Chances are you know someone who is afraid of the dark. It might be your five-year-old daughter who insists that monsters emerge when the lights are off. It might be your teenage son who has an irrational fear of ghosts. Or it may be you, even though you’re old enough to know better, and mature enough to convince yourself that it’s not a big deal.Fears are fears, whether rational or not

But fears are fears, and whether rational or not, they can overwhelm us if we allow them to.

But what are we really afraid of?

Whether we are five or fifty, whether we are scared of monsters or ghosts or dark rooms, what we are really saying is that we feel vulnerable and powerless in a world where we want to feel in control.

Enter: anxiety.

Anxiety is the product of our fear. It is the feeling that things are not in our control. In fact, our fear is well-founded—every external event is totally out of our control. This does have a plus side, however: if we cannot control what happens to us, we are silently giving ourselves up to G‑d and His master plan. It means that we are admitting that as humans we have limitations, and the only thing in our power to control is our attitude to the circumstances that are thrown our way.

It may feel as though anxiety has power over us—it makes our heart beat faster, or our stomach feel all queasy. It compels us to avoid certain situations. But here’s the thing about anxiety some people may not know: it holds no power other than the power we bestow upon it. In other words, there really is nothing to fear but fear itself. Yes, we may feel as if we have every reason to be anxious, but when it comes down to it, anxiety exists only if we allow it to. If we squash our fear and replace it with the fear of G‑d, G‑d will always win and anxiety will take a back seat.

The only way for this to happen, however, is if we face our anxiety head-on. If we realize that our anxiety stems from the unknown and, instead of fighting it, give ourselves over to it completely, no longer will we be so fearful. If we allow ourselves to realize that every single thing in this universe is being orchestrated by G‑d, we will lose our fear. We will begin to see that life events are out of our control. With this innate understanding we will realize that G‑d, who is essentially a force of good, is the one running this world, not us. And only when we put our complete faith in G‑d will we start to realize that it is our trust that is keeping us safe, and that is the biggest guarantee of all.Anxiety exists only if we allow it to

So the next time you find yourself getting anxious over something that’s beyond your control, stop and remind yourself that there is a G‑d up in heaven who is doing the worrying for you. You may not see signs of His work down on this earth, but if you actively seek out His presence, you might start to realize that there is little to be anxious about and a lot to be reassured by.

Be prepared to come across traces of G‑d in some unlikely places—G‑d does have a way of working in mysterious ways. Keep an open heart and an open mind, let go of your fear and be prepared to be amazed when you least expect it.

Darkness, you have nothing on us when G‑d is in the picture.

(Note: Clinical anxiety may need to be assessed and treated by a mental health professional.)