A World Without Fear

How would my world would be different without fear? That’s a question/ statement I often think about. In fact I dwell on this topic because I think (rather I know) I live much of my life in a constant state of fear. No matter how I try to rid or calm myself of scary thoughts, the fears surrounding me always manage to find their way back home.

What is it that I fear? Well, here are the most common culprits that keep me from living peacefully:
•sickness
•death
•something happening to my daughters
•change
•controlling colleagues
•circumstances of my job
•planes, boats(other places where I can not easily escape)

What would my life be like without fear? I can’t imagine a world without it. Fear for me is a constant companion-it accompanies me everywhere. God knows I’ve tried to overcome my anxieties. I exercise, I write, I read, I have had counseling, I talk about it, ad nauseum, to anyone willing to listen. I have tried meditation, deep breathing. I look for inspirational quotes/messages to empower me. Sometimes these things do actually work… for a little while. Eventually though, the fears I try to run from find their way back.

I was once asked by a friend why I viewed my fears as a weakness. Through my tears I explained that I felt like a hypocrite for asking my daughters to live a fearless life, while I remain ruled by fear. She in turn simply stated that I needed to accept this part of me. Why fight something so hard? But isn’t acceptance – weakness? A cop out? Is it? Is it just part of who I am, part of my DNA? The way I’m wired? At times I tell myself yes, and at times I find myself enraged for being so afraid of the things that I cannot control.

So what would my life be like without fear? My fears are so ingrained that I can’t imagine it. Can you, reader, imagine your life without your hand or leg? For me, it feels the same- asking me to live without a part of myself that is me. I often wonder what things might I have accomplished in life had this part of me not existed. Would I be more successful, happier, popular? What other path would I have followed had fear not always been along for the ride to govern my every action? Some would argue that a life lived without fear leads to a life without regrets. All the quotes tell me this is so. Yet had I lived a life without my fears, would I have the precious life that surrounds me today? As I sit here gazing at my daughters and my husband I know that answer. I think I will take my fears, no matter how frustrating they can feel. They are part of me, but at this very moment- I won’t trade them for the life I see right in front of me.

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The Here and Now

Can’t quite put my finger on it, but for some reason the feel of summer vacation hasn’t fully kicked in for me yet. I’ll never be a late sleeper, so yes I’m still waking at my usual time, but this comes as no surprise. In fact, there is something quite wonderful about waking up early and knowing you don’t have to get up if you don’t want to. Alas, it isn’t my morning mental alarm clock that fuels this feeling. The weather has been absolutely perfect in my neck of the woods ever since the school year ended. It’s exactly what this summergirl prefers…sunny and hot. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that right about now I’m defrosted and in my element. I am a summer girl through and through. And yet, something still feels amiss…

I have been able to exercise much more frequently/consistently now that my days are free. I am spending more time  with my daughters and my husband. And yet, that summer spirit eludes me…

The garden that my father so generously planted in my back yard is lush and flourishing, where last year’s harvest left much to be desired. It brings me great peace and pride to reap the fruits of our labor. And yet…

As I reflect on this piece, I’m admittedly embarrassed. It seems that much of my precious summer time is being wasted. Perhaps instead of worrying about the number of remaining free days, I should just be grateful for each one. Live each day in the moment, instead of looking at the days ahead. Start fully embracing today, and stop thinking about the time when it will come to an end.  I truly am grateful for the place I’m at- I just needed reminding.