Calming Anxiety: Releasing Fear

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Fear is rampant in our world and in our hearts. Many of our daily choices are based on an attempt to create a haven of safety and security around ourselves and our families. Yes, rash decisions and actions based on fear often squelch our uncomfortable feelings. But, later we may wonder if there were better alternatives.

The Welcoming Prayer gives one the gift of attending or focusing, letting go, and surrendering to God all that is in the present moment.

Exercise

Take some slow, deep breaths. Begin this practice by identifying one feeling (such as fear or sadness) or a bodily sensation (such as pain or tension). Notice where in your body the feeling or sensation is at work.
Get to know this feeling. Often, we try to get rid of an uncomfortable feeling as soon as possible. Welcome and create a hospitable place for the feeling. Invite the Holy Spirit to join you in this space. Ask the Spirit to show you any memories or thoughts that might have been triggered or motivations of which you might have been unaware.

One can let go of a feeling by handing it over to God. A feeling is not a fact. It can change. However, you can’t let go of a feeling if you haven’t explored what it might be trying to say to you.

Theologian Cynthia Bourgeault suggests that surrendering is not a passive act but is “the active exercise of a redemptive power.” Remember, when we yield and let go, we are acting out of great strength. This way we can then prayerfully discern where we might be led.

Pray

Slowly pray the following prayer:

Welcome, welcome, welcome.

I welcome everything that comes to me in this moment
because I know it is for my healing.

I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations,
and conditions.

I let go of my desire for security.
I let go of my desire for approval.
I let go of my desire for control.

I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person,
or myself.

I open to the love and presence of God and His healing action
and grace within.

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