Everyone is Afraid of Something

My son is afraid of spiders and flu shots. For me… it’s heights. 

I love the Grand Canyon, but when hiking it more than ten years ago, I was so afraid one of my feet would slip and I would find myself hanging from a ledge on the South Rim.  But, it was a risk I was willing to take so I could experience the natural beauty of God’s magnificent wonder. And, let me tell you… it was worth every fear-filled step I took down that very small path of dirt and rocks, and then back up again.

I hate to admit it, but another fear I have is the fear of success. Like Florence mentioned in her last post, there are people in our lives who may not want to see us successful… and rather than hurt them, we choose to hide our light under a bushel.

One of my dear mentors gave me this message that I think is important to share with you all:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,
fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”

Rather than a fear of success, some of you may fear failure, or not being perfect enough. I am a quilter, and because of my passion for this hobby I learned during my study of this craft that when women in Shaker communities construct their quilts together, they purposefully make a mistake someplace in each quilt.  The reason they do this, is to make the statement that “only God is perfect”, and even though we were made in His/Her image we will never be perfect. And, that is the beauty of what I am trying to communicate with this post.  No one expects anyone to be perfect.

Let me say it again… no one expects anyone to be perfect.

Many of us become paralized by our fears.  We shut down because we want everything to be perfect, so we never get started.  We cannot think about taking another step, picking up that phone, writing that person you lost touch with over time, asking for that promotion, telling someone how you really feel even if you aren’t sure what their response will be, getting on that rollercoaster, eating a plate of raw fish you can’t even pronounce…  whatever it is… you fill in the blank. 

Just remember that taking “any” action is more important than taking “the wrong” action.  Do not get paralized by your fear of doing the wrong thing.  If later you feel like you made a wrong choice, please… just forgive yourself and move on to the next choice.  Tell yourself it’s ok and keep moving forward.  AT LEAST YOU MADE A CHOICE.  You took an action.  The only person setting limits on you… is yourself.  You are the only one who can choose what comes next for you… no one else. And choosing to wait until everything is perfect… is not a choice.

2011 is a new year.  It’s time to let go of fear… whatever the source of it is…. the doors are opening for a lot of us and it’s time to not just step through them…. but, RUN THROUGH THEM WITH VIGOR!!

Don’t let fear get the best of you. Only you have the power to choose what comes next and make it happen. Who cares if the outcome is not the “perfect” one you had in your mind? It’s probably the right outcome for you right now. 

Love and Light,

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