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Having Courage and Living a Meaningful Life Despite Fear

“Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed—the courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny.” –Thomas S. Monson

You are most likely familiar with stories of courage in the Old Testament. They can help you remember to utilize your faith while engaging in treatment for mental and emotional health challenges like OCD, severe anxiety, or depression.

Courage and Trust

Joshua was advised to be strong and of good courage. He trusted the Lord. He was told to take the Israelites across the Jordan River. If you had been one of the priests, how would you have felt if you had been asked to step into the flooding river while carrying the Ark of the Covenant? Would you have had the courage and trust needed?

The Jordan River waters did stop flowing and the Israelites were able to cross. They were blessed because they trusted the Lord and showed their courage. It was a miracle. Then later the Lord gave Joshua specific instructions on how to attack the city of Jericho. If you had been a soldier, a priest or an Israelite, what would that have been like for you? It took great faith, and they acted on it.

Just like the Lord delivered the Israelites, He can deliver you and bring you into a promised land, back to the journey of living a vital and meaningful life despite your challenges with scrupulosity OCD or other mental health and emotional struggles.

Utilize your Faith and Beliefs

You can apply your faith and take courage to engage in treatment. Trust the research that shows ERP (exposure and response prevention) is the treatment that will allow you to live your faith and spiritual beliefs with joy.

Consider taking a few steps towards your promised land. Don’t wait; start today.

  • Think about a situation that brings uncertainty and fear. Your scrupulosity OCD mind may advise you to stay in your comfort zone. But you know comfort simply won’t allow you to live a vital and meaningful life and… well, that’s not the purpose of life!
  • List some of the behaviors, situations, or people you may have been avoiding because of fear (e.g., reading your scriptures).
  • Notice if any of these fears are getting in the way of you living a vital and meaningful life: fear of uncertainty; fear of anxiety; fear of rejection; fear of failure; fear of being unworthy; fear of offending God; fear of committing a sin; fear of offending someone; fear of not being good enough.
  • Choose to apply principles from your faith and take courage to engage in the activities you used to enjoy before OCD got in the way. Now is the time to take steps towards becoming who you want to be.

If you are finding it difficult to take the steps above, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I willing to act on my faith and have courage and trust?
  • Is the discomfort worth living the life I want to have?
  • Is the money I spend on treatment worth living a life with hope, peace, and joy?

Scrupulosity OCD doesn’t have to get in the way of your life. Remember the lessons from those who have gone before you. “Be strong and of good courage.”

If you are not currently in treatment and fear is overwhelming you, seek professional help. Don’t delay. Go here to find a mental health provider.

Photo by Cristi Ursea

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A guide to help you find relief and happiness in spite of religious or moral OCD (scrupulosity OCD). Learn more about Annabella Hagen's book.
Imperfectly Good - Book by Annabella Hagen

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