Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Free vs. Fear

A few weeks back I was driving on some familiar gravel roads. The kiddos were zonked in the back seat, and as I drove and looked out the window I couldn't help by get that nostalgic feeling. You know, that feeling of when you were there last, who you were with, what song was playing on the radio, the smell in the air. I could actually close my eyes and BE there. My thirty two year old self was transformed into my 17 year old self, thrown back into the days of not caring what anyone thought, not having to be anywhere at anytime, just living, perhaps doing something completely stupid, but loving every second! Then I thought, what the heck is wrong with me? Why don't I have memories of my prior self being that happy and free? Is it because I do things with caution? A whim for me would be a carefully drawn out plan of what we are doing at every exact second...not very carefree, huh?

First, before I go any further, let me explain...I love my life. Every little thing. Well except the whining. And the temper tantrums. Usually on any given day I am extremely thankful. But there are certain times when I'm left to my own crazy thoughts, and my mind runs a mile a minute.

And so on this clear, sunny, beautiful day...I was thinking about all those wonderful teenage memories and wondering why I wasn't having that much fun anymore...and here is my analogy...

I think the answer to that question is Fear. Depending on the situation, different places bring up different scenarios. But my fears at one time or another can be summed up into the following...

A general fear of the unknown.
A fear of trying something new.
A fear of failing.
A fear that something bad will happen.

All of these fears are pretty standard, and for the most part we all have to face these fears throughout our lives. But how do we stop those fears from controlling what we do or don't do? How do I stop thinking about the outcome of certain situations and just focus on being. Being free and living?

Most recently my worst fear is that something bad will happen. This fear is probably the worst and truest fear of mine. Knowing that bad things {sometimes really bad things}can happen.

Rewind to when we are young. As a mom to two toddlers I know all to well how fearless they are. Learning new things, knowing that someone will always be there to catch {for the most part}. Standing on things that you shouldn't, not wanting to hold hands as you walk across the street. Kids have no capable way of knowing that something bad could happen. The word bad to them means being sent to the naughty chair because they didn't share with their brother. As a teenager you are a bit more aware of the cruelty of the world, but you develop that invincible attitude, thinking nothing can happen to me, and more often then not you get buy those wonder years with barely a scratch...

But as an adult, I am more aware of what can go wrong. I would definitely think twice about going for a walk by myself at night in the dark, I even get nervous crossing a road sometimes.  It could be as simple as not going on a roller coaster for fear of it falling. Holding my purse a bit more tightly while walking on the street or double checking the locks before I go to bed...

When I was 16, my mom would let me ride my bike on the main road to a friends houses, and it was a 45 minute bike ride!Who let's their kids do that anymore?! Not to mention that she let me load up the family van, pack my friends in and go on a 4 hour road trip to go camping when we were 18! I can't even imagine letting my kids do that! What if they got kidnapped? Got in an accident? Worse...

What I am getting at though is, Is there a way to LIVE without being in fear? On some level I think that a teeny tiny little bit of fear is good. It keeps us grounded. But I wish I could be a little more free. I wish I didn't always think of how things could go wrong and just for once in my adult years closed my eyes for a second and took a leap of faith.

Looking back I am grateful and appreciative to have been my former carefree self, and I am glad that I had those experiences. I truly believe that it is better to live in the future then the past, but sometimes I would love to have a little bit of that carefree spirit that I used to have...

...just a bit. 

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Lamielle Lincke said...

Hi, I've been following you for a while. Just want to say that I feel the same way. I always have this fear of something bad will happen, but I find comfort and peace whenever I read the whole chapter of Psalm 91 in the Bible. I hope you can check it out and I hope it will also help you the way it do to me :-) Have a blessed Tuesday..Lamielle

Jasanna Czellar said...

Can I second Lamielle's reply? I totally hear you, and I think it's a bit different when you have kids. You struggle with different fears. I don't necessarily believe fear is a good thing, but there is a difference in responsibility from our 17 year old self to now as well. :) I definitely don't think it's a bad thing to learn to have a "let's try it!" spirit, but I also think it's wise to learn when to say no. Now you've got little people to care for, and I don't know about you, but I was a bit careLESS when I was younger. It's a good change, but totally worth learning to hang onto the joyful, flexible, lets-try-something-new-and-spontaneous attitude as well. :) Jesus is the one who truly helps me overcome my fears of spontenaity and what might go wrong!


Ashley said...

This was a great post, Lish.

Although I don't have kids yet, I'm a frequent lurker over at Free Range Kids (freerangekids.wordpress.com). Crime rates involving kids are actually DOWN despite all the bad stuff we're constantly bombarded with. Anyway, you might like the site, or hate it...either way, worth checking out!

Amy Powell said...

Fear is something that's really difficult to battle with. This is such a lovely post of questions & realizations & reflections. thanks for posting!!

<3 Amy @ Interpret As You May

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