growth · happiness

Shutting Out Fear

Fear. Fear is a terrible thing that has a way of manifesting itself in the strangest of ways and of taking over every aspect of your life. For me, fear has a way of sneaking up on me. Or rather, being suppressed and ignored until it is too large to ignore anymore and it envelops me to the point of suffocating.

The ironic thing is that I know what is happening. I know that I have ignored my fear; stuffed it deep inside. I know that being upset and stressing out over the fear will not create a brighter future. And yet, I slip into a mindset that does not help myself or the situation. I lose sleep, my intestines and stomach revolt, and anxiety steps up to take over and devalue my days. I want to shut down completely, my work suffers, my attitude sucks, and everyone knows that I’m in a bad place. I shout out via social media, expressing my angst, my anger, and my self-pity. I want someone or something to come along and make it all go away, but I know that no one can fix the situation but me. It is my fear, after all. It is me who cannot deal with the situation and my choice to ignore that which I don’t want to deal with.

So what is the solution? I wish I had an answer, but I’m simply not there yet. I do know this, however. If I allow myself to wallow in sadness and despair, the situation does not change, it only gets worse. For the most part, sadness and hopelessness beget more sadness and hopelessness, but positivity and happiness create more positivity and happiness. This is not to say that sadness or negative experiences cannot get in the way. But if we allow that negativity to burrow in and linger, it starts to open up the cracks of hopelessness so that they are wider and allow even more negativity in. The sooner we can patch up those cracks with positive thoughts and actions, the less negative energy we allow into our world. And the less negative energy we allow, the more productive and happy our lives will be.

I used to scoff at the idea of people telling me that I could manifest my own wants and needs being met, that my destiny was something that could be controlled. But, as I look back on my life, I see truth in that. When I believe that things will work out, that I will always have, that a job will come my way, or that the bills will be paid, they are. Sometimes it is the last possible minute and there is some fear involved, but ultimately it works out. An important note here is that it is not just positive thinking, but positive actions and knowing that you are on the right path. When I allow negativity to get in my way, however, I see that my attitude and ability to survive in happiness dwindles. There are times, like yesterday, that this holds a bit too true.

I sat down to pay bills and do my monthly budget, only to realize that I had to make some big changes in order to continue with my dream of Forget Me Not Advocacy Group surviving. For months, I’ve been living on savings and doing whatever freelance work I could get to supplement those savings and pay the bills. I held to the belief that things would come together and financial support would be found before my savings was depleted. As my bank account dwindled, I stuffed the fear of running out of money out of my mind and stayed positive that things would work out. The problem was not in my positive thinking but in my lack of action. I had all the positive thinking in place, but I ignored the very real possibility of running out of money hoping that my happy thoughts and beliefs would guide the way. Don’t get me wrong, I was not sitting on my bum, doing nothing. I was working very hard, but my priorities needed to be a bit polished.

When reality set in, I felt like my world was closing in. Sadly, I come to this place a little too often in my life. Happy and positive degrade into terrified and depressed. This is where I need more work.

Thankfully, I have friends and loved ones that keep me focused and raise me up. They give me the push I need to get my head in the game. Today I woke up still struggling with sadness, but I also felt motivated to shut that sadness down. Each time I felt overwhelmed – looking at jobs that seemed impossible or that didn’t excite me – I told myself to just keep moving forward.

On Friday I have an interview with an organization that excites me. It would provide the flexibility I need, income, and its mission walks hand-in-hand with Forget Me Not’s. Now that is positive! I don’t know where it will lead but I am hopeful. And in that, I’ve won this battle with myself.

3 thoughts on “Shutting Out Fear

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