“Something’s Gotta Give So I Give Up You”: Breaking Up with Fear
Jennifer Owen, MA, LPC, NCC
Have you ever heard of “The Breakup Song” by Francesca Battistelli?
If not, go ahead and listen to it here: Francesca Battistelli – The Breakup Song (Official Music Video)
Francesca wrote this funky, fun, and beautiful song about breaking up with none other than… fear! I don’t know about you but there have been times in my life where fear has run rampant. It has overwhelmed me, consumed me, abused me, and had control of me. When Francesca sings the first line of that song, “Sick and tired of being sick and tired. Had as much of you as I can take. I’m so done, so over being afraid”… I felt that! I felt that to my core.
As we begin to transition from quarantine to reopening our community, I can’t help but feel a sense of fear. A fear of the unknown as we transition to a “new normal”. As these feelings of fear emerged I wonder… What do we do about it?
After some moments of tearful lament, I listen to this song. She sings, “Somethings gotta give so I give us you (fear).” The action of “giving up fear” is one that is easier said than done. However, we must give up fear in order to receive peace. In order to do this, we must dwell on truth. When I talk about dwelling on truth, there are 3 sources of truth that I am referring to: the truth about fear, the truth about the pandemic, and God’s Truth (the Bible).
The Truth about Fear
First, we must look at the truth about fear and anxiety. Although at times distressing, feelings of fear, worry, and/or anxiety can be helpful under certain circumstances. For example, if you have an interview coming up, feelings of worry and anxiety may motivate you to better prepare for the interview. If you did not have a sense of anxiousness, you may walk into that interview ill prepared. When it comes to the pandemic, it is normal (and healthy) to feel a sense of weariness or anxiousness. This anxiousness motivates us to take precautions to keep ourselves and our families safe (washing our hands, maintaining social distancing, etc.). An appropriate amount of worry/fear allows us to take appropriate precautions and move forward.
Fear, worry, and anxiety are only helpful up until a certain point. Healthy fear turns into unhealthy fear when the distressing feelings overwhelm us and inhibit us from living our lives. This type of fear and anxiety wears us down both physically and emotionally. We begin to have stomach aches, headaches, or rapid heart rate just thinking about transitioning into the new phases of the pandemic. We ruminate, self-blame, blame others, and avoid those things that we fear at all costs. This fear is debilitating. To combat this, we must become more aware of how our fear is affecting us. So ask yourself, is my fear motivating me or crippling me?
If you find that fear is crippling you more than it is helping you, consider finding ways in which to implement healthy coping skills to ease the distress. Practice deep breathing, implement mindfulness practices, try yoga, talk to a friend, or find some other coping skill that works best for you. For other coping suggestions during this pandemic, read our blog “Coping with COVID-19”. If your anxiety becomes so unbearable that coping skills don’t seem to do the trick, consider reaching out to a counselor. Many counseling agencies, including Hope for Tomorrow, are still conducting telehealth sessions during this time.
The truth about the Pandemic
Unfortunately, the truth about the pandemic is hard to come across these days. With social media, others opinions, and varying news reports, it is difficult to decipher what is true and what is not. This difficulty further contributes to our fears and anxieties about getting back to normal. The key to identifying truth in this area is to find reputable sources. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is an important source to look to for the latest information on the current impact of the virus and recommendations for reopening communities, schools, work, and events.
Truth in God’s Word
God’s truth is the most sustainable truth of them all. Take a look at these verses, meditate on them, memorize them if needed. Dwelling on God’s truth can drastically change our fearful perspective. Remember, God loves you. He cares for you. He’s got you!
What does Scripture tell us about how God handles our fears?
- God hears our fears & delivers/protects us from them.
- Psalm 34:4–5: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
- Psalm 91:4–5: “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.”
- God is in control of the things we fear.
- Matthew 8:25–27: “And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?’”
- God is with us in uncertain times & He comforts us.
- Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
- Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
- God is our salvation and strength; therefore, we don’t need to fear.
- Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
- Psalm 46:1–3: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
What happens when we trust God with our fears?
- Our perspective changes. We are no longer afraid.
- Psalm 56:3–4: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
- Psalm 112:6–8: “For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.”
- God will give us peace.
- Luke 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
How do we put our trust in God?
- Talk to God about your fears. He cares about them because he cares about you!
- Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
- 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
- Be content. Contentment changes our perspective from “I’m not safe” to “God’s got me!”
- Hebrews 13:5–6: “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”
*It is important to note that these principles of dwelling on truth are not limited to fears about the pandemic but also fears of anything else in our lives.*
Dwelling on these truths allows us to be prudent yet unafraid. I pray that this song, these truths, and these verses encourage you to break up with fear. In doing so, you will be able to experience a more freeing and peaceful life.