For the better part of my younger life, you ruled my world. You made me sweat, pant, shake, spin out in my head and heart. You made me not trust myself, others and the world. You made me play small, shrinking into near disappearance, silencing my voice, my creativity, and my potential. But then things changed. I got to know you. I got to know that you have good intentions. That you believe you are keeping me from pain. But your intentions, Fear, are naive. Your intentions are limiting. So whereas I no longer am ruled by you, I also do not resist you. I no longer think of you as my enemy, as a dark, gloomy cloud of doom, keeping me from what I want. I no longer use you as an excuse, as a hiding place from realizing and reaching my potential. Nope. You don't get that power anymore.
Here's what I know...
EVERYTHING I've ever accomplished in my life has had fear in its roots. EVERYTHING that has ever meant something to me, I was at first, on some level, afraid of. You simply can't have triumph without fear. The feeling of victory only exists because of conquering fear.
Being brave is not about not being afraid. It's about what you do when you do feel afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear; courage only exists because of fear.
So Fear, you are my friend. You motivate me and you make the climb all worth it. And this is why I choose to embrace you. To recognize and welcome you in as a trusted guide and a necessary ingredient on my journey. You Fear, in some ways, are fuel. But so is faith.
Faith. A belief that good things can happen... that good things do happen... that good things ARE happening. Or at the very least, that it's all unfolding as it needs to. You see the thing is, the brain is wildly creative. It loves to make up stories about how bad things could go if we leap into the unknown, into faith. It does this to protect us. But the truth is Fear, you don't stop bad things from happening... you stop good things from happening. You stop the creativity of possibility from flowing. But the funny part is... you are just an illusion. You are not real and I can choose how much to water you, how much power to give you.
And here's the other truth... it turns out, I don't need protection. I don't even want it... I don't want to live a safe life, protected by you. I want to live a life that shakes me and shapes me into what I can be, what I need to be. I want a life where you are present as a healthy challenger, but not as the one in charge. I'm in the driver's seat of this life, Fear, so move over because faith is my preferred fuel.