Fess Up Friday | Fear

Fear.

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He sat at the dinner table screaming. Scared of the thing that was on his plate. This is nothing new. At five this boy who brings so much joy to my world, is still -and always has been- afraid of food. “It’s only chicken!” I tried…”The same stuff inside the chicken nuggets you like.” But he wasn’t buying into my patronizing conversation. His fear, it was real. But what if I don’t like it, Mom?

Fess Up

I’ve been thinking a lot about fear this week. How it stops us in our tracks sometimes from trying new things. Taunts and teases us. Tells us we’re better off not trying. Fear is a filthy animal.

I may not be afraid of the food on my plate, but I have plenty of fear that has held me back in my life. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Even fear of success.

I’ve been doing a workshop this week at home. One that is supposed to help me with my business. You see, I do a lot of learning for my job. As a photographer I don’t just pick up my camera and I’m done. There is SO MUCH MORE that goes into my job than that. And it’s important to me to do it right, but to still be authentic. Yet, sometimes it’s hard for me to implement the things I know I need to in my business because of fear.

Oh fear, it is everywhere I look! Societies often use fear as a tactic for compliance to social rules. This is not always a bad thing. Healthy fear is okay. But it can be used in terrible and abusive ways. You see it happening in cultures the world over. I even see it used in the culture I’m surrounded by at home. I see fear used in religious cultures as a means of getting members to comply. Cultures judging and sanctioning one another on things that, in all honestly, probably do not matter. I see people fearing God, but also fearing each other. They fear that if everything isn’t 100% in another’s life (according to their beliefs and fears), that the person might be lost forever to utter destruction. This isn’t healthy either. God is love. At least in my mind God is love.

I’ve been passionate about women’s rights, and abuses women suffer for a long time. Some of it is very personal, and some of it is simply something I consider moral. Women afraid to push the boundaries. Men afraid of women’s potential. Women afraid of their femininity, their sexuality. Women harshly judging other women, women fearing they’re not good enough. Fear, fear, fear.

And all for what? Fear holds us back from reaching our true potential. Fear holds us back from discovering our greatness. Like I said, some fear is healthy. Certainly I respect the fear that keeps my babies from getting burned on a hot stove. But I look at fear and realize it holds so many of us securely in its hands. For nothing.

So here is to being unafraid. Here is to those who want to stand up and realize they are more astounding, more phenomenal, and more powerful than any self-doubt trying to pull them down. Try something new this week. I think I will!

 

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