How would you live your life if you weren’t afraid? This is a question I have wrestled with a lot over the last several years. What would my life look like if fear wasn’t the biggest deciding factor? Fear, it’s a great motivator when you’re hiking and coming across a rattlesnake, but my brain has overused fear for years. Would I be in the relationship I am in today if I wasn’t afraid? Would I have the same job? Would I have the same friendships? Would I be the same type of mother? Today I can answer yes to all of these. Five years ago, I could never have said yes to most of these. I wasn’t living the life I wanted to. I was living from a place of fear. Fear of not being liked, fear of being alone, fear of not making enough money, fear of losing friendships and fear of not being the “perfect” mom. Blah! Gross, yuck – no thank you!
I had a boss several years ago that always asked everyone, “What are you afraid of?” I never wanted to admit that I was afraid of anything, because that was weakness. I was supposed to be an educated, relatively intelligent and successful woman – what place did fear have in my everyday life? My truth was that fear was my biggest character defect and was like a current running underneath my life. Most of the areas I wasn’t happy with in my life needed a change or a redirection and fear kept me from correcting the course. Change was scary for me! The fear of the ‘what ifs’ of life kept me in a holding pattern. Finally one day I knew that I had to take a leap of faith and walk towards change and possible pain. For me that meant leaving a good job, friends and relationships that had run their course. It meant walking towards the fear that had dictated so much of my life. The crazy thing that I learned was that once on the path to being authentic and happy, courage stepped in and helped me swim through the fear. I had a little bit of courage in deciding to make the changes, but my courage grew and fear shrunk.
The anxiety that used to fuel my life and decisions also diminished. Over the past seven years I have left a high paying job in a city I loved, moved 3 times, went through a painful divorce and was diagnosed with cancer. Today I have a joy filled life (do not read perfect here!), a daughter that lights up my life, a job I absolutely adore and the best friendships of my life. I’ve worked hard emotionally for these things and have had to walk through some serious crap to get here. I didn’t make this journey on my own though. I found a therapist that helped me embrace a holistic approach to health; I found meds that diminished the anxiety, an energy healer that healed me in huge ways and an acupuncturist that just kicks butt. I found my team and in my team they helped me start living from an authentic place. I know for some that will sound a little ‘crazy’, but it’s worked for me.
Fear is a big dragon that’s been living in my house with me for a long time. Today I try not to feed the dragon and most days I forget he’s there. Some days though…some days that dumb dragon is persistent and almost talks me into spending time with it and feeding it. What I have learned is that any decision made out of fear that isn’t self-preservation isn’t good for me. Fear never has my best interests at heart. Fear and his nasty sister anxiety are energy suckers. They’re the dragons, but today I chose to be the dragon slayer.
My energy healer~ Maggie