Do you view yourself as a fearful person? Are you even aware of the fears you have in life?
By nature I am an adrenaline junkie. I love roller coasters, heights don’t bother me and I’ve faced many challenges in life that have given me the confidence I can face whatever is in front of me. I’ve learned to breathe through the moments where my heart is pounding. Anxiety could easily consume me (as it does many) but it is important to remember one has control over their fears. It is truly about perception and how we view the situation.
James often steps outside of his comfort zone for me. During our recent trip to Las Vegas, we decided to ride the High Roller which offers a spectacular view 550 feet above Las Vegas He would have prefered not to be 550 feet above Las Vegas but he agreed to go. Due to the mechanics of the High Roller, the rotation to the top is extremely slow. It allows for beautiful views but for someone not comfortable with heights, it can create some anxiety. While I was standing with my face to the glass and walking from side to side James was sitting cautiously on the seat.
He later asked me if I had worried about what would happen if the ride had stopped and we were stopped above Las Vegas. It wasn’t as if a fire ladder could easily get us down. Without even thinking, I easily responded “I’ve already faced some of the worse things in life. I could get through it.” Additionally, I also trusted (and maybe I shouldn’t always) that an emergency plan was in place for this ride to exist at all.
I certainly do not want to sound arrogant with this statement. I do have fears and over the past few years I have faced many of them head on. As a child, I did fear losing my Mother and Grandmother and having no close biological family. As I became an adult, the thought was still there but not something I dwelled on. Little did I know that in the matter of 5 months I would lose what was my family foundation. Although I wish this had never happened, I have discovered what I had already known. When we face our fears, we often discover they are never as big as we imagined.
I recently shared the Las Vegas story with a friend and her facial reaction to my statement of “I’ve already faced the worse.” showed me that she felt I didn’t know what I was talking about. Admittingly, this friend has gone and is currently facing many of her own fears. I didn’t feel the time was right to question her disagreement.
We all have fears and a recent brunch conversation revolved around how a few of us fear losing our husbands. A strong marriage is one where there is both a partnership and friendship. If one is fortunate enough to have a close relationship with their spouse then they are truly an intricate part of life. In the early part of my marriage, I did continuously ask myself if I could do what I was doing without James. Losing my father at a young age taught me the importance of making sure I could be independent on all levels. After the deaths in my family, I will admit that I have leaned upon James more. He is my constant and he is my family.
Occasionally, when I allow the thoughts I do wonder what I would do without him and I pray that we grow very old together. I also sometimes wonder what it will be like to be older and without children. Some people question “Who will take care of you?” (I answer that I’ve worked with many people who had several children and none of them provided care to their parent.) Nonetheless, I do not fear these things.
I actively work on maintaining close friendships outside of my marriage. My work has taught me that it is those who do not maintain friendships that often struggle the most with the death of a spouse. I also attempt to stay healthy so that I can care for myself as long as possible.
A certain level of fear is always going to be healthy. Having no fear can be as troublesome as being overcome with fear. Fear can protect one from some horrible instances but fear should not prevent one from living life.
A former client was a collegiate diver and we had to work through her fear of returning to diving after an accident. She had lost her confidence but what brought her peace was recognizing there were people around the pool who were there for her if the dive didn’t go well. She had completed thousands of dives in her life and visualized the water as a safety net rather than something to fear.
Today I ask you what is your greatest fear and is there anything you can do to face it? I encourage you to consider what you have already faced and give yourself credit for what you have accomplished.
You will find this post linked with Emily’s Grateful Heart Monday as each of my fears have taught me something. I also know your fears will teach you something too!.