Facing FUD in Real Time
Marti Wibbels, MS, LMHC
As a psychotherapist, I’ve been hearing from wonderful people on both sides of the political spectrum. Since none of us knows exactly what’s going to happen, many are experiencing confusion, an emotion that can emerge when one simultaneously experiences two or more emotions—ranging from joy, hope, and love to anxiety, depression, and betrayal.
Confusion can trigger the erosive FUD trifecta of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Despite life's uncertainties, we can train ourselves to manage emotions rather than being governed by them. For example, anxiety can remind us to live in the present rather than focusing on an unknown future. Replacing negative thoughts with Truth, we can also apply what God says to real concerns. Jesus said, I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world (John 16:33, AMP).
Any time we notice emotions spiraling out of control, we can consciously, repeatedly move our brains into the “cool” parasympathetic nervous system rather than living in sympathetic dominance (to discover how to do that, please check out chapter one of Core Healing from Trauma). But whenever anxiety and/or depression become unmanageable, it could indicate a neurochemical imbalance and the need to find an appropriate doctor and/or therapist, working in tandem to provide practical guidance and/or medication, when indicated.
FUD isn’t the problem; it’s a reminder to wisely manage real-time, real-life concerns. If we feel a sense of dread, we can wonder if what we’re experiencing is FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. When we feel uncertain, we can remind ourselves of our unchanging, faithful God. And we can doubt our doubts instead of believing them. Each time you become aware of FUD’s presence, you can build your repertoire of healing thoughts from God’s Word instead of continuing to accept old anxiety-driven mind ANTs (automatic negative thoughts).
Yes, the world is a place of FUD, but our hope is in the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—the LORD, who remains faithful forever. As Pastor Steven Madonna said, “Fear is a terrible motivator; it blinds us to see God—and people—as they really are. If darkness is the absence of light, I believe fear is the absence of faith in God’s control.”
May we rest in God’s faithfulness today and forever. He is worthy of our trust! He will deliver us from fear and confusion as we put our hope in Him rather than in uncertain circumstances, people, or events.