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Thoughts about Fear and Failure

fearyI believe fear is the absence of faith. Therefore, I try my best not to have fear. But let’s face it, we all have fear. Even if it’s in small doses. It keeps us to the brighter lit paths, home instead of out past midnight, and inside the jeeps on an African safari instead out strutting with the big cats.

Fear of failure is another example.

My friend, you know…the one who’s going through some tough times? Well, it hit her today of the concept, what would she do if she knew she wouldn’t fail. I witnessed the bright light go on above her head. It wasn’t as big of a moment for me because I used to ask myself that question all the time. But lately I haven’t. So I thought a moment. It is indeed a powerful question. What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? Hmmm…let’s take a moment, shall we? What came to your mind first?

The first thing that came to mine was skydiving. Wouldn’t it be the biggest rush ever? Wouldn’t you just die, jumping out of a plane…staring at the earth…wind whipping by you. As you fell!! I get butterflies just imaging it. Yep, I’d skydive. It’s just not practical in my world. It’s not as if planes come by my front door, asking every morning to give me a lift. It takes seeking out.

Maybe later.

I do act on this whole faith over fear thing, though. On a smaller scale. I mean, what can really hurt you for trying something? Asking for someone’s help…that you don’t even know. Looking at houses in a different state, feeling quite spirited about picking up and moving from all you ever knew? Quitting a job that you don’t necessarily love, and find that it’s depleting you? All the while not having the funds in the bank to support such a decision! That’s faith, baby! Faith that it’ll all work out. Okay, so that was a larger scale, wasn’t it?

Of course, you have to be urged to do something so bold. I don’t simply cry in my cereal that I hate my job and therefore will leave. I get nudges that it isn’t right. It doesn’t complete me. And when I act on faith, I feel such an enormous relief. It’s almost as if the inner peace I experience is confirmation that ‘hey, you did right!’

Skydiving? I’m still waiting on a nudge…from a bulldozer…in the direction of the airfield…where four instructors hook onto me and each have 3 parachutes a piece. Just in case my nudge was a little off that day! 🙂

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Dream Interpretation

Black-bearDoes anyone believe that dreams have meanings? To a certain extent I believe dreams are an extension of your subconscious. Things that you are scared to do in real life or things on your mind during the daylight hours, tend to pop up in unusual dreams. I don’t, therefore, look for symbolism in a dream in which I’m going to a party and having a good time. I embrace the getaway and wake up refreshed the next day. However, when I dream of something you’d find being described in a conversation with a psychiatrist, I take note.

Last spring I dreamed of a white bull. It was at the end of a street. I was a block away from it and could feel my insides quake when I saw air blow from its nostrils. I knew I couldn’t outrun it, and usually I’m the type that collapses in fear rather than run, but I took off. The more I felt the muscles in my legs burn, the less I heard its hooves on the pavement behind me. I turned to see it not chasing me. Then I woke up. Turns out white bulls are a sign of wealth! Perhaps I wish it had chased me:) Ironically speaking, we are now getting a white bull. Coincidence?

So last night, I dreamed someone gave me a black bear to carry on my back. At first I didn’t think I was able to carry it, but as soon as I hoisted it up around my shoulders, it was actually comfortable. Warm, even. I carried this little electric blanket, breathing, terror everywhere I went. I walked these weird paths with two other faceless people, searching for someone. I didn’t really know who. My sister? Anyway, when I went into places I became nervous, almost freaking out that people would see this bear and they wouldn’t understand. They’d think I was strange, try to take it away, or hurt it in some way. On the contrary, when I confronted my first situation with strangers no one saw it. No one flinched, looked over my shoulder, or waivered from staring  me in the eyes. Didn’t they see it?

The longer the time I had with it the more it’d become my security … my baby. Yes! I even felt it was like my baby. Something I had to guard and protect. Weird, huh? It never occurred to me to wonder why it couldn’t walk itself. Or where was I taking it to?

I looked it up when I awoke this morning and the consistent meaning I found was it represented fear. I suppose that would make sense why no one could see it. Now I guess I need to wonder about what I’m fearing. Why couldn’t I have dreamed of being a racecar driver or something fun? These deep thoughts are too much for a Sunday morning!

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Are You Safe?

safe-place_transpngI remember a time when I was a little girl and I heard on the news about a crazy person going into a restaurant and opening gunfire on innocent customers. He killed at least a dozen. There were no pictures, no live coverage; I just recall imagining the victims and what it all looked like. One minute you’re waiting on your hamburger and the next, you’re staring at the end of the gun barrel and a deranged set of eyes. The whole thing freaked me out so much that I told my mother I wanted to go through the take-out window every time we went out. The incident had created a phobia that spanned a few months of my life, robbing me of a normal childhood. Thoughts about insane people plagued me wherever I went. Slowly, the memory faded and I became trusting again.

I took my daughter shopping a few weeks ago and we were in the dog food section of Target. I was lugging this 40 pound bag of chow into my cart, when I glanced at a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt, three brands down. He seemed to be reading the label on one of them. No big deal, I thought, and proceeded to the bedding department. I had my hand on a set of sheets when I saw the same guy across the aisle, touching a shirt on the display rack. I quickly looked for his cart, but there was none. I immediately thought, who goes to the dog food section, handle the bags and not have a cart to put it in? I quickly took my daughter by the arm and puffed out my chest like a messed-with momma bear. “Come one step closer and I’ll punch your lights out, mister,” I shouted inside my brain.

Then I saw it, and stopped dead in my tracks.

The heart that once fluttered like a undefeated boxer in my chest had turned into a panting panther, racing to find shelter. He was wearing a side arm. Yep, it was a gun, alright. And, with that knowledge to my little, over-processing brain, I grabbed my daughter and cart and flew down the aisle and hid at the end of it, waiting for him to leave.

In light of what just happened in Charleston, the city I just returned from last Saturday, I have to ask you, are we safe anywhere? People can’t even go to their church and worship in safety. I would figure if I knew one of them, I would worry possibly about their car ride over to the church, would they be hit by another driver, or maybe even be concerned they might get mugged a few streets down from it; but IN the church? DURING service? By one of the people you shared seating space with? Looked at, talked to, and probably welcomed them to the study?

What is this world coming to? Are we safe anywhere?