Today started out with sunshine, and pretty clouds peeking around the ridge line making the view awesome as usual. Then the clouds obscured the ridge line on the other side of C-470, and the temperature plummeted. I’ve been spinning my wheels at my desk all morning, dithering this way and that. It’s the first day of a new month which means its time to make goals and a plan to get there for the month. Plus, it’s time to see how well last month went and what needs improvement.
But really I was just talking myself into feeling more like that obscured ridge line than a sunny field. Did I meet January’s goals? Not quite. Where they lofty and almost unachievable? Yes, but still that only means I failed at the slightly achievable part. Doubt started clawing at my leg, way more painful than one of the chihuahuas. My mind’s movie reel showed me scene after scene of epic massive failure that can come when you follow your dreams.
In order to get off of this roller coaster of self doubt and projected failure, I got up and walked around, and then I visited the Daily Post blog to get the daily writing prompt. If I couldn’t stop the self doubt, at least I could compartmentalize it and press pause for a bit while I concentrated on writing a post about a random topic. I don’t know why I was surprised when I got to the website and found that the topic of the day was Resist. I laughed out loud and did have a Dr. Pepper clawing at my leg for love and attention. Silly chihuahua! Silly, human! Resistance is futile.
Resist wasn’t some random off the wall topic for me this morning. Guess God knew like he always does that I needed a good swift kick in the bum. All right. I can come up with plan after plan to deal with every disaster scenario possible, but that doesn’t deal with the underlying issue. Really, all of these what ifs are mere distractions from the real problem. The real problem is fear. I’m resisting fear. You know the fear I’m talking about. The fear that usually creeps in at 3 am in the morning when I wake up with a pounding heart and the thought forming in my head that I’ve made some kind of horrible mistake. The fear that sucker punches you in the throat and leaves you crying and gasping for breath. The fear that I first really identified as fear when I became a Christian and was challenged to live in faith and not fear. I resist fear every day as I struggle to live with faith, struggle to believe that God has a plan for me, can even really use someone so broken for His purposes or really cares about us individually at all.
Fear comes from a dark place. It suffocates you and pulls you down. It keeps you from following your dreams and from realizing your place in life. It introduces darkness and negativity into your life which changes your perspective and makes it become darker, more jaded. Fear reflects light.
It’s hard to see the positive things in life when you are exercising your fear muscle. Being grateful and seeing the beauty in people doesn’t come naturally to me. Both require practice and my conscious effort to project both of those things into the universe and make them a part of my every day life. Practice makes it easier just like any other activity that I do. When you work your fear out by entertaining all of the negative things that the worst case scenario can bring, you make your fear bigger and stronger. You give it power over your life by letting it color your perspective. Fear becomes your pet. You feed it, pay attention to it, and it slips off of the leash and wreaks havoc in your life and chews up a shoe or a two.
You can walk in fear through life, or you can walk in faith through life. Walking in faith is hard and requires a daily commitment. Walking in fear is crippling and sucks your vitality and love of life away. I challenge everyone to resist fear. Look right at your fear, poke it right in the eye and yell, ‘You don’t own me!’ Then leave your fear behind and walk away. When it pounces on you out of nowhere the next time, it’ll be easier to send fear away. Don’t keep fear as a pet.
Without the shackles of fear, how high will you soar? What can achieve you today? Who’s life will you impact today? What kind of inspiration will you be to a stranger? How happy will you feel? Without fear, we achieve the impossible.