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about the living without fear thing...
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about the living without fear thing...

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Posted by emoot ( on July 31, 2003 at 12:05:46:

In Reply to: Hello everyone! posted by Stephanie ( on July 30, 2003 at 17:51:25:

Hey stephanie,

Glad to hear things are working out on the job front. (: Also, It's good to know that the board is a healthy place for feedback. (:

It's kind of funny, but I think if most of us are INFPs, we are Healers and Menders of realtionships.... so it is natural for us to be supportive...especially when we can identify so heavily with one another.

I know I said I would email you on the topic of - dropping fear and not comparing myself to others, but since I'm here ..... it might be a little long...

You asked if getting beyond fear is really nothing more than "just do it" and not over thinking it.....

My take on that is that fear is liar. Almost everything I have ever been afraid of.... turned out to not be as bad as I thought it would be, and in some cases I was pleasantly surprised.

It's true that bad stuff happens, but that doesn't mean that when it happens that I have to fall apart. It is kind of ironic when I think about it.... the things I used to worry about, my worst nightmares....never happened...... but then there was some really bad stuff, that I never even thought of, that happened and it completely blindsided me.

I think a big turning point for me was when I was run out of my lane on a busy interstate, and I crossed the median into oncoming traffic during rush hour. My car was demolished....the whole right and back end were.....completely gone(Never drive a saturn coupe into a Ford Bronco at 65mph (; )....... My accident made the news...(well because I was working for the news at the time, but mostly because the man who ran me off the road --- never stopped....which means the police had to chase him down)

Anyway...by far, that has been the scariest thing that has ever happened to me physically.... even though the back end and right side of my car were gone.....the driver's seat was protected from the brunt of the impact...(somehow when I went airborne the car spun around and I hit the Bronco in such a way that the empty side of the car sheltered the impact.) After my car came to a stop... I thought I was dead....one, because all I could see in front of me was white...turns out that was just my airbag in my face.... secondly, because I wasn't in pain and I had just seen my life play out in slo-mo in like 5 seconds. (weird how that is a consistent thing that happens to people in accidents)

Anyway... the EMTs and the many drivers who stopped to help, some of whom saw what happened..... were utterly amazed that I wasn't in a million pieces along with my car. In fact I was only bruised and scratched up a bit. The EMTs, even though I was up and walking around, made me lie down on a stretcher and imobilized me and rushed me to the hospital... I kept telling them "I'm okay, really"... nope it was procedure based on the condition of my car... they said I could be in shock and have internal injuries.

At the hospital, it was confirmed... I was only bruised and scratched up. For the next several days after that....it was impossible for me to ignore the realization of just how fragile life is and the miracle of me still being here. I kept pinching myself to make sure it wasn't a dream. I never really took life for granted before...... but now when I look at things... I think about the important things a lot more.

And of course, since I have always believed in God....this only confirmed my belief, if it ain't your time to go, it ain't your time to go. I feel like I am walking proof of that. So the next thing for me to think is
...."I must still have something left to do." A purpose that needs to be accomplished......and that, as much as I want to think I am, I'm not in complete control of my life.

Sure, I can make wise decisions that will cause a less problematic life, but for the stuff that just happens(sickness, death, other people's actions)..... there's no way of controlling it.

Since that accident... (I was 27) I have come to more and more understand that life isn't exactly about what everyone thinks it is....(or society, thinks it is... ) It's not chasing after money, working so hard that relationships suffer, or having the most fun possible.... It's about doing what's right for the greater good. It's about helping others and using what you have been given for that purpose. (sorry, I'm not trying to preach... just my own revelation of insight into the big picture)

Somehow... giving that stuff to others (in my case...following the will of God) and trying to help others instead of myself.. makes all the fear I ever had fall away.

I'm not saying that fear still doesn't get to me sometimes.....but that I now have a mechanism to combat it. All I have to do is remember that it isn't all in my hands.... and that gives me peace whenever I get anxious.

Now for the comparing thing.... Since I have been a 12 step leader... I have seen almost every kind of problem a person can have. I have seen the emotional baggage that people are carrying around with them that has been caused by pain.... pain either caused by their own addictions or pain that was inflicted on them by other people's addictions and pain. The basic fact is that pain spawns pain when left to it's own devices....

You would not believe the number of beautiful, smart, seemingly perfect, high status people who look so together ..... who are, in fact, falling apart from the inside out. I've often thought it would be interesting if you could see a baggage icon over the top of peoples heads.... It seems to me that the ones who look the most successful are the ones who are often carrying the heaviest loads. Why? Because they have become professionals at covering up and creating the facade of " I don't have any problems." Everybody's got problems.... it's more about whether you deal or cope with them or not in a healthy way... Most people just tend to stuff 'em and ignore them. That's why denial is such a common thing.

So I guess... I am automatically programmed ,now to think, when I meet someone who has two masters degrees, a doctorate, good looks, a prestigious job, a lot of money.... "hmmm, I wonder why they are so driven", instead of thinking...."oh my gosh, they think I am a loser because I don't have all that stuff."

It's true, it is surprising how many people who seem perfect by society's standards... are screwed up bigtime on the inside....mostly because they have been compensating for something they can't control .....caused by their own fears- which lead to hurts, habits and hangups.

So, I guess that's why it seems like there's no point in being intimidated by anyone(logically speaking)... because physical appearance and status aren't hard evidence of inner happiness. I mean it boils down to the fact that you can never understand what it means to be standing in their shoes....you don't know about the bad stuff they have had to deal, their faults, short comings and you don't know what's eating them..... In fact if you could see all that...you probably wouldn't want to be them.

So I have come to recognize that envy is a liar too. It doesn't compare on a fair playing field and it lacks inside information.

I guess, in the long run, you have to think about the things that you have been given.... take those things and hone them, and be satisfied that perfection in yourself is unattainable but that your worth in life comes by giving those things to others.... whether it be creating art for the world to see, writing a book, helping, teaching, volunteering... as long as your heart is in it... it is valuable.

And when it comes to looks..... you gotta take what you have been given there as well. I know that I have fought with myself as most women do.... getting hung up on being pretty and or not being pretty or skinny enough. Since society puts so much favor on good looks... and it is in our faces daily that this is what we need to be accepted... I think it makes if very difficult for the female psyche.

I have accepted the fact that I have to exercise and eat a certain way... because my metabolism sucks..... Yeah, I have a friend who eats whatever she wants and doesn't exercise at all.....but I don't want to be envious of that....because it is just the way it is(in all honesty, in the whole picture of things, I wouldn't want to trade places with her just for that benefit)..... It's a perspective thing.

And besides, envy just destroys friendship and self-esteem...so it manages to hurt everybody at the same time. So it seems logical to just toss it. It's a mental energy waster.

whew......a bit long, as promised...
but I hope it was helpful.... it just seemed like I really needed to explain all that so you could really know where I am coming from...

Geez.... I should write some of this sfuff for my writer's group.


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