Something that has really blessed me is looking at that word “discouragement” and realizing it has the word “courage” in it. So discouragement, depression, despair, are all related to fear, to having a lack of courage. Don’t let that truth offend you, we all go there sometimes.
Discouragement and fear are simply about putting our faith in the wrong things. So like, it will never work out, it will never get any better, we’re doomed. Those are imaginary future scenarios, our faith invested in negative out comes that haven’t even happened yet. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of the thoughts we are thinking, but trying to catch some of them and to consciously speak the opposite can be really helpful.
I really dislike how we address depression these days, like it’s an affliction, a permanent physical condition. While it certainly can be physical, while there are often chemical things going on, when we are feeling discouraged, disheartened, the solution is actually to go get ourselves Re Couraged and Re Heartened.
Recouraged and reheartened, over and over again.
I once had a brother speak the truth to me and it was funny, it really appealed to my dark sense of humor. He said, “No, you totally should be depressed, I don’t even know how you do it.” Until that very moment I had thought depression was inside of me, some kind of moral failing. It had never even occurred to me that depression could be a normal and healthy response to circumstances, to drinking too much stagnant water from a contaminated well.
So, start drinking some living water instead, start focusing on re Couraging yourself, re Heartening.
We had a spider crawl across the floor the other night, one of those giant things you can actually hear coming. I mean, I heard all eight spider legs thumping the floor before I ever saw him, which is a bit funny because I’m pretty sure I simply sensed his presence, rather than actually hearing his footsteps. I was scanning the floor long before he even appeared, and simply trying to convince myself I had “heard” him scurrying about.
I’m not particularly scared of spiders, but the rest of my family is. So when he finally appeared and I announced “spider!” I looked over and everybody was scrambling up on the back of their chair. It struck me as hilarious because I was left standing in my living room, barefoot no less, while this panicked spider actually ran right over the top of my foot, and there was no help in sight.
In fact, everyone was traumatized, grossed out, horrified, even mad at me for subjecting them to such an experience. I don’t wish to shame any arachnophobes here, it is just such a good example of what fear really is, something blown all out of proportion, paralyzing, rendering you completely helpless.
Finally the poor critter lunged at one of my Great White Hunters and was instantly dispatched. Poof, just like that, the threat was eliminated. He wasn’t even a “threat” to begin with, but real or imagined, those fears were liquified in an instant.
Fear is such a liar, you just have to laugh at it sometimes.