Fear is not safe

Don’t you just love quotes? They are short and sweet but speak volumes. One short line has the power to inspire, give us a good laugh or comfort us. Some quotes seem to pop out of the page and speak directly to you, because you have lived or are living that quote; you could have been the author.

“It is never safe to look into the future with eyes of fear” written by Edward Henry Harriman. When I read this quote, I wanted put my arm around Mr. Harriman’s shoulder, thank him for sharing this wise use of words, and offer to buy him a beer so we can have a nice, long chat. Anyone who has written these words has conquered some stuff, and I would love nothing more than to hear all about it.

I’ve heard that we are motivated by only two things…love and fear. After I heard that, I started to really pay attention to things that motivated me. Yep, its true. And, as Mr. Harriman states, being motivated by fear does not keep us safe. Fear is tricky, it tells us to stay right where we are. If we peek out of our safe place, something might get us and its not going to be good. But, if we stay right where we are, is it really that great? Isn’t life about conquering our fears and experiencing the true joy that brings us? Achieving what we never thought we could brings us a natural high that lasts longer than any drug on the market. It fills us with a sense of pride and purpose, and gives us new confidence to look at the future from a better place.

Almost immediately after my son, Wil, was born, we were told he had Down syndrome. Imagine that huge smack of fear. We’ve just experienced a miracle of life, a beautiful new baby. Then, BAM! oh, by the way your perfect little miracle of life is not so perfect. Fear told me to stay right there, the world is a big scary place full of unknowns, its not safe.

Now I know Wil is perfect, even if he has some genetic differences than you and me. I had to overcome a lot of fear to think that way. The really cool thing is, now everything I do for Wil is motivated by love. I love that little guy so darn much, that all I want to do is educate people who don’t see him in the bright light that I do. He has changed my life in such a positive way because when that fear started telling me not to leave my safe space or I’ll get hurt, I kicked it out of the way. Now, I’m no hero. I was only able to do that because it hurt so much in my safe place and I loved my son too much to stay there. I had this beautiful boy, and I needed to get out there and seek supports for both him and myself.

It hurts me when he is made fun of, or when people so freely use the word “retard”, even typing that word hurts. But I don’t work from fear anymore. I understand now that my original fear was grounded in ignorance, and I would be a hypocrite if I shamed others for operating out of ignorance. Education and awareness are key to overcoming this ignorance, and if I have to whap you over the head with it to get you to understand, please know I’m doing it purely out of love πŸ™‚

Speaking out is not an easy thing for me, and I realize its not an easy thing for a lot of people. I’m reserved and shy away from conflict. However, since I’ve become an advocate for Wil, I’ve learned that staying quiet on important issues is selfish, and it doesn’t do anyone any good. I’ve learned that if we speak out in a compassionate way, so very much can be accomplished. It is not without pain and struggle, I’m sorry to say. But, the older I’ve gotten, and the more experiences I’ve had, I’ve learned that when I speak out when I need to, and do it in a compassionate way, everyone wins. The outcome may not be what we were expecting and wanting, and the hurt may never completely disappear, but every single time the outcome is much better than letting fear get the better of you and doing nothing. Fear has physical ramifications. If you hold all those tough emotions inside, it turns into aches and pains, ulcers, depression. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather do the hard work of facing that fear and moving into a better future than living with all of those debilitating ailments that keep us stationary.

So, please, if you are facing some big fears, get help from friends, a professional, or inspiring books. That fear is not safe and its not good for your health. Facing the fear still hurts and is hard, but if you can turn your motivation to love and compassion, I promise you will be in a much better future for it.

All the best,

***Please join me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/T21andTwins

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa K
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 16:26:53

    Its like we are the same person! The difference is you are so much farther along in conquering your fear than I am! You inspire me! I have let fear rule me, in the past and in the now, I am going to try harder to let LOVE rule me. Thank you for the whap over the head!


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