Sunday, August 30, 2009

Courageously Create The Life You Want Without Fear

There is a reason that the artist has an innate desire and need to draw, color, paint, mold with clay, expressing unique ideas, thoughts, and visual images each day.  There is a reason that the stock broker had to leave her  comfortable career in the financial services field at one of the most prestigious firms in the nation to begin a new and, what would be, for her, a far more rewarding and enriching career, in Information Technology.  She had to make the aforementioned drastic career change and could do no less or she would ultimately, be letting herself down.  This is true even though so many friends and colleagues have been pressuring her to "just touch it out."

Courage Goes A Long Way

There is a reason that the writer has to write and the comedian has to stand up.  When one makes a big decision to stop doing what they’ve done for a long time and move in another career direction, it can be quite confusing and frightening for some.  Making a decision to act, model, become a pop culture critic, or go into the IT field, perform stand-up comedy or do whatever one’s next chapter in life has in store for them, it can be quite daunting, to say the least.  Listening to feedback from others and observing the reactions received by colleagues and friends alike, can sometimes be discouraging, due to a lack of understanding and fear.  This may even feel at times, like the world is going to come crashing down.  The real truth is that it won’t.

The prescription here is a great dose of courage to create a life that is full of personal success and fulfillment that is absent of fear.  This fear sometimes rears its ugly head within one’s self, as well as in others—well-intended, as it may be, but buttressed upon long-standing columns of fear of the worst kind.  Success can not subscribe to the crippling and grossly limiting boxes that fear, in its most personified form strives to collectively sort us into, whether we fit  or not.   Its properties are most stifling.  In all honesty, we’re only human, so when we find ourselves subscribing to fear, we have to cancel it.

Fear in and of itself only seeks to drown us, ultimately usurping every last ounce of our breathing space, entrenching us in a dank cave of mire and muck with seemingly no end in sight.   This wolf in lamb’s clothing is all about foolery.  An imposter, he is most inviting, comforting, familiar, goes out of his way to make us feel most at home, even inviting friends and family whose opinions we value along at times for the boat trip up the river.  Uncanny in his demeanor, fear sometimes solicits those closest to us to feed discouraging lines of questioning, always beginning by telling us, “No!”  What we deserve to hear is, “Yes!”

When We Accept Fear, We Often Ask These Questions:
  • Do you really have to do that? 
  • Why do you have to do that?
  • Can’t you just do this instead of that (no matter how despondent you feel)?
  • Why do you want to lose all of this?
  • Will they disapprove of me?
  • Don’t you worry about being rejected?
The translation of this interrogation, however well-meaning it may be is, “Wait.  Just wait a little while longer.  Be content. Remain here in this place.  I’m afraid for you.  Do not make me feel uncomfortable.  I am afraid that you may find or create a path for yourself that either does not include me or to which I lack the courage to go.  My fears regarding what may result are far more deserving of your attention right now.” 
Divine order has planted a seed of purpose and passion inside of us, providing a strong and burning desire to do the things that our souls call upon us to do.   This is what motivates us to actively pursue challenges. 

Fear is not only a well-trained farce and false-suitor, but he also comes baring birds of paradise or whatever else he can use for the purpose of schmoozing us for his own benefit.  He knows what we adore and is more than willing to provide whatever comforts are required to maintain our complacency for as long as possible. This veteran con-artist is a most efficient captain of his ship, issuing commands with absolute specificity.  “S.S. Absolute Fear…  No Mistakes or Misinterpretations Allowed!” is on the ship’s stern, scribed in the brightest of red hues.   Contrary to popular belief, fear does offer words of encouragement in his commands, but of the wrong kind.  

Fear Encourages Us To Do The Following:

  • Fail at everything.
  • Succeed at nothing.
  • Forego the decisions, yearnings, and passions of our hearts—your passion.  It’s good enough for us.  Believe that’s all we deserve.
  • Do not pursue the ideas, relationship standards, choices, challenges, educational goals, career options, hobbies, challenges and inevitable ultimate happiness that drive and inspire us—what our souls naturally calls upon us to do to create true happiness for ourselves beyond compromise, despite what others would have us to do.  Make others happy.  Not ourselves.  Believe we are not worthy of the happiness that we deserve by our birthright.
  • Be miserable.  It’s easier.  We know this monster.  Why go out, seek, find, or create a gem for ourselves?  Believe the fallacy.  The grass is never greener on the other side.
  • Believe in fear.  It is real and belongs to us.
  • Leave our goals behind.
Once all passengers and stow-always are settled in to our cabins, he kindly holds us by the hand, nods in a most gentle manner and commands the Deck Hand to lower the anchor.  As soon as fear has us right where he wants and needs us to be, completely beholding and dependent upon him, content, entombed in our monolithic boxes, he leaves us to fend for ourselves with no life jacket in sight. 

We must then ask, just how comfortable does this really feel?  Although the feeling may very well be one of intense familiarity, does true joy live here in this place—on this ship stacked with its multitudinous, sinking, seafarers, who are essentially drowning in fear?  Is a lifetime voyage aboard ship “S.S. Absolute Fear…  No Mistakes or Misinterpretations Allowed!” attractive enough to encourage us to pack our bags?  We’ll only need one.  This one’s a one-way trip.

Fear is an abhorrent thing.  We each have feelings of fear at one time or another.  It’s natural.  The promising news is that it’s quite possible to overcome with gigantic leaps and bounds!  The coping mechanisms by which we choose to deal with this beast equates to the difference between living a more fruitful, happy, life, enriched and enlivened by our true purpose and one of resentment, anger, jealousy, and stagnation.

It is of the utmost importance to note that carrying out our lives in a state of fear is to essentially throw our hands up and declare absolute helplessness over our ability to actively participate in the creative design of our own lives.  The real and eminent danger in all of this is that to create a life usurped by fear and throw in the towel on our own present and future is to in fact, give up every ounce of personal power.

Fear is delusional and often times derives from ignorance, but can be overcome.  We really can move beyond our fears, achieve personal satisfaction, find our passion, and live it by first, identifying those things that evoke fear in us.  Recognize that most of what we fear is not real, but imagined, imposed by others, or even cycled from our past experiences. 

Upon completing this, we can begin to carve out the exceedingly joyful lives that we so deserve.  This is key in overcoming fear and beginning the process of self-cherishing.  Living a life free of fear is truly the most comfortable, peaceful, and safe refuge for us.  Let us claim it and make it our own.  Fear is gone.  Create a new life that is tailor-made just for you and nobody else.  Live it!

Sometimes we even have to rework it and tweak it down the road as life goes on, as it's ever-changing.  We have to find new ways of doing things, achieve acceptance (not someone else's, but our own), and go forth.  I've definitely had to learn to do this with chronic illness causing some real limitations.  Then comes appreciation, which resides far, far beyond acceptance and what a glorious place it is!  This enables me to remain positive, upbeat, uplifted, and even share some of those emotions with others sometimes.  More to come later.

Find your passion and live it!

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