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The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself

Sunset in Santa Monica California
Sunset in Santa Monica

Are you happy to see the year end? I am, but our battle isn’t over.

Tomorrow night I will be “celebrating” the end of 2020 and the onset of 2021 in the comfort of the home of my daughter…likely in pajamas, watching old movies on TV after having a nice homemade dinner. It certainly won’t be the typical New Year’s Eve party or gala celebration over an elaborate dinner or fireworks or whatever makes a party a party. This year we are not partying.

Meme to fuck off 2020

I’m not even so sure we have that much to look forward to in 2021 since it means even more time in confinement, not only trying to contain the Covid-19 virus, but more importantly, trying to contain our own fears.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” These are the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt during his 1933 inaugural address, engraved on a stone monument wall at the National Mall in Washington, DC. These words meant so much to me that for many years, a photo of the monument was plastered on the wall above my desk so that I gazed at it every single day.

FDR monument with The only thing we have to fear is fear itself

What did Roosevelt mean by these powerful words? His point to the American people at the time of the Great Depression was that their fear was making things worse. He goes on to say in the address, “…nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” At the time, by running to the banks and taking their money out, Americans were causing more damage to the economy. Closing banks for several days and calling Congress back to Washington for a special session gave the American people and government time to calm down and make recovery plans. The fear, which was causing the run on the banks, is what he needed to stop.

Franklin D. Roosevelt on the radio

Over time, staring at the words day-after-day, the essence of the phrase sunk in, and along with the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now, I came to live life with very little fear. Tolle explained that “Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry—all forms of fear—are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.”

Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Poster for Covid-19 The Vius of FearI look back at 2020 now with 20-20 vision and I see the rise of fear blanketing the earth. Covid-19 isn’t what I fear. The fear it is causing is what I fear. The media report the case numbers and the deaths and the lack of hospital rooms and ventilators and all the other negative aspects of this insidious disease…perhaps with good reason…but it fails to see and report on the positive aspects, of which there have been many. It fails to compare it to other threats to life we battle every day, such as heart disease or lung cancer, car accidents, war, etc., etc., etc. that we ignore while we battle the pandemic. It fails to see the threat of the fear itself to affect us negatively in ways we can’t even imagine, such as various forms of depression and anxiety which will kill us in other ways. It fails to provide a true picture of what is really happening to our lives, to our economies, to our future because it reports mostly what is negative not positive, and that simply contributes to our fears.

So, what do we have to look forward to in 2021? Will we understand the virus enough to find better ways of controlling it without destroying our economy and our livelihoods? Will the new vaccines be the cure-all? Will we ever go back to normalcy when we weren’t frightened of touching or being near our friends, our loved ones or even strangers? Will we be wearing masks the rest of our lives? Will we be sanitizing every surface till there’s not a germ left in our environment? Will we never work physically together, just virtually, electronically? Will we ever gather in large numbers for cultural or sporting events? What will our lives look like if we let this take precedence over our more normal lives?

The answers to these questions are the things that frighten me; not the virus. The virus I can deal with. Like all of you, we’ve learned how it’s transmitted and how to stay shy of it. I wear a mask, I wash my hands, I do what is logical to not catch the virus or transmit it. I can’t do more than that. No one can.

Adrian Leeds social distancing with a friend in Palm Springs California

Adrian social distancing with a friend in Palm Springs

But, what the media doesn’t tell us is how to make ourselves healthy so that our bodies and our minds can effectively ward it off…with or without the use of vaccines, masks and sanitizing gel. Fearing the virus is not what will manifest a healthy body or mind. In fact, just as FDR said, the fear causes even more damage.

For those of you who have ever studied the Law of Attraction, the idea is that “positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person’s life.” (Source: Wikipedia.org) It is considered not to have any scientific basis in the scientific community, but there are many people who believe this to be true. And because they do, it is true for them.

You will find website after website after website that proclaims their beliefs in the Law of Attraction and how we hold the power to manifest our own realities: “Your mind is where you hold onto the beliefs that create your outer reality. What you believe inside, you will manifest outside. To create a positive emotional state, you need to think about things that foster hope, love, and gratitude. When you are focused on these things, your body reacts to the positive chemicals that your thoughts are sending to it.” (Source: selfmadeladies.com)

Have you ever known someone who was perpetually happy and saw only the good in other people? And you likely wondered if they were truly happy or just play acting happiness? And so, what is their truth? If they believe they are happy, then clearly they truly are. Wouldn’t we prefer to create happiness over anxiety, fear or depression?

The point I’d like to make during this last Nouvellettre® of 2020 is this: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. If we can overcome the fear, we can overcome the virus. Do whatever it takes to remove the fear from your life and watch Covid-19 head for the proverbial hills, because it will be no match for all the positive energy we will send its way.

Call me nuts, if that’s what you want to think. I don’t care. You can have your negative energy if that’s what you want to thrive on, but please, don’t send it my way. I prefer to remain positive, fearless and happy…and as a result, Covid-19 free.

A la prochaine…in 2021. Happy New Year!

Adrian Leeds at the Grand CanyonAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

 

Adrian at the Grand Canyon

 

P.S. To all of you who have friends suffering from Covid-19 or have lost family or friends to the disease, I send my sincerest get well wishes and/or condolences. It is not my intention to make light of the pandemic or the disastrous effects it is imposing on our world. My only goal is to offer up another way of looking at life so that you can be stronger, healthier and readier to battle the enemy with complete confidence.

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