fear: the other four-letter "f" word

There's something about having your counselor tell you that you're afraid of losing control that changes the game a bit. All of a sudden, you realize that the reason why you maniacally clean your home and organize your desk every day before you leave work isn't because you're a neat and tidy person. Actually, it's your control issue coming out to haunt you, politely reminding you that, yes, in fact, it's still there, no matter how hard you try to overcome it.

Maybe that's not you, but it's certainly me. And, if I'm honest, control really equates to fear: I fear that someone else will have power over me (thus, somehow making me insignificant); I fear being imperfect (thus, making me unlovable); and I fear getting too far out of of my comfort zone (thus, making me more susceptible to error and critique). Exhausting. Exhausting how long I've allowed my fear to puppet the voices in my head and cement my feet to the ground. Even now, I can feel a migraine forming in the front of my right temple even just thinking about how I've allowed fear to become my f-bomb of choice.

In the past week, I've seen fear creep up in many ways. Most notably, as my fiance, Delwin, and I were driving to Champaign to visit his family, we got caught in a snow storm. I'm from Los Angeles, by way of Texas, so this was not ideal. We ended up in a snow bank. I yelled at him for driving too closely to the car in front of us. I decided not to speak to him for God knows what reason. Another example? Today. Today I received this beautiful bouquet of flowers, addressed from my parents and my dog:

I panicked. Why? Because I'd somehow forgotten that my 26th birthday was in five days. And I'm not sure which was scarier: realizing that I was about to have a birthday, and I'd forgotten, or realizing that I'd be turning 26, thus officially putting me closer to 30 than to 20. And most related to this blog, fear has been perpetually creeping up and keeping my fingers from starting this thing. Two weeks ago, I told my dear friend Michele that I was feeling led to write. I wasn't sure what, at the time, but I knew I was scared: of getting started, of being judged, of failing.

So here I am, safe and out of the snow, still 25 and very much so living in the present, penning the first entry to my blog. I have no idea what this will turn into, but I'm so glad that I've pushed fear to the side - even just for a while - in order to move forward, into the unknown, fully surrendered to the thrill of what life has to offer. And since it's almost Easter, and since I've been readying my heart for the celebration to come, it's only appropriate to recall Jesus' words to His disciples during the last week of his life here on Earth:

". . . Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NLT)
Trials are promised, that's for sure. But my hope is that whatever plagues you - fear or otherwise - that you take heart, take action, take care, and live life to the fullest. Follow your dreams, listen to that voice inside of you. Life's too short and too precious to allow fear to win.
Ashlee Eiland2 Comments