In honor of #worlddoulaweek, I'm doing the #photochallenge. Today's challenge is to take a photo of your favorite quote. Oddly enough, 'the best quote ever' didn't pop into my head. I couldn't think of a favorite. So as I was searching through my Pinterest quotes board, this one popped out to me. It resonated with me to my core.
I'm probably the last person that should be writing this blog post. Fear and I are more than acquaintances. I've let it creep into my life and sometimes I worry that it's taken a permanent hold. However I have thoughts about overcoming fear, and I'd love to share those with you. Hopefully they help you on your journey to breaking up with fear.
Life wasn't meant to be lived in fear. What does that mean to me? It means that living my life in fear; fear of the unknown, fear of death of my loved ones, fear of financial problems; living my life in fear is living my life the way it wasn't meant to be lived. Life is supposed to be lived in love, support, kindness, goodness, gratefulness. It's meant to enjoy and help others enjoy it.
Overcoming those fears is much easier said than done. My husband doesn't experience those fears the same way I do. Of course, sometimes he worries, and he'll think of these fears but it seems he can wash them away just as quickly and easily as they came on. For me, a fear will start, and I'll begin thinking about it. Somehow my imagination takes over and extends that fear. Imagination is not always a good and helpful thing, I can attest to that. The fear starts growing, taking on a life of its own. Soon enough I can even be crying, immersed in the reality that used to be just a fear. I know how I'll feel if that fear happened to come true. I know how I'll respond and the next steps I'll take. It gets crazy people.
There are a few things that I've done personally that helps overcome those fears.
1. Take away its power. When I let fear run away with my thoughts, I'm giving it power. Power to control. If I can stop it, in the beginning, it takes away it's power. I've practiced stopping the thoughts in their tracks. Then I ask myself if there is something else I'm actually worried about, and delve into that more. Sometimes it's related, sometimes I can't even imagine how the two are connected. Acknowledging and working through the thing I'm actually worried about really helps with my fears.
2. If I'm having a hard time stopping the thoughts, then I delve into the fear more appropriately. This is a hard thing to do. The first few times I did it was with a counselor, so I felt protected and safe. I think of what I'm afraid of and I ask myself 'okay, then what'. For example: "I'm afraid my husband will lose his job. 'Okay, then what?'. Well, we would have to cut our budget back. I might have to work more hours. 'Okay, then what?'. Well, my husband would have to try to find a job. And what if we had to sell our car, or sell our house, or use up our savings? 'Okay, then what?'. Well, we'd have to find another house, and...See what I'm doing here? I'm dealing with the end result, accepting it. You know what? It will all be okay.
Believe me, most of my fears are much worse than losing a job. They usually are really sad. But in the end, I know it will be okay. If I die, my husband and kids will miss me, but they'll be okay, they'll eventually be happy again. If one of my loved ones die, I'll miss them terribly. I'll cry a lot. I'll probably be depressed and take a while to get back on my feet. But guess what? I'll be okay. My other loved ones will be okay too.
Overcoming fear isn't something I've mastered, but it's something that I slowly work on every day, and every night. I don't want to live my life in fear. I don't want my decisions to depend on what my fear will let me do or not. Life wasn't meant to be lived in fear. It will all be okay.