Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Fear Within

This is the first blog post I have written since May 2014.  That was about 8 months ago...maybe a little longer.  I have to admit that when I first stopped posting, it was because I had suddenly gotten inundated with things from all aspects of my life and something had to give.  Since writing this blog doesn't pay me enough to live off of (FYI...it doesn't pay me anything), it had to go temporarily. It was only going to be for a season, and then another season came and went, and so on.  Since so much time had passed, I thought it would be a good time to start writing my book, but that hasn't come to fruition yet and as I contemplated a new post to my blog, I couldn't do it. I was embarrassed that it had been so long, and then my mind filled with doubt and uncertainty.  What if I'm too late to start up again?  What if no one reads it?  What if people are glad I stopped to begin with?  Maybe no one reads it in the first place....I was frozen by fear.

We all have it - FEAR. You might not want to admit it, but it's there, lurking around, ready to pounce and overtake you at any moment.  Fear keeps us from apologizing when we know we are wrong.  It keeps us from trying something new.  Fear keeps us making a new friend or saying hello to a stranger.  Sometimes fear keeps us from doing stupid things too, like jumping off of a skyscraper.  Mostly, fear keeps us from fulfilling many things we are meant to do.

That's all fine and dandy, but this is a blog about blended families, so what does fear have to do with that?! Right?  I'll tell you. Fear keeps us from being completely vulnerable in our new families.  Think about it, we have had a previous relationship in which things didn't work out as planned, so as we enter into this new arrangement, a part of us wants to protect ourselves from going through that same hurt.  This produces a wall to keep that hurt at bay, fueled by....fear.  Sometimes I've been afraid to say "I love you" to my step children, because what if they don't say it back?  I have been afraid to talk to my husband about some things because in my past life, I would have gotten yelled at.  I've been afraid to extend an invitation to lunch or an outing to a stepchild, because if they say no, then that's one more time I've gotten rejected.

Fear puts all the focus on ourselves and takes the focus off of what is important.  What is important for you to do today?  For me it is to rejuvenate my blog and begin posting again.  I think that I have good things to share and people enjoy reading them. I hope they are helpful but at the very least, its like free therapy, and a good laugh for me. It's important for you to recognize what fear is holding you back from.  Is it building that relationship with your stepchildren or spouse?  Is it looking for that new job that you know will make you happy even though it doesn't pay as much?  Maybe its just stepping out and making a new friend.  What ever it is, you won't know the outcome unless you push fear aside and try. A great quote by John Maxwell is "The greatest mistake we make is living in a constant fear that we will make one."

So what will you do today, this week or this month, to shake off that fear and move past it?  For me, I have started by re-posting to my blog so I hope you are excited for posts to come.  Also, I aim to say hello to one stranger each day.  Who knows, maybe I'll make a new friend in the process, and if not, maybe I just made someone's day.

I would love to hear what you're doing, so post your challenges as a comment.


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