Fear is something that every one faces, so I’d like to share a story with you that may help you accept it. I found this entry in my journal. It’s not dated but I know exactly when I wrote it. It was six months ago and I remember the fear like it was yesterday.
Rawness of Fear
What better time to write about fear than when I am smack dab in the middle of it? My vision is blurred because I can’t see without my contacts or glasses. Not really, it’s because I have ointment in my eyes. I am two days out of a surgery that should have been a couple stitches and a small skin graph. Instead, I can’t see, I’m in pain and the right side of my face is swollen with god knows how many stitches; from my eye to the bottom of my nose. The worst-case scenario they gave me four weeks ago is my reality right now.
My family was here for me with hugs, flowers and meals. I am so lucky to have them. The surgeon did an amazing job. But still, tears creep in every now and then for whatever reason. I’m exhausted by the end of the day so I start getting ready for bed. I take the pain medicine I was so reluctant to fill, heat up the heating pads my sister gave me to relax the tension in my neck and prepare an icepack that will numb the pulling of my stitches. I reach for my phone one last time before going to sleep. My sister-in-law writes, “How was your day Patti?” I begin to cry again and answer, “It was a rollercoaster, but tomorrow will be better.” I lay down with all my tools of comfort and cry. Why? I don’t know. I can’t stop, I just cry. Trying to be positive, I rationalize; they took out the cancer and did such a great job on my face, my family is so amazing and supportive. I should be grateful, but I am sad. I’m scared and I can’t stop the tears.
I’m scared. Not knowing what tomorrow will bring is lets my mind run wild. Fear… the unknown. How do you trust what’s ahead? I flashback to my doctor giving me the prescription. He said, “It’s better to have it just in case you need it”. I said, “I’m fine” and he said, “you’re not right now”. I snapped back, “I’m just crying… there’s nothing wrong with crying.” I don’t know if I was trying to convince him or me.
Fear Brings Courage
Now I realize I was right. It’s okay to cry, to be scared and to fear what is ahead. We fear change of something that we don’t know, until we do know it. Everyone is faced with fear. It’s a “normal” reaction in times of heart break, loss and the unknown. It’s okay to cry. Go ahead and release the stress of it. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow will be better. There’s nothing wrong with you … you’re normal and every moment of fear you take a step toward courage. These are the moments you develop strength, resilience and hope. Let it happen.
Happy “YOU” Year
As we begin our journey of making 2021 our Happy “YOU” Year, it’s important to ask ourselves the right questions so we can be clear about what it is we are creating on this clean slate. We stand here with a blank canvas that is waiting for us to decide what 2021 will hold for us. Where will we be a year from right now?
Now is the Time
That can be an overwhelming question because most of us are so out of touch with who we are, that we have no idea what we want. Even more troubling is that many women answer that question with what someone else believes we are. We spend so much time listening to what others say and think that we don’t do it for ourselves. We’ve lost who we are. That is why now is the perfect time to unravel all of the answers that are within us. The best way to understand who we are and what we truly want is to ask questions. If we ask the right questions, we can restore the heart and build strength and confidence as we develop the will to uncover our true selves. Explore questions that dig into your souls, into your heart and into our dreams.
If you could live the life of your dreams, what would that look like? Where would you be? What would be around you? Who would be with you. If there were no restrictions and you could be, do and have anything you desired, what would it be? When you ask your heart these questions, listen. Don’t be in a hurry to answer them. Wait and then ask them again. Let your imagination and your heart explore your covered up dreams. You will know when it is time to write these things down. You will know when you have the vision of what your year can look like.
You can also ask your own questions. As one question is asked another may pop up. Go with it and explore your heart. This is not a script. It is creative, it is exploration and it is the rebuilding of your true self. When you come up with answer, ask yourself “why”. Why is this important to you? What will it bring you? How will it make you feel? What will it mean? Just keep exploring. This is the process of reaching your authentic self.
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So many times I have heard, “… but I’m not as strong as you are”. My reaction is always the same thing … “Oh yes you are, you just don’t know it yet”. I didn’t know I had the strength within me to go through everything that I struggled with and there were many times when I considered giving up and just accepting my situation as it was. But I wanted more. I wanted my children to have more. As I have stated many times in Power Within Her, I didn’t know what “more” was at the time but I knew it was not what we were living.
Do What You Can
So what I did was focus on “today”. I did what I could and let the rest go. I made sure I was present when my children were home and when they weren’t, I nurtured me. Sure there were times when I wasn’t my best, but on those days, I was the best I could be at that time. The next day, I worked on stepping up my game. I did the house work, shopping, school events and planned my nest day. At night I would drop into my bed exhausted and sometimes cry myself to sleep but I would not give up. I completed the day and readied myself for the next one. I had no idea what was down the road so I didn’t focus on that. I could only handle what was immediately in front of me.
Wishing The Struggle Away
Our strength comes from the challenges we face and the unknown territory that is ahead of us. I am referring to our struggles and the fear of what is to come. These times should not be wished away. Instead, they should be lived, learned from and remembered. These are the moments when we grow and build our strength. It is not so much the destination we are looking to reach, it is more about how we get to those destinations. Our daily challenges are the victories, the memories and the proof that we did it. Living the experiences is what being alive is all about. Getting through the tough times and setbacks are what makes the outcome so rewarding. Nobody in this world who has reached their goals without struggle and failure.
The Unknowns Of Life
My friend Louisa Stringer, www.louisawiebestringer.com, a Family Caregiving Consultant writes in her documented journey with her family which is published in Expedition Portal https://expeditionportal.com/lumpy-land-roaming/
“Rough roads don’t just lead to beautiful destinations; they are beautiful destinations. So often, the unknowns of life are what scares us the most. The reality is that these are what life is made of. When you travel down roads or trails that are on areas of the map that have the dotted lines marking dirt or gravel, those are the ones we should be pursuing. More often than not, those are the roads that lead you to places beyond your wildest imagination. They take you away from your thoughts and into your soul to remind you that beauty is everywhere we turn in this world. It takes a lot of slowing down to see it.”
Louisa’s journey with her family reminds us that it is the paths we travel that give our lives such meaning. The unpredicted journeys bring us to amazing destinations, but we need to explore the unchartered paths and live in each moment. Sometimes it’s the biggest struggles that unveils the most beautiful destinations. Don’t rush life by, live it.
Enjoy the ride!!!