We Are All Scared

I believe that things do happen for a reason.  I cannot accept the notion that everything is pure chance or happenstance.  So when I have trials, I rely on the faith in knowing there is a reason.  It could be preparation for something else; it could be because my experience will benefit another; it could be for a reason that I will never see or know.  I also believe that we, as humans, all share similar “sufferings”.  By this I mean, we quite literally are all human and we all make mistakes…we all have faults and insecurities.  In addition, we all share similar feelings of inadequacy, imperfection, fear, and suffering.  I  have not always felt this to be true, however.  I have spent most of my life looking at others as having it all together and I was the only one that was flawed.  Needless to say, that was a life lived in pseudo-isolation.  Quite frankly, I don’t think you can have true relationships while hiding behind a wall.

everyone you meet

As I started taking these walls down, I had more meaningful conversations (and shared tears) with my friends and family.  I can say, without a doubt, one of the most common phrases said during those moments was, “I’m scared”.

i'm scared

One day, I was discussing my goals with my trainer.  You see, I waiver on my goals due to fear and other self-perceived limitations.  He mentioned a book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, which is about taking risks, facing fears, and seizing opportunities.  From that book comes the following quote, “One of the greatest things that could happen to you is for your fear to become a reality. Then you would discover that it’s not the end of the world.” This was a casual conversation about stage fright and some lingering body image issues.  Little did he know, I was living out my biggest fear already.

I had always been fiercely independent.  While growing up, my mom emphasized the importance of being able to take care of myself.  So I graduated school, and armed with my new degree, I hit the road for Florida with the notion of not settling in one spot.  That was just my first stop and there is a whole world to see.  So what did I do?  I got married, of course.  Through those years, we both maintained a great deal of independence and developed our careers even if it meant working in different cities, states, or coasts for a while.  But we were still partners and now I had a safety net in my life.  If anything is true in life, it is that things change and they did.  At this particular turning point, I was no longer that 20-something girl ready to take on the world.  I was now a 40-something woman with no safety net and honestly, I was terrified.  This time I was armed with self-doubt and fear and I was about to face the world…alone.  So, the answer that comes to mind when I hear people say, “I’m scared”?…  “Yes, we are all scared.”


So I set out again to conquer the world.  I made more mistakes and continue to have more lessons learned. I don’t think I have conquered anything but myself.  (Well, really, I haven’t even conquered myself either…that’s more of a work in progress.)  I have let more of those walls down and allowed myself to get closer to people.  I can appreciate what is really important in life, I know who I want to be, and ultimately what I want out of life.  Ok – I am slightly bummed that I wasn’t a quicker learner.  I would like to have learned some of these lessons without getting so damn old.

Here are some of the lessons I have learned while on this journey and use to guide my way:

  • Live in this moment, this hour, and this day.  Take life in small bites.  Do not spend too much time looking into a future in which you have little control.
  • Find something to be thankful for.  There is always, always something to be thankful for.
  • Make a difference in someone else’s life (and don’t tell anyone). Give a piece of yourself and expect nothing in return.
  • Focus on healthy things that bring comfort, satisfaction, and happiness.  The sunshine, a workout, spending time with friends, a book, a movie. etc.  (Retail therapy?)
  • Share love and let the ones you care about know how important they are…because they really are not guaranteed to us.
  • Have faith and pray to be given the strength to get through.
  • Demonstrate kindness both to yourself as well as others.  Show the same compassion for yourself as you would your closest friend and allow yourself to feel the pain.  It is ok to hurt.
  • Smile even when you don’t want to…smiles get returned.  Smile
  • Spend each day becoming a better person than you were the day before…

henry cloud change quote

The truth is all those years of protecting myself…I never protected anything.

  3 comments for “We Are All Scared

  1. Charles
    June 29, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    How beautiful… I like what you said about being human, imperfect and afraid as we are. Thanks for sharing some great lessons and sharing about your journey to them, which sounds authentic and wholesome. You reminded me of a quote from Fragrant Heart, “I am perfectly safe when my thoughts no longer attack me.” They also say, “when I am fully present in this moment, I have everything I need.” I love it when people recognize that gratitude and selfless service are the keys to happiness. This echoes what you shared here.

    We can be open and share the love in us with others when we are at peace with being human. This gives others the freedom to be human too. So being vulnerable is actually our greatest protection. We still say no when appropriate, and we have to take action for our lives to be great.

    We all have fears and upsets because we resist what hurts. So we create self-judgments to control our future and avoid this pain, which drive us to try to be more “perfect” to avoid our judgment and the judgment of others. We feel we can’t be ourselves because it would trigger an emotion that is too painful to experience. However when we resist a painful situation, we prolong our pain and suffering, and we can only fight, hang on, attack, or withdraw. Like you said, we put up walls of protection. However when we can trust we’ll be ok (have faith) and feel our pain willingly, then we feel it, and it comes and goes quickly. You mentioned tears, and crying releases these emotions. By healing our pain, we can be at peace with our judged “imperfections” and be able to say “so what?” about them. When the pain is gone, all that’s left is love. Then we can be open and be ourselves without fear… TOTALLY VULNERABLE. Then we can see clearly, and solutions and opportunities show up. Is that what you found in admitting your fears and living in gratitude and love?

    I found these insights in Bill Ferguson’s book, “Get Your Power Back,” and his website has articles about this too. Thank you for being open and sharing from the heart!

    • September 5, 2014 at 2:09 am

      Thank you for the kind words and leaving such a thought-provoking and insightful comment.
      I’ve been thinking about what are vulnerabilities, what are insecurities, and what is weakness.. And why is it considered so “weak” to show these? I’m always at my most embarrassed when I let those get seen by others.
      I really appreciate what you took the time to share. I agree completely and think I need to read more on Bill Ferguson.
      Thank you!

  2. Nanet
    August 15, 2015 at 4:09 am

    I enjoy your thoughts. I’ve always considered myself a very late bloomer having only in the last 10 or so years realising what’s importnat to me; family and love and my health.
    I can also honestly say I like myself right now, just how I am.
    Your thoughts resonate with me because they are wise and sage words to live by. It’s just lovely to hear that others think like I do.
    Continue to enjoy your travels that we call life.
    i look forward to checking in once in a while.
    cheers, and light,


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