Monday, July 08, 2013
Sorry for my inconsistency lately on being here. I have had a lot of life changes lately and have just had a lot on my plate. My spare time to spend on spark has been very limited so I have tried to use it to keep motivating and encouraging all my spark friends on their Journey. I have just felt compelled to right on the above topic and how it relates to our lives and our journeys.
I saw this movie a few weeks ago. This quote is the best I think I have ever heard regarding Fear.
"Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story and that day mine changed."
Probably the biggest lesson I have learned in my life and on this Journey is to stop acting out of Fear. I have always known on a level I cannot even explain that Fear is our biggest enemy. It is probably the biggest thing standing between us and being happy and content. I have learned what ever you fear you usually make happen. the power of what you think about and what you lend your emotions too is so powerful that is what you act out of whether you are aware of it or not. So more often than not the things we fear most in life we either make happen or the presence of the fear prevents us from attaining and keeping the things we really do desire. So lets take a look at my fears and how they affected me before this journey.
My biggest fear was being a failure. I always worried about people perceiving me as a failure. I was worried about not hitting lofty goals I had set for my self. I had convinced myself that I had not lived up to the promise I showed as a child and that I was a failure and disgrace. These feelings came from a lot of different things. From not feeling good enough because of the way my mother treated me. from not feeling like I fit in anywhere extremely well. All this conjured up these feelings of fear inside me that I wasn't able to shake for years. So what did living in this state of fear get me... Let's see a divorce, foreclosure, my car repossessed, broken relationships and oh yeah I weighed nearly 400 pounds and was killing my self slowly with Sleep apnea, Diabetes and High blood pressure.
In a strange way losing everything was liberating. Guess what happens when everything you ever feared would happen, happens. There is nothing left to be scared about. there is just one question to ask yourself. what do I do about it now.
When I figured out I was scared ands fearful of being a failure and that fear had become a self fulling prophecy. I figured out most of the decisions I made and the choices I was making were done out of fear. Fear what people would think of me. Fear of not being able to do it. fear of it not being good enough for someone.
Then the light came on. Like the quote at the start of this said that is insanity. Why am I afraid of something that hasn't happened and may never happen. Why am I giving my time and energy to that. Why am I stopping myself from the possibility of having everything I want because I may not get it. Like the saying goes "You don't get 100% of the things you never ask for". Yes that answer may be no sometimes. But guess what at least you know. At least there is no what if's. Because that is what haunts us the fear and regret of things we have never done.
So when this light came on it was based on a very simple idea. Free will. Everything we do is a choice. I can choose to breathe or hold my breath. It's a choice. So my first task was to make better choices. Then on top of that I had to own responsibility for my choices. I wouldn't complain I felt like crap because I ate to much. I wouldn't beat myself up about it either. I would recognize I didn't make a great choice. Own the responsibility for it and adjust it.
Recognizing everything was a choice was empowering for me. It led to me realizing that each choice was me doing what I could do. If I focused on that I stopped worrying about the things I couldn't control. Because guess what if you can't control them... You can't control it. So worrying and being afraid of what I couldn't control was pointless.
Also I had always thought I had faith. I really did. For many years I thought I had faith in God. I realized however I was lying to myself for those years. How could I be scared of everything and still have faith. In all religion the definition of Faith is very simple an inner trust in the unseen. In other words a lack of fear. Fear and Faith cannot coexist.
So again I had a choice either to have Faith or not. I chose to have faith. Because the honest truth is 99.999% of the time either something is going to happen or it's not. You are gonna eat a cupcake or you aren't. You are going to get in a car accident or you aren't. You are going to wake up tomorrow or you aren't. Worrying about it or being fearful of it isn't going to have any bearing on whether it happens or it doesn't in most cases worrying about it or being fearful makes it more likely to happen because you are more apt to react on the thoughts that are most prevalent. So if you are thinking about if you are or aren't going to eat a cup cake all day... You probably will eat a cupcake.
All these realizations are find and dandy but how do you fight the fears you already have. I faced my fear of failure by being a failure for a short point in time. I wouldn't recommend that however lol. What I do recommend is facing your fears. After being a failure my 3 biggest fears are heights, drowning, and being hurt in a relationship.
Over the past two years I have hiked two mountains. 10 years a go no way I would do that. I took it a step at a time knowing each step was a choice. concentrating on doing things right not at what would possibly go wrong. Guess what getting to the top of those mountains was so fulfilling and empowering and reinforced my faith and let me lose that fear.
I have never been able to swim. However right now I am taking swim lessons. This will sound crazy to people who have swam all their life but the hardest thing for me to do was float. Because in floating you have to relax and let the water hold you up. The tenser you are, the more afraid you are the harder it is to float. On day one of swim lessons I floated for the first time in my life. Now i am learning more skills and as my comfort in the water grows the fear is washing away.
After a bad marriage being hurt again was a huge fear. But over the past two years I let that go and I tried again. While it didn't work out how I planned or hoped. While we both got hurt in the process. It taught me loving someone is nothing to be afraid of. Either it will or it won't work. However how you deal with all of that is a choice everyday. How you treat someone is a choice hurt or not and I have seen definite growth there. I am also so grateful that I have had a truly wonderful person in my life for two years. that we are still able to be friends and care about each other regardless of how things turn out. There is nothing to be scared about there. I would have missed out on many magical moments because of fear. If I wouldn't have taken this leap of faith.
Here are some quotes on fear I keep close to heart. Don't let fear hold you back from a life you were meant to live!
Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.
Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.
I'd rather give my life than be afraid to live it.
-Lyndon B. Johnson