Archives for posts with tag: fear
Fear strikes
Even the mighty
Fallen prey to evil
Casted aside
Shadows lurk
Seeking refuge
Within me
Lies of the truth
Good and evil
Cast shadows
Of light onto darkness
Illuminating its path
No better than
Only same as
Find our unity
discover
(v) find (something or someone) unexpectedly or in the course of a search.
 
When I was young, I wanted my story to read faster.  I lived life hastily in order to get to the next chapter, a new beginning, another part.  As I get older, and presumably become more mature, there are still some parts I want to fast forward through, but, surprisingly, there is a growing amount that I want to slow down significantly. 
 
I still think, speak and act hastily in order to get done and move on to the next.  Thought before speech or action has never been and sometimes still is not my strongest suit, as my feet, arms, fingers and mouth always seem to be on high alert, like a guard on lookout.  This is one of my weaknesses.  However, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was I.  Time and practice, as well as a desire to change, seem to be the only antidotes.  And, well, that takes… time… and practice.   For now, I am appreciating my uber awareness of when I am hasty, even if I don’t stop myself and know that I will most likely pay some sort of consequence later.  What I have learned over and over is that when I try to accomplish a task for the sake of getting it done and over with, my efforts are never rewarded because requirements almost certainly change, causing the task to be redone.  As the adage says, “Haste makes waste.” 
 
Well, not everything in life can be redone, so it’s best to try to take things slowly, especially when the situation involves matters of the heart.  I am no different in love than I am with life.  That same eager, antsy girl who loves getting the job done is the same eager, antsy girl who loves moving things to the next level in a relationship.  For years, I seemed to be more concerned with how things were progressing in a relationship rather than how I felt about the other person.  Things were always good enough, and if there was something amiss, I rationalized that every relationship has its ‘something.’  If a relationship was going to work, it was going to work through blood, sweat and tears.  Plenty of tears and acid reflux – a recipe for dismal success.  Needless to say, this plow mentality (there’s a reason I was nicknamed, “The Plow,” in field hockey) was not winning any favors from me, him or our relationship.  The things I most desired – love, acceptance, marriage – were those things farthest from my reach in any of these relationships.  Sadly to say, this rinse, wash and repeat repeated itself for many years in my 20s.  The Albert Einstein quote, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” crossed my mind more than once. 
 
Luckily, I turned 34.  I don’t know if this is a magical age for everyone, but it is for me because I closed the door to my insanity.  At times, the door was very hard to shut, as I found that I had crammed a lot behind it.  Better yet, even when the door was shut, it would fly right open in defiance.  There’s no guarantee that it will stay shut, but I am ready to keep closing it for as long as I need to.  So, for the first time (possibly ever), I have created the space needed for breathing room.  I made up my mind that this chapter of my life is going to read slowly.  I like to call my current relationship a slow and steady simmer. 
 
Of course, timelines, a kicking uterus and the pressure for marriage all sit on my shoulder and remind me of my age, my chances for pregnancy and the like while fears of the unknown, potential loss, starting over again dance in my head.  However, if I allow these fears to drive my life, then I am giving over my power to them, and I don’t want to do that.  Instead, I remind myself that this is a process.  Life is a process.  Love is a process.  Let life unfold.  Let love blossom.  Again, the only antidote seems to be time and patience.  In order to confront each daunting reminder and every fear, I must first find the truth by discovering who this man really is.  Who is his authentic self? What does he stand for? Can he stall tall and proud in his own power?  What is his shadow side?  What does a family look like to him?  How does he love?  As these answers are revealed, my fears shadows will be diminished in the light, and I will be able to see clearly if our truths are aligned.  Once I know, I can act confidently and never regret giving up too early. 
 
BE CURIOUS. START TO DISCOVER!
 
With Love,
theDesignLife
 

Day 10 – Thanksgiving Thankfulness – Letting Go: Two years ago, I was browsing in the ABC Home & Carpet store in Union Square, NYC. I came across an ID bracelet that had ‘Love’ engraved on the top side and ‘Let Go’ on the other. Immediately, I knew we were meant to be. It has been incredibly hard, to the point of depression at times, to let go of someone or something that held special meaning in my life. Maybe I knew we weren’t soul mates or understood that we weren’t best friends, but when you walked away, or when our time came to an abrupt end, my body collapsed – and my mind felt like the world was ending. I don’t know why. Over the years, I have had to tame this response a lot so that I could continue functioning, living… And loving. Before, I just felt like I was being abandoned – perhaps triggered from adoption… Perhaps. In response, I wanted to grab on even more tightly for the sake of feeling that false sense of security. Now, I understand a lot better that I held on out of fear – fear of scarcity of love. There is never a scarcity of love. And in order to allow the love to flow freely, I must let go. Love knows no grip, no hold, no fear. It flows endlessly and effortlessly. When people leave, it still hurts. However, I feel a lot more secure in the love that remains. Thank you. Xx

fear·less

lacking fear.

Since we (or rather, I) are on the topic of fear, I thought I would continue down this road, especially because I heard something today that is very pertinent to this discussion thread (or rather, my mind’s chatter :))

 
I believe that it is neither possible nor necessary to become completely fearless.  As human beings, we will always carry some sort of fear with us, and in some cases, as I have mentioned, we need this fear for good cause.  I support the school of thought that admonishes trying to eradicate your fears but instead embraces your fears as part of you.  Our inward journey includes identifying, understanding and, finally, accepting all the parts of our Self.  Fear is one of those parts, and when you follow it to its origin, you have the opportunity to uncover so much knowledge about why the fear exists in the first place.  As you continue along this discovery path, eventually, you will understand how your fear has shaped your perceptions about yourself and the world, as well as how it is preventing you from living your best life. Then, we can redefine the fear to empower ourselves to create a new paradigm.  Straight up – we create a new reality.   
 
Like most things in life, the thing in and of itself, a thing like fear, is neither good nor bad.  What makes it good or bad is how we use it to do good or bad.  Here are some ways that I have been using fear to become fear-LESS:
 
Recognize The Resistance
Half of the battle is just recognizing the fear.  Fears are sly.  They are like chameleons and can camouflage themselves into thoughts, feelings, words and actions.  While they often like to take center-stage in our lives, they can be very hard to identify.  The best way to identify fear is to take note of any resistance that appears in your body and mind.  I am huge proponent of using both body and mind to recognize signs.  I personally like all the help I can get to learn about myself, so I take any opportunity I can to slip into my body via meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques.  In addition, recognize when you start to feel stuck, inert, unwilling or unwanting. You may find that there is a fear making you stall. 
 
Make Peace With Fear
Once you recognize your fear, don’t chastise or blame it.  Fear is not the enemy.  Fear has been the body and mind’s learned built-in mechanism to help defend you when you didn’t have anything else, like your socialization skills or rational mind, etc., to help you sift through and make sense of external threats.  When you view fear as the enemy, you are creating opposition within yourself, causing more harm than help.  This may seem counterintuitive to most, but my recommendation is to thank fear for doing its job, for protecting you and for loving you in the best way that it knows how.  Then, dismiss it.  Tell your fear that it’s not serving you right now and lay it aside.  Oftentimes, we just need to create our own productive methods of dealing with our internal chatter that’s trying to vie for our attention in hopes of fulfilling our perceived needs and wants.
 
Use Fear As A Tool
Fears can also be passed down from your parents and then internalized to become your own.  My grandma’s and my mom’s fear and dislike of cats was transferred to me very easily, and it was only until recently that I started to overcome it!  Other fears can be a lot more complex and will oftentimes stem from a deeper, embedded insecurity about something.  Our belief systems become formulated at a very young age mostly by our parents, or by whomever we are surrounded most frequently.  Essentially, we are taught what to believe and how to behave.  Entwined within our belief systems are fears that condition us to respond to the world in a very specific way.  Use your fear as a guidepost to start your journey and unfold your story.  Fear is a very effective tool to deep dive into understanding who you are and how you tick; from there, you can decide for yourself if, what and how you want to change.  Why does your fear exist?  Why does it think its serving you? Where did you learn your fear from?  Best yet, does it still serve you?
 
Take Steps Toward Transformation
When you identify your fear and truly allow it to tell its story without judgment or criticism, you create a fabulous and yummy space within to develop a deeper kind of self-love.  Praise yourself for all of the hard work that you have performed and shower yourself with nothing less than love, respect and honor.  Once you release yourself from the burden of self-criticism and underlying insecurity surrounding your fear, you have started the process of forgiveness and healing.  You no longer live in the grip of fear should you choose not to, and instead, you create a strong foundation of love and understanding from which to take another step into your Self.  Slowly but surely, you will experience a new reality that’s based on a different and kinder truth that will lend itself to greater compassion and empowerment.  Like I say, life stops leading you, and you start leading (your) life.
 
As we examine our fears in a new light, we have the power to transform them into a new and better reality that stops limiting and starts creating the kinds of possibilities that we would not have otherwise known if our fears remained unchallenged.  In the words of Christopher Reeves:
 

There are lots of ways  of being fearless. I highly recommend it. To a large extent, the key to  fearlessness is the “no matter what.” Keep that in mind. It’s truly  amazing what we can do by allowing the spirit and mind to flourish.

 
http://aaablogs.uoregon.edu/podssocialactioncareers/living-a-fearless-life-christopher-reeves/
 
With Love,
theDesignLife

(these are thoughts on fear from a separate post I wrote earlier this year – I figure that it was relevant)

 

I continue to listen to your words as we move deeper into 2013. When I  listen carefully, I hear not only your voice, your words, your message but also my voice, my words and my message.   What I oftentimes ‘hear’ is fear.  The conversations usually follow a similar cadence.  A series of quick tempo adagios describing excitedly our wants that soon crescendo into the revelation of our deepest desires that break way into the soft hush of what is holding us back: our fears.

However, we never say explicitly: I am afraid of failure or I am afraid of being rejected. Instead, our fears surreptitiously sneak
their way into the conversation as though they have the right to be there as we rationalize and make the excuses: I think it’s better to wait to do this next year because the timing isn’t right or That’s ok – I know you didn’t mean it.  Maybe the timing truly isn’t right and maybe the other person really didn’t mean it, but if we dig just a bit deeper, our rationalizations are usually the armor that protects us from the slings of our own hurt, disappointments and insecurities.

The thing I have been realizing for myself is that fears don’t always make themselves known; they are not always apparent to the naked eye. Fears manifest themselves in different ways. When we grow up seeing perfectly molded bodies equating to love, sex and beauty, we carry the fear that if we don’t have those bodies, we will not be admired, loved and wanted. When we are taught that success equates to money and power, we carry the fear that if we don’t hold a job that will give us those things, we will not be successful.  These are just a few of the many examples from where our fears can be derived.

Therefore, blindly, we live our lives out of fear. Our thoughts, words and actions are driven out of fear because of whatever implicitly held belief we have come to practice as a truth and guiding principle.  So many of us, including myself,  know that we are not living our full potential.  If we can at least start by recognizing the fears we hold, we can start to embrace, and eventually, overcome them. Luckily, age has played a favorable role over time.  While fear and failure will always chime in, they play a less predominant roles as I get older.  I try to make sure that I am doing things for myself, and not for others.  Lastly, I always have my fellow cheerleaders – life is much better played when there are fans in the stadium!

Let the impossible becomes possible and watch as you grow from good to great 🙂

LIVE BETTER.

With Love,
 theDesignLife

fear

(n) an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat; (v) be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.

 
We live life being protected.  We are protected from the threat of guns, germs and steel, as well as the danger of our thoughts, feelings and emotions.  The macrocosm of societies have long equipped themselves with arms and weapons to defend against the real or perceived threat of neighboring invaders while the microcosm of Self was born with innate responses to fight, flee or freeze to protect itself from social and animal predators. 
 
Freed from the threats of sabre-tooth tigers and cave men with clubs, we now face different kinds of fears.  Mostly, we come face-to-face with our own internal fears surrounding rejection, abandonment, isolation and all of the other internal mechanisms we employ to protect us from humiliation, shame and guilt. 
 
Fear definitely holds value and plays a well-respected role, but there is also an appropriate time and place for its expression.  When fear is what is beating you up, being the voice of your inner critic or expressing itself as your shadow and is blocking your potential for further self-expression, then it needs to be confronted. 
 
The biggest realization we need to make is that the fears we have are ours alone – we created them, we carry them, we manifest them.  Fear is our own defensive play in the game called, Life.  The best part about this is that if we create our own fears, then we can also control them.  Don’t believe that fears, just like our shadows, insecurities or inner critics, will ever be eradicated.  They are part of us, so need to be recognized as such.  The most effective way to confront our fears is not to shun them but to accept them and put them aside. 
 
Over the past several years, I have explored some of my deepest and darkest places, forcing me to confront as many aspects about myself that I can find, including my fears.  Today, I try to muster every ounce of courage I have to overcome the fears that are holding me back.  When I come across a recognized fear, I ask myself two big questions before I figure out how to proceed:
 
What’s The Worst Case Scenario?
The best part about this question is that it usually provides an answer that isn’t nearly as scary or daunting as thought prior to asking this question.  Most recently, I questioned whether or not to even share my personal thoughts on this blog, then share it with those in my personal and professional network.  I wondered how others would perceive me; I became frightened that too much of myself would become exposed; I assumed everyone would become a critic of my grammar and composition, etc.  However, when I took several steps back, I re-examined my objectives and intentions against the worst case scenario.  My primary objective has been to write my story because I love writing.  The secondary objective has been to share my story with those who might be able to learn from, gain understanding through or just relate to my soul-searching journey.  The worst case scenarios were people rejecting my story, hating my writing or ignoring my blog altogether.  And I was ok with that.  So long as there was a part of this process that was just for me, I would be ok… Now, with a handful of followers and some blog post likes, I’m even better 🙂  Thank you, readers, for your support and encouragement – you have made my worst case scenario turn into my best case scenario!   
 
Am I Hurting Myself or Anyone Else?
This is a hard question to answer sometimes because harm can be manifested in many guises – actions, words, intentions and thoughts even.  As I am starting to write a book about part of my life, I come across this question often because there are others who I will write about in the context of my life.  Sometimes, the roles they played aren’t always portrayed in the best light, and since I don’t want to hurt them, I need to figure out better ways to show how they helped to shape me and my life.  I do believe that there is a fine line to be walked in these circumstances, and for me, I am letting my heart be my judge.  Ultimately, so long as when I want to do or say isn’t going to endanger someone, I’m good with it. 
 
Fear can be elusive.  It seems to slip its way into our lives in many sizes and shapes.  At the root of seemingly innocuous hesitations, postponements, deferrals and projections is a fear that forms a barrier between us and the life we want to lead.  Like my Vision Board says:
 

If you don’t try, fear wins.

 
DON’T LET FEAR WIN.
 
With Love
theDesignLife