Monday, November 14, 2011


NaBloPoMo asks a classic question this morning.

Have you faced fears and overcome them?

Oh. My.  Where to start on a prompt like this?

I am a person who lived a long stretch of my life consumed by fear.

Fears of everything and anything.  There was a part of my life where fear was almost constant.  I was really afraid of almost all of my own life.

It was a hard way to live.  It was sad and dark and depressing.  It was exhausting.  Spending that much energy being afraid and worried drains you in so many ways.

You are probably thinking to yourself, what could you possibly be afraid of?

I'll give you a partial list of things I was afraid of in this part of my life.

  • being alone
  • driving
  • making phone calls to people I didn't know, even to do basic things like set up a dentist appointment
  • that I would make mistakes on the job
  • traveling
  • school
  • that I would do something that would call attention to myself
  • to shop
  • to say no
  • any sort of interaction that was unfamiliar because I might do it wrong
  • to do anything that felt right to me, but was outside what I thought was the norm--like change a job or quit school or whatever
  • to cook
  • to start a fire

Over the years of my life, I've learned how to face a lot of these down.  I've found the tools to be able to at least function through all these fears.  There are a lot of those things I still don't like to take on or do, but I at least now know how to do them and handle myself through them.  I am no longer stopped or stuck in my life because of fears.

Part of the way through it came from a friend pointing out to me a Biblical truth.  She simply said, God tells us not to worry, not to be afraid.  When you choose do be afraid or to worry over something, you are in open defiance to God.  The she asked point blank, "Do you want to stand in defiance to God?"

That settled a lot of it right there for me.  

I did have to dwell on it a lot and pray and study it to "get it".  There are healthy and reasonable amounts of fear and worry that we need to have to live.  Those are more in the vein of being aware of your circumstance and being proactive and prepared, not paralyzed in fear and worry.

The second thing that helped me to overcome fear and worry, was therapy.  I did a few years in therapy.  It was hard.  It wasn't fun. It was however, probably one of the best things I've ever done for myself in my life.  I worked through a lot of things I had carried for most of my life.  I learned tools to make my way through life in the least self destructive ways, the most healthy ways possible for me, for my family.  I learned how to make peace with myself, to like myself, to walk on even ground, as much as I can.  

That was the long answer to a short question.

Yes.  I've been afraid in my life.  Yes.  I've faced fears down.  Therapy and God.  We all get there eventually, that spot where we see ourselves living in fear, some of us quit, decide that 's just how life is, just how our life is and nothing can be done about it so oh well, poor me; some of us decide that that kind of life isn't enough, we want more and we're willing to put in the work, grit our  teeth through the hard stuff and get to the other side.  

I'd say the other side is life.  Living.  

But that's just me.  Just my life.  Facing down the fear and worry for me, meant finally having a life and living it.  

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