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How to Shove Fear to the Side

It’s all a matter of focus. And in this case, love is the target.

Love conquers fear
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The impact of the pandemic and economy continues to have us on edge these days. Separating real news from fake takes some effort. Political ads are starting up, reminding us that the presidential election is around the corner with its tension and division. Staying hopeful is a daily task, and a challenge for many.

Recently my wife and I were at the store shopping for a personal printer. We waited for the salesperson who was helping an older gentleman. He was buying a printer for his 12-year-old granddaughter. We struck up a conversation, and at first, he explained his choice of printer. But very quickly, the conversation went in an unexpected direction. 

He began talking about how bad things are in our country—the upcoming election, mail-in voting, the impact of Covid-19 in daily life. His voice got louder as he became more agitated, his mask slipping below his mouth. 

My wife reminded him to secure his mask if he wanted to continue the conversation. He did and carried on for several more minutes. The more he talked, the worse life felt. At one point, I tried to empathize and said, “We are in trouble.” He said, “You are beyond trouble.” For a moment, I wasn’t sure if we were both in the same country, planet or store. 

I realized that he needed to vent his emotions and thoughts. And we were willing listen. But we didn’t have time to reflect on what was good. But there was of a hint of hope in his eyes when he talked about his granddaughter. She needed a printer, and he wanted to buy it for her. I imagine when the gentleman got home and gave his granddaughter the printer, his heart was filled with joy and love. For a moment, maybe, his world looked beautiful.

One of the ways to stay hopeful in times of uncertainty is to focus on what is important—loving others. Love casts out fear. It grounds us to the things that matter. When the world appears to be coming apart by the seams, look for love. Give love and let love be your anchor. It’s the force that will move us forward with hope.

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