Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath oh Fresh Air

Share the Ride

on June 26, 2015

Fear can be a good feeling when it comes from a challenge; it can be freeing when we face it and can show us the freedom and fearlessness when we overcome it. This good fear is a part of life’s tests that we grow from; we may pass, fail, or just even try, any of which is a win. Trying alone can keep our boundaries from becoming a burden.

Fear can also be ferocious when it overflows and overwhelms; it can freeze our faith and rape our rationality. This fear is the feeling of drowning in quicksand. It makes life feel too heavy to move through, leaving us feeling paralyzed and powerless. This fear is not just a test; it is part of everyone’s journey. It is a stage that will make us stronger (likely more than we ever imagined), and it important to remember during these times that this is a temporary upheaval – that “this too shall pass”.

Fear is something we deal with all our lives. As we get older, what we are afraid of likely changes. We still experience stops all over fear’s spectrum, but our perspectives are different.

Like most kids, I had my fair share of fears: the dark, the quiet, the robbers, the murderous villains, the Nightmares we had on Elm Street (I was ALWAYS the last one to fall asleep at slumber parties)… and that list went on to include anything else that got me out of my own bed and into my parent’s J. These are good / growing pain kind of fears, and eventually we just grow out of them.

As a teenager and into early adulthood, we come to understand that Freddy Krueger is fictional, and that sleep is a beautiful thing. Our fears are less about who is going to murder us and more about who is going to talk about us, and what the “who’s” are going to say, think, feel, and ultimately judge about us. These fears fall between freeing and ferocious on a more slippery slope, because usually at some point in time a volatile version of self-esteem pulls strongly in the wrong direction, and some of us start or stay a prisoner here before we break away.

When we finally reach the age of not giving a shit about others perceptions and letting our own visions live, breathe, and grow (aka we become comfortable with who we are), our fears morph from things we think about to things that are actually happening. We are introduced to the real world’s villains (most of whom are much worse than Freddy), and nightmares we can’t wake up from. On the bright (and not so bright) side, we know now what we didn’t know then. We are able to use what we have learned to (mostly) manage fear versus be managed by it.

There is a common thread through all the fears and all our ages; fear finds food where we are vulnerable, when our security feels compromised. Sometimes, being vulnerable and indulging in insecurity is purposeful and can lead to good things, like demonstrating your trustworthiness to someone, or pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. Other times (most times) vulnerability happens without our consent, leaving us feeling exposed and like we lost control in our own life’s ride.

Truly, our only protection from all fear is a sense of security. Security can be good health, enough money (oxymoron!), and or what is most important: being surrounded and supported by people we love and who love us. Security, whatever it looks like for you, can protect you from letting fear become ferocious and drive you to surrender.

Here’s the thing: when fear starts to whisper in our ears, when it forces its way into our lives, we are in an exposed versus a purposeful form of vulnerable. We may have security, but fear is clouding and manipulating our perception. We become unable to translate and transcend; we forget what we have and only look at what we don’t have or what might get taken away. We start to focus only on what we can’t control, and our wisdom to know anything seems to take flight to the evil side of “what if” town.

So, how can we get grounded once this happens?

Honestly, I had some trouble answering this question. Lately life’s circumstances has disturbed my proactive rhythm and forced me into a reactive backseat. I have been fighting a state of fear I never wanted to (re)visit. It has been frustrating and (at times) ferocious, and made me feel like I was falling / failing / and other random “f” words that apply ;-).

And then, in the midst of my f-storm a friend turned my attention towards a rainbow; changing my perspective and removing the fear from my viewpoint. She reminded me to stop taking it all so damn seriously and to remember there is always something beautiful in life to see and participate in if you focus your fight on something other than your fear. After all, fear can only live if you feed it.

You see, while focused only on fear we forget things like our friends and family. Luckily… they don’t forget about us.

And so this is what grounds us – each other and eventually ourselves. Our support keeps us stable when our self gets distracted; our support reminds us that we aren’t given what we can’t handle and that tomorrow is another day.

We can’t control when ferocious fear takes us for a ride; we can remember that life will ride on anyway, no matter what seat we are in. We can trust that we never truly ride alone; that someone (and or maybe something) always Share(s) the Ride with us.

And we can count on them to turn our wheel when necessary.

A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its’ own wings. Always believe in yourself.

-said by someone fearless and shared with me by a forever friend 🙂

LISTEN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKVTNRZAvO0

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