question is, where do we stand today? Have we cut the chains that bind us to Satan and then reconnected ourselves to God? That is the whole point of life. If we are one hundred percent convinced of the living God and the identity of True Parents, nothing else will matter; we will be able to bid our fears and insecurities farewell.
Guilt complexes stagnate us and don't permit us to know the joy that we are meant to experience.
It takes time for a child to grow up. It takes time to mature after a spiritual rebirth, yet once you are grown, you can handle the situation of any environment. If you mature spiritually, you won't have fears.
If you have earned a Ph.D. and are considered an authority in a certain field, are you afraid to talk to other people in your area of expertise? If you earned the Nobel Prize would you tremble having to share your ideas with others who view you as a teacher? What is your position? What can happen to you if you are in a supreme position spiritually and you know that God is with you? It is the insecurity of not knowing where you belong, how much you know, or who you are that brings fear.
If one does not experience love, he becomes insecure. Security comes from receiving love. If we receive love from God and from each other, we become secure. Security means freedom; if we are confident, we feel free to move, to speak, and to be ourselves. Insecurities though inhibit our personal liberty. We feel tied down, unable to go forward, and cannot do anything. But there are no limits in absolute security.
Once we are absolutely free, we will no longer fear death and will be shielded by the love of God. That is why Job proclaimed, "I know that my Redeemer liveth!" Yet we are talking about much more than making a proclamation. But at this time in history we should not just have blind faith. Life is before us and we have to live it. This process of restoration we are presently undergoing helps to treat the wounds. After the diagnosis is made, everyone's heart needs the proper time and care to heal. But this has nothing to do with accusation. Exposure to the light of God which shines in our hearts reveals any deficiency, any cancer that must receive therapy.
Medicine alone may not work; sometimes surgery is necessary. God is the most brilliant physician; trust Him. Following His advice and taking the prescriptions He gives will make you less vulnerable and help your fears to fade.
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