Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Stop Living in Fear (easier said than done)

Of course we are fearful. All of us, yes every last one of us. We’re afraid of a multitude of past sins, and fearful of our financial futures. We’re afraid that we won't be able to give our children the advantages we want for them, and we worry that we are not doing enough for our aging parents.

Most of all however, we are afraid of being found out. Of being recognized for what someone else thinks is not enough and that we’ve been faking it all along.

We’re fearful of people knowing that we are a fraud.

Oh, there are all kinds of frauds, many of which are ultimately harmless and that just remind us that we are human. No, I didn’t really run the last half-marathon in under 2 hours, turns out it was 2:01. No, I didn’t finish the challenge for 60 days straight yoga. I woke up on day 51 with a migraine, but I did do it the other 59 days, doesn’t that count, it does? Doesn’t it?

We tell our children to be respectful of their teachers, but we don’t tell them what we say about all authority under our breath.

We say we are mindful and live in the moment and trust the Universe. But there are mornings at 2a.m., when we are truly afraid.

We keep our cool and display temperance in public around the staff room table, but still we raise our middle finger at the jerk who cut in front of us on the drive home.

We are afraid of being ourselves.

In our jobs and around the dinner table, we fake it sometimes because it just makes it easier. It keeps  someone’s feathers unruffled. We appear to be affable, but inside we’re crying or screaming for a variety of reasons.

How difficult would it be if we actually spoke the words of our dissent? Imagine, if we were actually honest with each other? If we said to someone, “wow, thanks for saving my butt”, “sorry”, “can you show me how you did that?”, “I’m really trying but I’m not quite there yet, help me please”, “I made a mistake”. Picture it. Together we could start a movement to support each other instead of treating each other as adversaries.

Let’s stop pretending and stop worrying that someone will find out that we are human.

I am currently reading Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. I am saddened by the circumstances that he grew up in, by a world that condoned and ignored Apartheid. On the next page, I am laughing out loud at this young man’s resilience and the life-lessons he learned from his Mom. A mother, who could have thrown her hands up in despair and lived inside a life of Fear. A mother who defiantly chose to not see the barriers placed in front of her so that her son could be free. I encourage you to pick up a copy and read his words.

Fear, is a healthy reaction to a threat. But let’s stop a moment in that emotion and analyze it. Most of us do not need to fear being eaten by a lion, and we are aware of the caution needed in walking down an unlit street in a sketchy part of town. Fear is okay, it keeps us in the moment.

But come on now, most of the things we dread just don’t happen. Having a backup plan is a smart move, it gives a person the confidence to try. If we could simply have a plan and then trust and let it go. Let the pieces fall where they will, because nothing is written in stone. The world will survive (and so will we) when we change jobs, get a divorce, or our child is not accepted at their first choice of university. Every darn lesson is teaching us about resilience and hope!

The new piece of art in my workplace that you see here says it all. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we said this to ourselves each morning? And then lived it each day?

Don't worry, just give it a try. (Click to Tweet)

Every darn lesson is teaching us about resilience and hope! (Click to Tweet)

Living in Hope (Part 2) see it here.

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