Freedom

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Freedom

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I'm thinking of what fear feels like and reaching back to find times in my life where fear grabbed me around the throat and choked off my joy or my chance to do something thrilling or fulfilling or anything that was on the other side of fear. I am thinking of this because I just had a discussion with someone very close to me about fear and I felt that fear slide up into my throat like a cunning viper snake and I remembered that I am not accepting fear at the moment. The door is shut and locked and I am not peeking out to look at the fear. One look can last for days and days and paralyze me with overwhelming imaginings of "what if" and I know that "what if" never happens. I am not talking about healthy fears here, just to stop that train of thought, cause I am not crazy or dumb. Healthy fear is good and I welcome it and there are times when I wish it would kick in for me.

I am talking about the fear of the other variety and I am going to try a few "remember when's" to express that fear of the other variety and what happened when I stepped through it. So here goes and welcome to the jungle.

I remember standing on the edge of a floating pier that was out in a lake and the water was over my head. I wanted to jump into that water and swim around and feel the coolness but the six inches from the platform into that water looked so far from the water to me and the darkness of the water seemed to swallow up any bravery I could summons. No one knew. I agonized many times from many edges over water that I wanted to jump into and enjoy. I did this for many years. No one knew. I pretended I did not know how to swim so I could be in the beginner class of swimming in my senior year of high school. The idea of jumping from a diving board petrified me. No one knew. I could not voice a fear that I knew was unfounded. I watched people dive into the water, fling themselves into the water, cannonball themselves into the water and they did not disappear into a netherworld or dissolve or die on impact. But I was frozen in that fear. I was in my forties when I met a swimming instructor with the gift of teaching people with a fear of the water. First I jumped from the six inches into the water. Oh, what joy! Then I did simple dives from six inches over the water. I saw myself going to the Olympics and being the oldest champion in swimming. But it did not stop there, friends, my most amazing story is that I became a certified lifeguard through the Red Cross. In my forties, I became a certified lifeguard. I passed the tests. I rescued the fake baby in the deep end of the pool. All of those years of fear that paralyzed me melted away. I looked back and I could see myself full of that fear and feel sad for that child, the teenager, the woman who simply could not make the next move. But then I did and fear showed itself to be a liar. Fear is a liar. The moment I made that first, short jump I knew the fear was a liar. As I type I can feel the freedom from the lie engulfing me again.

Fear of the unknown was huge for me. What was in the dark? Who was upstairs when I knew I was alone in a two-story house?  What lurked in the quiet woods near me when I was alone? Hours and hours of listening and waiting for that "something" to show up and...and what? I had no idea what would happen when and if "they" got me or the woods came alive and took me into their world. Lord only knows, my imagination was as big as this world and I used it to scare myself out of my mind when I could have been sleeping. Again, fear robbed me of the fun other people were having and the freedom they experienced coming and going in that "place" where I just knew something horrible held court. Lack of sleep watching shadows and listening to sounds and waiting for the shadows to move towards me and for the sound to show itself as an indescribable...indescribable what? I had no idea. Again, I became an adult with this fear as strong in me as it was when I was a child. But one day I found myself needing to confront that fear and move through it. The fear was in my way and what I needed was on the other side. I stepped through it. Joy! Nothing hurt me. No one did whatever it was that someone was going to do. Freedom. Precious freedom. Did I have moments later on when I had to walk through this fear again? Yes. Did I walk through it? Yes. Fear is a liar. Fear tells me in an anxious whisper that I better turn around and run. Fear lied to me. I did not run. I walk through it and today I can go where I want to go and stay where I want to stay and I do not have that liar named Fear calling the shots and the "what if's" evaporate and are replaced by the "Yes, I can!"Freedom!

Now I am in a new phase of my life and my husband is very sick. I have sprung a few leaks myself and we don't have a financially bright future and things are getting ready to change and the changes are going to hurt. They are going to hurt to the core. They are already hurting to the core. And the answers are elusive and the journey is fraught with the unknown and yet the known. Fear begins to creep in with the awful and ugly stench I know so well. But this time I have closed the door on fear. This time I have all the experiences of stepping through fear and I have a God who goes before me and, for today, I just slammed the door in fear's face. After all, fear is a liar and fear brings confusion and fear tells me I can't and I won't and things will never be o.k. and what if! Oh my goodness, what if? What if I keep that door closed and throw away the key? What if I dare to be fear-free? What if I choose to believe that I can, and I will, walk free and what if, when I remember the fearful times from my past, I just smile and keep on walking? If God is for me, who can be against me?




 

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Bruce

Fear can be so crippling. Our minds can create the scariest scenes possible (for us). Turning day time nightmares into dreams can only come through a Divine intervention. Thank you for writing this blob....and reminding me where my real power comes from. Peace Always.

RoaringMouse 2.0

I'm glad you are deciding that you are more powerful then fear. That you have found it can be a tool in your arsenal and not a weapon against you. So proud of you!