Fear is the Enemy

I’m scared my daughter will die. I’m scared I’ll never amount to anything. I’m scared my kids will be embarrassed of me. I’m scared I’ll get sick and not be able to take care of my family. I’m scared I’ll be forgotten.

I know I’m not the only one. So many of us are scared to the point of paralysis. Ironically, this paralysis is exactly what brings our list of scary scenarios into being.

Fear is the real enemy, not the scenarios.

I believe the greatest battle I’m fighting, and my generation and my culture is fighting, is against fear. And fear has been crushing us. Something has to change.

Not Beating Fear

We don’t beat fear by working 80-hour weeks. We don’t beat fear by watching 8 hours of TV per day, or by buying things. Fear doesn’t go away when we move to a safer neighborhood. We don’t beat fear by planning. We don’t beat fear by winning.

These aren’t ways to beat fear – they’re ways to run from it, and they don’t work. You can’t outrun something you’re holding onto. There’s only one way to beat fear.

We beat fear by letting go of it. Fear doesn’t grip us, we grip it.

Fear Makes Us Useless

“Let go of your fear” sounds simple but feels impossible. That’s because we’ve allowed ourselves to fear without restriction for so long. It’s a drug. A habit. A vice. We have to quit, or it will continue to kill us and every generation that follows us. Fear would love nothing more, not to kill our physical body, but to distract us our entire life until we look back and realize we were too afraid to ever live. Fear’s job is to render us useless. A resigned person is much less powerful than a dead one.

We can’t afford to hold on to our fear anymore. Our community can’t afford it. Our kids and their kids can’t afford it.

As hard as it’s going to be, this is the generation that will stop holding on to their fear. This is the generation that will sacrifice fear and develop a discipline of trust instead. A trust in God, in each other, and in our self. To be able to say at any given moment, “I am ok. I have what I need and I have what it takes. I am able to give because I don’t need anything I don’t already have.”

This is an excerpt from Nathan’s book, SO AM I. Check out the book and Nathan’s website: Nathan Peterson, Singer Songwriter | Official Website

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Nathan Peterson

Chicago-based singer-songwriter Nathan Peterson has been creating music as Hello Industry for two decades. After four album releases and numerous iterations of Hello Industry’s live show, including their fully classical Black and White concert, Nathan has stripped everything down to only a guitar, his voice, and a song. Nathan is currently celebrating the release of two solo albums and two books — So Am I: Life, Living, and Letting Go and Dance Again: Grief is Healing — about the life and passing of his daughter, Olivia, as well as his latest Single Release, Masks: a song about finding togetherness in the midst of covid. During Nathan’s 20 years of writing, recording, and performing, he has created a body of work which invites our culture to rest, here and now, in the midst of the storms of life. Nathan’s words and voice invite us inward, toward our own Center, where our fear is the loudest; where our strength and hope are their brightest. Born in Chicago and raised in Germany, Colorado, and the cornfields of Sycamore Illinois, Nathan now lives with his wife and 5 children in Chicago.

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