I came to a sudden realization the other day.
OK, this may sound kind of weird, stay with me for a sec...
I have this pathological fear of evil spirits, particularly possession by evil spirits.
Like, my worst nightmare is exactly that. And there are enough stories in scripture about it happening that I can't just dismiss it as a fairy tale that doesn't really happen. And in modern times (like, at the time of the restoration, etc) we have examples of it happening.
A couple of years ago, my bishop recommended counseling because I was getting over a messy divorce (so messy that it took about 2 years to get over) and trying to date again. So I went to this counselor (he was very very good, btw) and he handed me this intake assessment. With T/F questions. Being a psychology student and Psych tech, I recognized it immediately as a homemade tool for the diagnosis of possible mental illnesses that would probably be followed by further testing if there were any area of concern indicated by my responses.
I took a deep breath and told myself I was going to answer the items honestly... With no intention of watering down anything... I would put "T" if any of the things were even sometimes true... That way I would get my money's worth in counseling.
Well, one of the items was, "are you afraid of evil spirits." Another was, "are you afraid of possession by evil spirits." I had to put true for both of them, and for a lot of the other fear items.
I didn't ultimately turn it in... And he didn't mention it, so I didn't either...
it just sounds like such a wired, pathological fear.
I was reading through this month's Ensign the other day, when for no particular reason I thought of this again.
And I suddenly realized that I am already
possessed by an evil spirit of sorts-- the spirit of fear. I fear everything, from what others think of me to imagining all sorts of horrible things happening to those I love, to the future, to ruminations about the past...
I am crippled by fear.
I went to my scriptures and read a passage that I suddenly thought of, when Christ was talking to Martha after she asked Him to rebuke her sister Mary because Mary wasn't helping her enough, and she felt overwhelmed by playing hostess alone.
"Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
In the footnote "careful" is translated as "worried."
Another scripture calls worry a "snare" (psalms.) Another said that the fearful have their place in the fiery pit (I think proverbs, or perhaps Isaiah... I didn't save these because I was just zipping around trying to find what I needed.)
I need to give up fear. I have to, there is no choice anymore. I won't be able to enjoy my children or my husband, or anything good that comes into my life, if I fear losing it so much all the time. True, I have had losses... But it's time to enjoy life again.
Anybody else out there crippled by something like fear, or worry, or maybe depression or stress? I'd love to hear about how you overcame it.
I have decided that the first and best step is to recognize when I'm going into fear mode, and make efforts to not entertain those thoughts... Similar to what President Kimball said about not entertaining evil thoughts. Because fear, as we see in scripture, is evil in a way... Because it indicates a lack of trust in God. And a fear of man more than God.
well, that's it for today.