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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.
-Marianne Williamson

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.
-Charles Stanley

I'd rather give my life than be afraid to live it.
-Lyndon B. Johnson

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I somehow came across this blog, nearly a year after you wrote it, and I want you to know that it's one of the best I've read! I just really liked it so much--your inspiring stories, and the way you tell them. You have a lot of courage and wisdom. I especially like the way you get over your fears by experiencing the things you've been afraid of, for example how you got over your fear of being a failure by being one for a short time! Good sense of humor, great attitude toward life. You are so alive!
    1789 days ago
    Good words. Sometimes we all just need to hear it a bit more.
    2018 days ago
    A powerful blog, Chris. Thanks for taking the time to write this
    2075 days ago
    Thank you
    2080 days ago
    Wow!! My first time reading one of your blogs. This was powerful. I was curious, because you don't know me, yet you're always so encouraging. So I read this. Now even more encouraged.
    2087 days ago
    2092 days ago
    2096 days ago
    Thank you. emoticon
    2114 days ago
    Great points...

    I love these Corrie ten Boom quotes:

    Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
    Corrie Ten Boom

    Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
    Corrie Ten Boom
    2115 days ago
    Thanks for writing this blog. Fear stops us from doing a lot of things but like one of the quotes you cite says. "it is learned thing" and we can relearn to be daring and to face our fears. emoticon
    2131 days ago
    Thank you for this blog :)
    2131 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Probably my favorite blog you have written... Thank you!
    2136 days ago
  • COOKIE_AT_51
    Fantastic!! I think this is something I would like to "archive" and read again and again. emoticon emoticon for sharing.
    2136 days ago
    Wow, this is an amazing blog that everybody should read!
    You have such inner quality that you are such a beautiful person! You have come so far, and the things our parents do to us can make us feel so bad about ourselves and such shame of ourselves.
    I am really glad I checked your page to see if you posted a blog. I subscribe to your blogs, but SP let me down again by not letting me know about this blog being posted.
    I'm so glad that you found someone to share your life with, that makes you happy! You deserve it!

    Big emoticon
    2137 days ago
    Thank God a light came on for you Chris and thank God for faith!!!

    I'm so proud of you for taking those swimming lessons emoticon

    I like the love.....quote too.

    emoticon Chris emoticon my friend!

    2137 days ago
  • QTEALADY20031
    Chris, this is an excellent and thoughtful blog written from the heart. You are right, its like the Law of afraid and that is what comes into your life, distrustful and that is what comes into your life, etc. We really don't want to live like that. I fully understand your swimming fear. I had almost drowned when I was 12 and at the age of 27 years old I stood by the pool looking at 12 feet of water at the Red Cross Swimming lessons and I stood there 3 days in a row and finally jumped into 12 feet of water. Congrats on your swimming lessons! You are right, fear can stop us from living a fulfilling life. The definition is right on target. Thank you so much for this wonderful blog! emoticon emoticon June
    2137 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/16/2013 7:30:53 PM
    Seeing all the blogs going your way just shows you are an inspiration to many. I have two of your blogs on my mirror so when I get up in the morning I can read them. The last four weeks after surgery have been trying but you inspirer me to keep pushing on. I am hoping to be back to Zumba and much walking by Sept. or Oct. Thank you for all your great blogs. emoticon
    2138 days ago
  • -DAVE-

    Your words are from the heart and so true. Have you read Marianne's book entitled "A Course in Weight Loss"? This is on my list.

    Fear can be paralyzing. This is where most of our in action comes from. I just finished Thich Nhat Hahn's "Fear". I highly recommend it for those with or ever touched by fear. His other books also are wonderful.

    Glad to hear you started swimming! Congratulations on the first lesson - It is a very meditative exercise as well as great for the body...

    Best to you, Dave
    2139 days ago
    Wow!! What a powerful, thought provoking blog. Your insight is nothing short of amazing and you make an excellent motivational speaker. You've given me a lot to ponder about my own fears. It's easy (even natural) for me to imagine the worst. I was raised to anticipate negative outcomes or be a fool for not being prepared. Thanks friend! Denise emoticon
    2140 days ago
  • GODSCHILD2_2011
    Great Blogs... emoticon
    2141 days ago
    I completely understand how the craziness of life can interfere with our Sparktime! Sometimes there just are more pressing things to tend to than sitting in front of the computer and Sparking, but when we continue the healthy habits when our sparktime is limited, that’s when we know we’re on the right track. Kudos to you for keeping up your healthy choices (body and mind) while life has been coming at you.


    Your blog makes so much sense. I’ve found myself thinking along a similar path recently…’self fulfilling prophecy’…think it, believe it, it’s going to happen. And it goes for both positive and negative thoughts. I’m a worrier, big time. And that’s something I’ve been working on. I’ve been doing pretty well with the ‘it’s a choice’ mindset as it pertains to this weight loss thing, which in itself is kind of liberating when you can truly embrace it, now I need to extend that to the other areas in my life. Thanks for sharing, for your heart felt words, and for continuing to inspire the rest of us!

    2141 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/12/2013 9:38:48 AM
    We can achieve so much more if we can only get out of our own heads. Fear is definitely a chain that holds us back.
    2141 days ago
  • UMGRAD2012
    Awesome blog!!! Love everything about it. Feel every bit pertain to me and my life. Going to try my best to not let fear overcome my life. You are really an inspiration to me. Thanks so much!!!! You have come a long way, you are doing great!!!!

    2142 days ago
    Excellent, excellent blog! It comes at the perfect time for me because I have been feeling down lately because of the consequences from fear, my own and those of my family members, which are affecting us. In recent years I have been saying that I believe fear is the root of all evil. I won’t dispute that the “love of money” is, but when you really think of what’s behind so many of the world’s problems, you will see it can be traced back to fear. Fear of failing, fear of being less important than others, fear of people (individuals or groups), fear of not having your share, fear of pain, fear of humiliation, etc. As Charles Stanley stated in his quote which you included, I have also seen people with so much potential end up barely existing in this world because their fear of failing has held them back. What’s really sad is when you realize that your fear can often make victims of others, not just yourself. All the misfortunes in my family and my life can be traced back to fear. I am trying to overcome those fears and help my family members do the same. Thank you so much, Chris, for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with us and how you are facing and conquering your fears. Hopefully this will give all of us ideas of how to face and conquer our own fears! God bless you, my friend!
    2142 days ago
    emoticon You've learned so much and continue to be an inspiration!
    2142 days ago

    Fear will stop us, so glad you have seen it and are attacking it head on. We can learn so much from you.

    2144 days ago
  • FLGIRL1234
    I loved everything about this blog. Everything you said was spot on. When we take the "fear" out of it, we suddenly see how much we are really capable of.
    2144 days ago
    I can relate to your comments about the really destructive nature of letting fear rule our lives. It's been a big problem for me most of my life. You gave me some great things to think about. I've made some progress but I still have a long ways to go.

    I'm so glad for all your progress and all the blessings you've opened yourself up for by not letting fear rule your life.

    We've never met in person, but I'm glad to meet you here on Spark and how cool it would be if we did.

    2144 days ago
    emoticon I love Charles Stanley! He has THE best teaching on forgiveness.

    This blog is emoticon beside being your emoticon

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2144 days ago
    Thanks for writing this blog brother. There are a lot of things that you have written here that I need to take to heart. There are definitely things that I need to change about myself and overcoming certain fears should be at the top of my list. I have lots of work to do!

    Keep up the good work, I am inspired by what you are doing to change yourself!
    2144 days ago
    You write with so much feeling and heart. I admire you for sharing those thoughts
    and feelings. You have done a lot of hard work on your journey. I thank you for helping your Sparkfriends. emoticon emoticon emoticon Jeanne emoticon

    2144 days ago
  • no profile photo FITKAT62
    Awesome blog! So true.
    2144 days ago
    Great blog. Thanks for sharing.
    2144 days ago
    WOW! this is a great blog! it was Worth waiting for! you are on the path that is for sure! you should be proud of yourself for all that you have accomplished!
    2144 days ago
    2144 days ago
    I love this blog! You are so right....fear is the only thing standing between you and happiness.

    2144 days ago
    Great blog. Lots to think about here. You make a lot of sense. Fear holds us back from our full potential. Than ks for posting this. It is great to know others deal with the same issues. I hope these life changes have been good ones and hope to see you more on Spark as you are able. Take care.
    2144 days ago
  • JULIA_211
    This is a wonderful blog post that I needed to read today, and I plan to share it with my 17 year old son. You are a good man, a caring friend, thank for this amazing post. emoticon
    2145 days ago
  • _BABE_
    I think we are on the same page this week. If you thinking that you will fail then the universe doesn't want to make a liar out of you presto it shall be so. I decided to use this to my advantage and believe "only good lies before me". While I know I don't have a genie at my disposal I do know that whatever happens ( and bad things happen to good people) I will be okay. Something tells me you will too!
    2145 days ago
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