Unmasking Fear

It’s the week of Halloween, so why not unmask this bad boy… yep – fear.

I am not a scaredy cat, but I am realizing that fear dominates my life.  I’m not talking about obvious fear like spiders (though maggots are way worse) or gremlins, I am talking about the deep-seated stuff that feels like it’s me.  Fear that lingers and looms and whispers to me at every twist and turn.  Fear that under cuts my confidence and lies to me on a daily basis.  Fear that prevails at derailing me, despite my ability to succeed.  Can you identify or am I just the only one that fear likes to pick on?!

I am way to old for this stuff.  I am in the second phase of my life and burn the candle on both ends chasing kids and dust bunnies and spending more time in my car than in my bed (well, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea).  I have to give the “fear” talk every night as I tuck 4 little faces into bed, confident that the dark is going to eat them alive if their eyes stay shut for more than 30 seconds.  Fear and I are not friends and have been mortal enemies for some time…and yet, daily I give it my deepest secrets to it allowing fear to exploit and torment me.

I’m all done.  I’m pulling back the veil and exposing this impostor.

Here are 3 things about fear that need to be unmasked

  1. Fear is not part of you.

That’s right, fear is not a part of you.  Let’s look at fear like an equation.  It looks like this:

You + Fear = False reality.

In the core of who God made you, fear was not there. Fear feels like it is a part of you, or at least for me it does, but fear is an additive – something added after the original design.  That’s radical, right.  Step back and think about that for a minute.  Fear is NOT a part of you.  You can separate yourself from fear (You Fear = Empowerment).

I’m going to use myself as an example.  My guess is fear is something that was agreed with one time many years ago, that once agreed with decided to make a home my life.  Fear posed as a friend bringing me safety, but in all reality it is the great thief that desires to destroy every inkling of joy that comes my way.  Fear wants me to think it is indistinguishable from me, but fear is a feeling, just a feeling.  An emotion, a thought, often a lie – rarely the truth.  I am not bound to fear because it is not who I am, it is a decision I make.  Thus leading me to point #2…

2.  Fear is a choice.

Yep, fear is a decision.  It can be agreed with or disagreed with.

Fear is the voice that at every intersection of opportunity says, “but what if?”  This is a deep thought (hold on tight, it could change your life) you have a choice!  Let me say that again – YOU have a choice.  When fear presents itself and expects that you quickly agree and hold its hand and pack it in your suitcase and take it on your adventure (so it can ruin your joy)- say no.  That’s right, just say no.  “No, thank you.  There is no room in my suitcase for you to come along and ruin my fun.”

Fear is not a part of you!  Fear can be separated from you.

Fear is a choice we make, an agreement we often don’t see.

3.  “Fear and Faith can not coexist”.

I am not sure who originally said this, but this is a quote from the smartest man I know, my Dad.  Fear and faith are opposites.  There is no room in your heart and mind for both of them at the same time.  Only one of these get to steer your ship at a time.  You can not simultaneously believe you will succeed and at the same time fear you will fail.  Faith will be building in your soul, excited to see you be victorious, and then here comes your worst enemy disguised as your bestie.  Only one of them gets to imprint on your dream and take the lead.  The other gets quickly ushered away to the back office where duct tape is fastened on their mouth.

Ray Edwards says these 12 words changed his life… “Fear knocked at the door.  Faith answered and no one was there.”  (Wow.)  When fear knocks and faith answers, fear evaporates.  Again, they can not coexist.

So, here’s my wrap up.  We get to choose!  We don’t have to be blind followers anymore – how liberating!  This choice is like a muscle, so let’s start flexing it.  Every time we catch ourselves agreeing with fear, just chose to flex your faith muscle instead.  Eventually you’ll be bulging with faith and fear will be a skeleton, begging to be fed.

One or the other.  It is a choice.  And it is not who you are!  So simple it’s hard.


Here is a question –  can you see the invisible?

That is a bold question, right?  Are you thinking, “where in the world is she coming from”?  “Like aliens and spirits?!”  …No, no.  I’m talking about what is fully visible in our lives, but yet unseen.  Let me back up a few steps.

It has been a couple of months since I have posted a blog.  I have been exceedingly busy, but really that is just a front for saying that I have been working hard at surviving.  (When you deal with anxiety and ADD, you are almost always trying to avoid the deep dark place of depression and sometimes all else gets put on the back burner of life to steer your ship away from dark waters.)  In the midst of my survival mode it has been the anniversary of when life took an unexpected and devastating turn 3 years ago.  Now, quick side note, I do not live in false hopes of the resurrection of something destructive, but I do mourn for an entity that I created and cultivated with deep love and dedication.  I mourn an ideal my children deserved.  I mourn a commitment that I made, like a seed planted, that did grow, did have roots, did require my nurturing.  I mourn my dreams and expectations.  I mourn.

But more than mourning, I live!  I live beyond the devastation.  I live in a new reality that I don’t completely understand yet.  I didn’t die when my marriage did despite the fact that I had no idea how I was going to survive.  And mark my words, my story is far from done.

(Oops, rabbit trail.  Ok, back to where we were.)  Are you familiar with Newton’s 3rd law?  It is the law of motion that states every action has an opposite but equal reaction.  I believe the same principle we see at work in matter and motion works in all areas of life.  For me, my equal but opposite reaction to mourning has been creation.  But creating what will be is almost as much work as mourning what was.  (It only makes sense, equal but opposite, ugh.)

There, that brings me almost to my opening comment…can you see the invisible?  What has always been in me, (the potential, desire, hope) has always been there, will always be there, but so much of it is not yet visible.  Bringing something into existence, putting skin on it, giving it life, is WORK!  Oh man.  Some days I want to just eat candied pecans and watch Ted talks.  (Uh, that may have just happened yesterday.)

I know I am not in this boat alone.  I am sure there is at least one of you out there in the big world that can feel this deep longing to acknowledge what you know to be true and yet no one can see…sometimes not even you.

I don’t know about you, but I have been in a waiting pattern for something.  Some fictional, mystical thing to take place before I “begin” .  Am I waiting to be told it is ok to dream?  Am I waiting for the planets to align before I make my flight plan?  Am I thinking some fairy godmother is coming to my rescue with a magic wand?  (Maybe a little.)  Yes and no to all of these, but mostly I am waiting for someone to see the great in me and make me want to believe.  Wow.  Can anyone do this for me?!  No.  Seeing the great in you has to come from you, yourself, or you are never going to actually believe it.  In fact, I have the most amazing people in my life who do see it and keep encouraging me to it, and yet it is not enough.  Why is it not enough?  Because I don’t believe it.

I heard this great piece of advice today.  It was in a blurb on fb from Lisa Nichols.  She said, “I didn’t wait for permission to be great, I gave notice.”  Yes.  YES!  Give notice!  You can not sit around waiting for someone to see something in you that you are unwilling or incapable of seeing yourself.  You know it is there, you feel it, you just refuse believe it might be there because then you might have to decide what to do with it.  And if you are anything like me, you have noooooo idea where to even begin – and that is scary.

So, ladies and gentleman (and self), let me wrap this up with some deep advice.  Today is you day.  The waiting period just expired.  You know what is there, you want to believe it…and well today is as good of a day as any day.  Quit waiting.  The permission you are craving is never going to come from anywhere but from within you, so receive it.  See the possibilities.  See beyond the circumstances.  See what might be, not just what is.  See into the abyss with laser like vision as if you can see through to the other side.  See beyond the fog as if the sun just broke through and began to shine.  SEE the invisible!

As long as there is breath in you, there is greatness!  You are not dead and cold, therefore there is still time left to be what you would’ve been.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to waste another day wishing someone would believe in me, when really it is time for us to believe in ourselves.  I chose to believe today.  I chose to see not only what is, but what will be.  It scares me.  I have no idea how I will ever get there.  But I can’t wait another day hoping someone else sees it.  I am going to see it.  I am going to believe it.  And then, well, I don’t know what then.  I’m going to keep fighting the uphill battle, but with a little more push.  I’m going to start asking for what I want without saying sorry.  I’m going to look at myself different….that is what I am going to do – I am going to look at myself like I am victorious instead of a “has been”.  I will choose to see the gold that I am and not the hunk of coal that someone else couldn’t see the treasure in.

I am going to believe in me.  I’m going to see my invisible.  I’m giving notice today.

I hope you chose to see your invisible.

I can’t wait for the world to know our stories.  When the light in us breaks out, it is going to be beautiful.  Our stories will give light to someone else’s dark road, so don’t give up.  Believe in you.  Because only you can.

Here’s to our invisible!