15 Apr Let’s be brave enough to face our fears

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As children, we are taught to fear a lot of things: strangers, the dark, ghosts, the monsters under our beds, and our fourth grade English teacher. Fear was instilled in us to keep us from things that have the potential to harm us. Our parents believed that in doing so we are kept from things that could hurt us, or worse, destroy us.
 
However as we leave the comforts of childhood and have our own experiences with the world, we realize that what hurts us are not the monsters under the bed but rather the monsters living inside of us. The monster is the chatterbox that won’t stop talking paralyzing us from taking great leaps of faith simply because it is afraid.
 
Ironically, the chatterbox is the noisiest when one is given the opportunity to be happy. Most of us would link fear with moments of sadness, but for me, fear is activated around the same time that happiness is. I don’t know about you but when it comes to weathering the storms, by God’s grace, I am well seasoned. I can fight off bad days better than Superman on his best day, but when it comes to accepting happiness, I am immobilized.
 
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I am so used to being disappointed and not getting what I want that when happiness falls into my lap, I look at it quizzically, wondering what the universe is up to next. That somehow this stroke of good luck is nothing but a mistake, a game the universe is tricking me into. I used to be the girl who believed in happy endings, but fear has turned me into believing that 80 percent of the time, endings are rarely happy.
 
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a big drama queen. There are a few things I love more than infectious laughter but getting what I want is such a rare occurrence that it causes panic attacks in the middle of the night. It has ended badly so many times, what makes this one different?
 
But then the panic attacks subside and then the shift in perspective happens. It has been said that fear is an indicator of how much something matters. It doesn’t matter if that something is a person, a job, moving to a new place, or simply making a new friend. If it scares you enough, it matters.
 
We fear because it matters. We fear tearing down our walls because we also know that while it may end badly, it may also cause us joy we’ve never known before. We fear because we’re unsure if the joy will be worth the eventual fall. We’ve been around life long enough to know that things are never 100% glorious and yet we continue to wake up each day with optimism.
 
And doing it, despite our greatest fears and despite the pain that may be inevitable is what makes life great and this is what makes us brave.
 
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Yes, we’ve been hurt before but the hurt, despite it being the worst possible pain we can imagine, has left us standing stronger than before. We’re better versions of ourselves because we once took the leap, fell, and picked ourselves up. And there’s beauty in that
 
There’s beauty in that kind of bravery. There’s strength in that kind of resiliency. Ironically enough, the best versions of ourselves were founded on the most painful experiences of our lives.
 
And in looking at it this way, the chatterbox is silenced. We see fear dwindle and we feel excitement rise up. Excitement over new beginnings and the possibility that this is what could change my life, the thought of it ending badly doesn’t leave the realm of my mind though, but I fight against it because I know that even if it does, I’ll be more than okay, I’ll be better.

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