Fear is the most debilitating four letter word in the English language. We all suffer from it in small or very large ways. The word fear needs to be distinguished from being afraid because they are two very separate things. Being afraid is a very natural response to either an internal or external threat, real or imagined but fear contains a much broader area of discussion.
For the sake of this discussion I am going to speak about our internal fears, such as inadequacy, acceptance, self doubt, lack of self esteem and the like. Now mind you I am not a scholar or a clinical psychologist or medical person of any kind, just someone who has come to recognize fear and its impediment to action.
Let me begin by stating simply and for the record, my biggest fear is self doubt and not measuring up to my father. An explanation is probably in order here. My dad was larger than life, a man who grew up in a blue collar home. He finished high school while in the military and became an electrician after coming home from Korea. He was a man who saw no gray areas in life, only good and bad, right or wrong. In my eyes, he was John Wayne and the Marlboro Man all rolled into one. But he was also a hard man, one who did not express compliments or praise. Consequently, I never really understood if my mere achievements were worthy of merit or not. Hence a very large dose of self doubt, through my teen years and on through my young adulthood.
The hardness my father had instilled in me would be present the day I stood at the foot of his hospital bed and listened to the doctor’s prognosis. The life support system he was on was the only thing keeping him alive. My mom could not bear the news and the decision to end the life support fell to me, the oldest. Knowing my father, his life, and what the right thing to do was, I quietly walked over and turned off the system. At that point, I realized what all the teaching, discipline and hard lessons had been for a reason. They had brought me to this point in time where I had the courage to face my fear and do what was needed.
Now I would be remiss to say that all of my fears disappeared that day because they did not. Being this frail human I suffer from the same fears that everyone else does, but I do know what it takes to overcome them, sometimes successfully and sometimes not so successfully.
If you have reached this point, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this. I must however offer a disclaimer, this was not written to illict sympathy, nor was it written as some cathartic exercise to remove my own personal demons. It was written to let you know that you are not alone. That the challenges or fears you face, however great or small can be conquered. It is all a matter of choice. You have been given the ability to make those choices. Create the life you want starting now.
Start by looking up and asking GOD for forgiveness. Then ask for courage and grace. Say a prayer every day and say Thank You because you have the ability, if you choose to conquer your fears and bring joy and peace into your life.
More to come….