I was shown how to write a four column fear inventory in this fashion:
Column one is what I am afraid of.
Column two is why I have it.
Column three is where has self-reliance failed me?
Column four is what would God-reliance look like? This is from the prayer on page 68.
"Dear God, please remove this fear of____, and direct my attention to what you would have me be."
Notice is says what God would me BE not DO. We are human beings, not human doings.
Unfortunately, many of us, me included have wasted time running around doing instead being, when actually our doing springs from our being.
About ten or twelve years ago, I was at home writing fear inventory. I was coming out of a painful breakup and needed to clear some stuff up. I have always had a terrible fear of being rejected, so I was writing about that. Here is how it played out:
Column One: I fear being rejected.
Why do I have this fear?
I'll feel like a loser
Everyone else will think I'm a loser
My life will be meaningless
I'll end up alone and miserable and probably die alone
Where has self-reliance failed me?
I use people to satisfy my emotional needs.
I pretend I am someone that I am not so that people will like me.
In other words, I am selfish, self-seeking, and dishonest.
I was stuck on the fourth column. I said the prayer asking God to remove this fear and direct my attention to what He'd have me be, but nothing was coming. Then my phone rang. It was my friend Ron and he asked what I was up to. I told him that I was writing fear inventory and that I was stuck. I told that I fear being rejected and that I had seen why I have the fear and how self-reliance has failed me but I was stuck on what God would have me be. Without batting an eye, he said "God would have you be who you are no matter what."
Thus is the power of prayer.
Here is another example of a common fear, one that shows up on my inventory on a regular basis.
Column One: I fear being broke
Column Two, why do I have this fear?
I'll feel like a loser
Everyone will think I'm a loser and abandon me.
I'll lose my stuff.
My creditors will yell at me.
I'll be homeless and car-less.
All this work will have been for nothing and my life will be a sham.
I'll end up all alone and miserable.
Column Three, how has self-reliance failed me?
I use money to look good and feel good and spend it foolishly
What would God have me be?
A good steward of what passes through my hands.
Notice the root fear of both the fear of rejection and the fear of being broke is that I'll end up all alone. I believe that is the basic fear that all human beings have. When I wrote about that, it came to me that God would have me be alone with The Alone and comfortable in my on company.
The book says that we commence to outgrow fear. I'm convinced that I'll be outgrowing fear the rest of my life. I've heard it said that fear and faith can't live in the same house. Where else would they live? Faith is not the absence of fear, it is walking through the fear. To me faith is almost like a verb, not a feeling. Faith is telling the truth when it would be easier to tell a lie. Faith is is paying back the money when I don't think that there will be any left for me. Sometimes faith is simply getting up in the morning and going out the door and facing the world when I'd rather stay in bed all day.
My statement of faith is that where I AM, God is and that there is nowhere that God is not.